Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Everlasting Itch

I was reading me some Deuteronomy 28 tonight. And folks, it holds some of the richest blessings I have ever dreamed of.

At the very same time, it can put the very Fear of God right into you, and deservedly so.

First the blessings:
  • You're blessed in the city AND in the country.
  • Your children, your crops and your livestock will be blessed.
  • Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed.
  • Wherever you go and whatever you do, it will be blessed.
  • God will conquer your enemies for you. They'll attack you from one direction, but they'll scatter to seven!
  • God will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and He will fill your storehouses with grain. He will bless you in the land he gives to you.
  • The Lord will send rain as it is needed, bless all the work you do, make you a lender to many nations, but never a borrower.
  • He will make you the head and not the tail, the top and not the bottom.

The only catch is this:

9 “If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do. 10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.

14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them."

Yeah. OK. Easy. Piece o' cake. Just obey The Big Guy, and all is well, right?

Remember, this is OLD Testament. You don't get away that easy here. This is BEFORE Jesus took all the guilt and shame and sin and yucky stuff.

So here's what happens if you flip the coin to the OTHER side:

  • Your towns and your fields will be cursed.
  • Your fruit baskets and your breadboards will be cursed.
  • Your children and your crops will be cursed. The offspring of your herds will be cursed.
  • Wherever you go and whatever you do you will be cursed.
  • God will give you curses, confusion and frustration in everything you do.
  • You will be afflicted with diseases, scorching heat and drought, blight and mildew until you die.
  • God will make the rain that falls to be as powder, and dust will pour down from the sky. The earth will be as hard as iron.
  • You will be defeated by enemies. Your corpses will feed scavenging birds and wild animals.
  • You will have boils, tumors, scurvy and the itch from which you will not be cured.
  • You will be stricken with madness, blindness and panic.
  • You will grope and not find your way. You will be oppressed and robbed continually and no one will come to your aid.
  • You will be engaged to a woman, but someone else will sleep with her. You will build a house, but someone else will live there. You will plant a vineyard, but you will never enjoy the fruit.
  • Your ox will be butchered before you and you won't get any of the meat. Your donkey will be taken from you. Your sheep and goats will be given to your enemies.
  • You will watch as your sons and daughters are taken away as slaves, and you will be unable to stop it.

And folks, that ain't the half of it. The curses go on.... and on.... and on.....

I found this chapter while I was doing a search on the word "itch," which seems to be a thread stuck in my mind here lately. Now, to me, just ONE of those curses would be enough to get the point across.

At least I thought so.

But then I thought again.

How many times has God had to almost lay me flat to get me to actually listen to what He wants to say? How many times have I gone and done just exactly what I wanted to go and do without regard for what HE wanted? How many times have I thought to actually OBEY and SUBMIT to Him without the rebellion that I seem to carry around on my shoulder, daring Him to knock it off?

Well, guess what, folks? He can, He will, and He does. And I don't think anyone knew it better than those Old Testament people who received this particular curse.

Do you see this pattern in your life? If so, I'm thinking we could both use Deuteronomy 28 as a wakeup call.

Or, you know, there's always that "itch from which you will not be cured" as an alternative.

I think I know what my choice is.


Jenmomof4 said...

I just had to come by and say hello!! I was at boomama's and saw your food comment and I was cracking up!!

That was so funny about the 16 year old sitting at your table still!!

Thanks for the laugh.

Loved the food rules. I might have to use those with my four children!

groovyoldlady said...

I praise God DAILY (sometimes hourly!) for His mercy and grace. He both forgives me and washes me clean AND He disciplines me to draw me closer to the image of His Son.

And that, even though I am an idiot!