Archive for August 1st, 2013

Blessed or Cursed?

August 1, 2013

Here are the sermon notes from 7/28/13.

I.  Blessing or Curse:  Deuteronomy 11:26-28

 “Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known.

Over and over throughout scripture we are presented with a choice of action.  We can choose to follow God, or reject God. Here, we are told plainly that to obey God brings blessings, to be disobedient brings a curse.  First, we need to know what commandments God wants us to obey.  We recognize that we are no longer expected to follow the Mosaic law, so what commandments are we to obey?  This question is answered by careful, consistent reading of God’s Word.  Secondly, we must believe that God is sincere about the promise of blessing and the threat of a curse.  Although these words were spoken to the children of Israel long ago, as the people of God today, we can claim these words for ourselves.  Finally, once we have identified the commands we are to obey, and believed the promise of God, we must actually live out our lives in obedience.  This does not mean that we will not have any problems.  There will still be the tests and trials of our faith that are a normal part of the Christian experience.  However, even in the midst of the storms of life.  we will be able to recognize in our lives the presence of the blessings of God.

II.  Beware!  Deuteronomy 17:14-20

“When you come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you shall surely set a king over you whom the Lord your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 But he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ 17 Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.

18 “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20 that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.

Solomon should have heeded this warning.  He multiplied horses, wives, and gold; and in the end his heart was turned away from God.

Today, we do not need to be concerned about multiplying horses, but we do need to be concerned about an unhealthy pursuit of power.  Many people today desire to be powerful, whether it is in business, politics, or even in the church.  We should be careful about the pursuit of power.  We are called to be servants, not to acquire them.

We cannot legally multiply wives today, at least not in most countries, but there is a major problem with sex.  Premarital sex, adultery, homosexual activity, pornography, and divorce are prevalent in our culture.  Christians are called to purity.  Sex is meant to be shared between a husband and wife, meaning a man and a woman, joined together in holy matrimony until death do they part.

We may not trade in gold and silver, but certainly the desire to be rich has not changed.  We are warned that the “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” but do we take it to heart?  Or do we continue to feverishly pursue the almighty dollar?  We need to be careful to have the right attitude towards wealth.

We need to guard against pride.  Sometimes Christians develop an attitude of self-righteousness.  This is extremely bad.  We must never forget that we can only become the children of God, by the grace of God.

III.  The Law

In the verses we have read from Deuteronomy 17 we are told that the king was to write a copy of the law, and to read it daily.  It is not necessary for us to make a hand-written copy. (Although that might be a truly wonderful experience!)  We should, however, read from the Word daily.  We should continue to respect God and to be obedient to His Word.

We are faced with a choice.  We should choose to live our lives according to God’s Word and receive the blessings He has for us.