January 26, 2018
Blessings or Blastings
By Skip Heitzig
Imagine standing on the twentieth floor of a building and saying, "I don't care about the law of gravity. I don't want to live under it. I want my liberation," and then exercising your freedom with that kind of thinking. That's not a smart law to ignore, is it? You'll end up a big splat on the sidewalk.
As silly as that sounds, it brings us to Deuteronomy 28. Here, on the verge of entering the Promised Land, Moses laid before the Israelites the blessings of obeying the law of the Lord and the curses of disobeying Him. In verses 1-2, he said, "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God."
I love how that's written: if you obey God, you can't outrun His blessings. They'll chase you down, overtake you, jump on you, and wrestle you to the ground. But then there's the other side of the coin: disobedience will bring curses—and pretty gnarly ones at that (see vv. 15-68). You might say Moses laid out the blessings and the blastings of God and told the Israelites to choose one or the other. The Lord was essentially saying, "If you disobey Me, bad stuff is going to happen to you." Like ignoring the law of gravity, disregarding God's law would have grave consequences.
Verse 45 sums it up: "Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you." Notice this is the same wording as verses 1-2; either blessings will pursue you and overtake you, or blastings will pursue you and overtake you. You can either have the Psalm 23 experience—"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life" (v. 6)—or you can have quite another experience—"Surely grief and misery will follow me all the days of my life."
What's interesting is that the list of curses or blastings God promised in Deuteronomy 28 is four times longer than the list of blessings He promised. Why is that? I think it's because God knew Israel would sin and disobey. He knew the trouble they would get into, so He warned them in detail—but He still gave them the choice between blessing and blasting, obedience and disobedience.
That's the big principle in this chapter: "Here's My way," says God, "It's a way of blessing. The blessings will chase you down and jump on top of you whether you like it or not. You'll just be blessed in everything you do. But if you run the other way, if you run away from Me and My principles, calamity will chase you down whether you like it or not."
This applies to us today, too. God has said here is the way of blessing: through Jesus Christ and His cross. Choose Him, be blessed, and have life. But if you don't choose Him, there will be consequences.
Examine your heart right now: if you are telling yourself, "I am large and in charge, and I don't care about laws. I don't care about God. I want to do my own thing. I want liberty," not only are you foolish, but there will be grave consequences for your future. "Choose life," the Bible says, "That both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days" (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Blessing or blasting. Life or death. The choice is yours.
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Broaden your understanding of God's Word with The Bible from 30,000 Feet Workbook, the companion to Skip Heitzig's book of the same name. This personal study will help you grasp the message of each book of the Bible and then use that knowledge to stir up your love and obedience to God.