March 20, 2019
I just finished reading Deuteronomy. It is good for me to read through the Bible each year and be reminded of God’s faithfulness and the human tendency to miss out on so much of what He wants us to enjoy. The Israelites are a prime example, but the issue is a human problem. It all started in the Garden of Eden when the first humans followed the counterfeit god, Satan.
In Deuteronomy, Moses reviews what the Israelites had experienced in their journey up to that time. He recounts God’s deliverance of them from their enemies, His provision for them in miraculous ways and the exciting future they are about to experience.
God’s promised blessings for the nation are amazing – if they worship Him and play by His rules. Their crops will not fail, their enemies will not prevail against them, and they will have peace and prosperity. This is not some political speech but a promise from Creator God.
Along with the promises are consequences if the nation disobeys. Alliances with people who do not honor Creator God will certainly bring hardship. If they persist in disobeying, the nation of Israel will experience everything opposite of the promised blessings.
Reading the rest of the Old Testament and into the Gospels, the prophecies given by Moses are fulfilled as the Israelites demonstrate periods of obedience and prosperity followed by almost unbelievable turning away from God. Over time, there is less obedience and more negative consequences. Eventually, they lose their land and go into captivity.
The problem is not unique to Israel. Followers of Jesus today have the completed Story of His remedy for sin and the secure hope of eternal life in Heaven with God. Far too often, however, Christians neglect their commitment to Him and experience heartache. It all starts with our attitude of worship. Is Creator God the object of our worship, or do we allow the counterfeit god to gain our loyalty?
Pastor Bill Ehmann