Morning Meditation: A Blessing and a Curse (Deuteronomy 11:26-32)
- Righteousness Before Relationships (Deuteronomy 13:6-11)
- Morning Meditation: Listen to Words not Wonders (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
- Morning Meditation: Inquiring After Their Gods (Deuteronomy 12:28-32)
- Morning Meditation: Obedience is Always an Option (Deuteronomy 12:20-27)
- Morning Meditation: How to Enjoy God’s Blessings (Deuteronomy 12:15-19)
- Morning Meditation: One Pattern, One Name, One Place (Deuteronomy 12:8-14)
- Morning Meditation: Shrine or Sanctuary? (Deuteronomy 12:1-7)
- Morning Meditation: A Blessing and a Curse (Deuteronomy 11:26-32)
- Morning Meditation: A People of the Book (Deuteronomy 11:18-25)
- Morning Meditation: The Primacy of Obedience (Deuteronomy 11:13-17)
- Morning Meditation: Characteristics of the Land (Deuteronomy 11:8-12)
- Morning Meditation: A Heritage of Obedience (Deuteronomy 11:1-7)
Today’s Reading: Deuteronomy 11:26-32
The Lord’s primary burden for Israel was their solemn consciousness of choices and consequences. He says, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse.” The formula was simple: obedience yielded blessing and rebellion yielded a curse. The Law was designed to bless man and display God’s righteousness, but as Israel quickly showed, their only hope for blessing lay in mercy, not in merit. Nevertheless, there were those individuals through Israel’s history that proved the blessedness of an obedient life (Psalm 1). To show the great difference between a blessing and a curse, the Lord set up a ceremony to be completed across the Jordan river. The details are in Deuteronomy 27-28 and Joshua 8. Half of Israel would be gathered at Mount Ebal, and curses would be declared as consequences for disobedience. The other half would be gathered at Mount Gerizim, and blessings would be declared for the obedient nation. This would illustrate two things, among others.
The first thing it would illustrate is the irreconcilable distinction between good and evil. Between the two great companies would exist a large plain, and each would be reminded that separation was a necessary mark of a blessed people. This would also remind them that disobedience cut off a person from blessing. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 6 that separation is a necessary mark for each believer. It is the path to the blessing of fellowship and favor with God. If the Christian cannot realize he is a separate person, it will be no wonder when he despairs that his Christianity yields little joy. Good and evil are opposite, and it speaks of a divided person when both are allowed to exist simultaneously. Are we one-or-the-other Christians? Do we stake our claim at Mount Calvary and realize we have been crucified to the world as much as it has been to us?
The second thing it would illustrate is the choice every Israelite was forced to make. The Lord forced no Israelite. He said, “I am setting before you” as if each individual bore the final responsibility for his choice. The Lord desired obedience (Micah 6:8) and blessing (Isaiah 48:18), but He gave Israel an opportunity. He also gave them the opportunity “today,” as if one choice would set them on a path not easily turned from. Today we will each face a series of choices that will set us firmer in a path either toward or against God, either more in tune with His will or more at odds. We are good at passing blame, but ultimately obedience is a choice. God is looking for an act of the will, a contemplated decision that intelligently chooses to pursue God’s honour above all else. We know in our heads the difference between a blessing and a curse, but we seldom count the cost of pursuing our own desires and seldom remember the joy of serving God. Which will you choose today? Mount Ebal or Mount Gerizim? Mount Ebal is the place of the curse, and Christ has already borne that on our behalf. Let us live in the glorious liberty of the other mountain where God can delight in pronouncing blessing day after day over our souls. Let us choose this day to be that blessed person.