I'd like to share with you the message that we shared with our children this morning as we took time to meditate on the significance of this day. We started with Deut. 28 I am going to share with you the message version for easier understanding.
Blessings on Obedience
28 “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. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4 “Blessed shall be the [a]fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 “The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
9 “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord [b]swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open to you His good [c]treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you [d]heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Curses on Disobedience
15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed shall be the [e]fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
19 “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
20 “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. 21 The Lord will make the [f]plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching,[g] and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. 24 The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become [h]troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away. 27 The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of heart. 29 And you shall grope at noonday, as a blind man gropes in darkness; you shall not prosper in your ways; you shall be only oppressed and plundered continually, and no one shall save you.
30 “You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes. 31 Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it; your donkey shall be violently taken away from before you, and shall not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have no one to rescue them. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, and your eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be [i]no strength in your hand. 33 A nation whom you have not known shall eat the fruit of your land and the produce of your labor, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually. 34 So you shall be driven mad because of the sight which your eyes see. 35 The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 “The Lord will bring you and the king whom you set over you to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods—wood and stone. 37 And you shall become an[j] astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations where the Lord will drive you.
38 “You shall carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, for the locust shall [k]consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and tend them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall beget sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 Locusts shall [l]consume all your trees and the produce of your land.
43 “The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 “Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you [m]did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 And they shall be upon you for a sign and a wonder, and on your descendants forever.
47 “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flies, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, which does not respect the elderly nor show favor to the young. 51 And they shall eat the increase of your livestock and the produce of your land, until you are destroyed; they shall not leave you grain or new wine or oil, or the increase of your cattle or the offspring of your flocks, until they have destroyed you.
52 “They shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you. 53 You shall eat the [n]fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you. 54 The [o]sensitive and very refined man among you will[p] be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind, 55 so that he will not give any of them the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates. 56 The [q]tender and [r]delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her delicateness and sensitivity, [s]will refuse to the husband of her bosom, and to her son and her daughter, 57 her [t]placenta which comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you at all your gates.
58 “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, 59 then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. 60 Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63 And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked[u] from off the land which you go to possess.
64 “Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known—wood and stone. 65 And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a [v]trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. 67 In the morning you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Oh, that it were morning!’ because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.
68 “And the Lord will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
Now the law that the Israelites were commanded to follow were the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20). We know that because of man's sinful nature to follow these commandments perfectly was impossible. With that said, why would a loving God punish so harshly for that which was impossible. This is literally where I used to believe that the God of the old testament was angry and wrathful and somehow he flipped and became a loving and forgiving God in the new testament. In case you may be feeling or thinking the same, let me show you a bigger picture. To do this we have to go back to the beginning with Adam and Eve.
When God created Adam He created him in His likeness and gave him authority over all of God's creation on this earth. When Adam and Eve sinned they gave all that God had placed into their hands over to satan. Man from that point on was born into sin. Adam and Eve were not created to know sin or evil, only goodness. It wasn't until they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that they were exposed to evil. And after that evil prevailed on earth. So much so that scripture says in Genesis 6: 5-6, "5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY intent of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart." There was no good left in man except Noah and his family. If God would not have wiped out man in the flood none of us would have ever had a chance of knowing Him, accepting Him and being with Him. After the flood man started populating the earth again and what happened.... man rejected God and evil prevailed. Fast forward to the Israelites in captivity in Egypt for 470 years. Why were they in bondage for that long? Because that is how long it took them to cry out to God (Exodus 2:23-25). Look how good God is. He had already set the stage for their exodus before they even cried out to him through Moses. He rescued Moses from death as a baby and preserved him for the purpose of leading God's people out of bondage in Egypt.The Israelites knew only bondage to a corrupt ruler and to false gods. They were defiled, they knew not the goodness of God. This law was given that they might see their need for a savior, their God. In the midst of trials they cried out to be back in bondage under pharaoh. The law was to expose their need for God and to teach them the difference between good and evil and to make a way for God to bring man back into a place of right standing with Him. The flood, the law, the punishment of sin were all acts of love! If not for all of the events in the old testament there would not have been a new testament, no Jesus, and no hope.
Now fast forward to Jesus. God made flesh. Setting aside the kingdom of heaven to come in the likeness of man to take on the full punishment of our sin that we might be made new in the likeness of Jesus. Lets unravel this. Gal. 3:13-14 says, "13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." The perfect Son of God who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21) became sin, became the curse of the law so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! All that is listed as the curse of the law Jesus became for you, He bore not just your sin but your curse and punishment for sin, so that you can be free and in right standing right now with God! Is that not amazing!!! The punishment for those who believe on Jesus has been paid in full. This is not JUST salvation. This is life and life more abundantly (John 10:10)! As a believer you not only receive salvation and freedom from the curse but you are now able to walk, live and be in the blessing! John 8:36, "If the Son therefore shall make ye free, ye shall be free indeed!" Romans 10:9, "if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Friends, are you saved? If so then you have been set free! You do not have to walk around one more day under the curse. John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
I am not making light of salvation! If that would have been the fullness of His sacrifice for us it would have been more than enough. I just want us to understand all that He accomplished so that we do not take or reject any part of it in vain. I cannot imagine how grieved He must be to watch His children bare and suffer with all the very things he bore in the wounds on his back (1 Peter 2:24). His sacrifice was so much greater than we know. All that He bore on that cross for each one of us is so much more than most believers even understand.
As we celebrate this Easter/Resurrection Sunday I pray that you may have full understanding of the depth of His love and sacrifice for you. That you may step into the fullness of your new man (reborn in the likeness of our perfect Savior). That you may know who you are in Christ and with boldness lay down every curse that you have been carrying in vain. I pray that you would be filled with an increase of the Holy Spirit. Luke 11:13 says, "13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” May you be blessed today and filled with the love of the Father! In Jesus name Amen!