Blessings or Curses – You Decide – Chap 1

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you. Deuteronomy 11:13-17 KJV

Seems like simple, basic instructions really. Serve God and be blessed or turn aside from God and His commandments, bringing various hardships and misfortunes into your life – blessings or curses. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of these spiritual laws or if they are, they do not take them seriously enough. For whatever reasons, they choose not to heed the warning that’s been given. Their lives are spiraling out of control, plagued with all sorts of problems and adversity. Days seem like a crazy, stressed-out obstacle course, blurring from one episode to the next. These are good people, honest hard-working people, even God-fearing people, but because they lack the understanding of these very crucial spiritual principles, their lives are full of frustrations, failures, and regrets.

The first thing we must comprehend is the reality of spiritual laws. Spiritual laws, commandments, or statutes as they are sometimes called, basically deal with every aspect of how we should conduct our daily lives, first before God and secondly, how we interact with other people. Laced throughout the pages of His book called the Holy Bible are solid instructions on marriage, finances, how to maintain an orderly home including child-rearing, work ethics, how to be a good husband, wife, neighbor, employee, health issues, how to have peace and joy, and so on. More importantly, how to live with honesty, integrity, and a pure heart before a Holy God. The first part of this list is temporal relationships and concerns, the latter more critical part…eternal.

Probably the most well known and quoted spiritual laws are: the law of sowing and reaping, more commonly known as “what goes around – comes around,” and the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai, which precious few people can list accurately today. In the book of Exodus, chapter twenty, is one of the places the Ten Commandments are recorded along with Deuteronomy chapter five. I am including the entire verses because we don’t want to miss the important information included with the commandments. Exodus chapter 20 verse one through seventeen:

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
4) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy . Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
5) Honour thy father and thy mother : that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.(Deuteronomy 5:16) This verse goes into more detail than in Exodus chapter 20, verse 12.
6) Thou shalt not kill.

7) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8) Thou shalt not steal.
9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

God pauses momentarily when giving Moses this list of moral instructions and injects a side note after the first two commandments. For disobeying these, God says He will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations. This shows the severity of bowing down and serving other gods (things) in our lives. God says that these people “hate” Him. Does it occur to us that the temptations, lusts, and wrongdoings we succumb to today will ultimately affect our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren? Probably not. I’m sure in hindsight, many of us can testify to this personally. With the fourth commandment, He instructs us to keep the sabbath holy and to rest and take a break from cares and responsibilities of this world. We need to refresh our spirit in Him so that we are better able to cope with the other six days of work. This is for our benefit. Once we ignore this pivotal commandment, all the others start to fall because we are not spending time with God, renewing our minds and learning His ways. He also attaches a promise to the fifth commandment. Other than the obvious implications by honoring your parents, He adds that your days will be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, the land that the LORD has given thee.

Spiritual laws are just as true and indisputable as the many physical laws of nature that we encounter daily. Take gravity for instance. I could say I don’t believe it exists. It’s basically undetectable to our five senses. You can’t see it. You can’t smell, taste, feel, or touch it. It’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop. But without a doubt, if I jump out the tenth story window of a high-rise building hoping to fly, I am going to plunge to my death whether I believe in gravity or not. Likewise are the far-reaching consequences of breaking spiritual laws. They can be extremely devastating and also eternally fatal. The point I’m trying to make? Just because someone doesn’t believe in something doesn’t prove that it doesn’t exist.

On the flip-side, the law of gravity protects us and we obviously couldn’t function without it. We would be more than truly amazed if we took the time to contemplate or research the laws of physics and science that are functioning and co-existing around us every second of every day on this third planet from the sun. Most people don’t think about gravity if they are playing a game of golf, getting on an elevator, or simply pouring a glass of milk. The universe operates quietly and inconspicuously like a fine-tuned machine until we try to defy these laws. The very definition of the word law is described as something that must be obeyed.

God didn’t haphazardly throw this universe together, with all its complex ecological designs and patterns, on a last minute whim. Mankind is not an afterthought. Every aspect of His creation is structured, organized, and has a specific purpose right down to the microscopic bacteria that we are unable to see with the naked human eye. His laws are designed and established to maintain order and to protect us and society in general, if we abide by them whether they are spiritual/moral, or the innumerable amount of natural laws. He clearly commands and expects us to abide by His spiritual laws. When we disobey, the destructive ramifications are not always immediate which can be deceiving. God commanded man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam and Eve didn’t immediately die when they ate the forbidden fruit, but they did grow old and die eventually which wasn’t God’s original plan for their lives when he created them. Sin entered in and innocence was lost, causing a rift between man and God. The consequences for that single act of disobedience is still rippling through humanity with a deluge of devastation that seems to be compounding with each subsequent generation.

You don’t have to look very hard to realize that a large portion of the enormous volumes of man-made laws is really men trying to legislate and enforce God’s spiritual laws. These same laws are what give us the freedoms, privileges, and basic human rights that most of us foolishly take for granted today.

These laws can work for us or against us. No one in their right mind would get on an airplane that has no fuel or drive a vehicle a hundred miles an hour around a sharp corner where the speed limit is only fifteen miles an hour. This is the equivalent to committing suicide, yet we think we can be indifferent about spiritual laws and not suffer the consequences – spiritual suicide. It’s sad and deeply tragic to think we are more careful to obey traffic laws, no parking, no smoking, and keep off the grass, but we don’t give a passing thought to callously breaking any, or probably most, of God’s holy commandments and moral instructions outlined in His timeless and inextinguishable Word.

Once we grasp this truth and start aligning our lives with God’s commandments, things can and will turn around for the better. Maybe not in a day or a week, after all it took us our whole lifetime to get to where we are today. You can begin to walk on the right path by taking one tiny, minuscule step at a time no matter how far you have veered off course. If you cling to these spiritual and moral laws, you will find they light your path in this ever-changing world. They will securely anchor you so that you are not helplessly tossed about with every storm, deception, or gimmick that comes your way.

David, a man after God’s heart, writes in Psalm 1:2-3 , “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

There is no question that our merciful and long-suffering Creator wants us to thrive. I’m sure it grieves God more than we could ever imagine if we are struggling to keep afloat and lack His gifts of peace, joy, and the many blessings that the Holy Scriptures promise His children while we walk this earth . There are approximately 8,810 promises in the Old and New Testaments from a God who cannot lie and is faithful, able, and willing to perform every one of them. First Kings8:56 says, ” there hath not failed one word of all his good promise .” and again in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” God always remembers His promises.

What exactly is the definition of the word promise? Webster’s Dictionary defines a promise as an oral or written agreement, a basis for expectation. Roget’s Thesaurus gives these synonyms for the word promise: a pledge, word of honor, oath, guarantee, covenant or contract. Just think, the God who made the heavens and the earth guarantees – gives His word of honor – to bless us if we follow the principles He has laid out in the Bible. The condition is that we must sincerely search for them like hidden gold. God promises that if we truly seek Him with all our heart, we will find Him. Jesus tells his disciples in Matthew chapter 7 that everyone who asks, receives; he that seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened. He promises to reward openly those who earnestly seek Him in the secret place. His book is bursting with His promises and with His tender, unchanging, and unshakable love for us. He says often in His Word that He will do many great signs and wonders so the world will know that He alone is God, and we are to tell our children and our children’s children of His goodness, mercy, and faithfulness.

This wonderful God loves and cares very deeply for us. He has carefully guarded His living, breathing Word throughout mankind’s history. These sacred Holy Scriptures are a priceless treasure map for anyone who chooses to follow and take hold of this awesome, incredible, life-changing journey. It’s a spiritual quest where we must walk by faith and not by sight. It will take us through valleys where treachery is on all sides but also to peaks so high we can almost glimpse eternity. And when we come to the end of our pilgrimage, we will find Him waiting for us at a place He has prepared for His faithful servants, overflowing with spectacular rewards greater than our finite minds can possibly conceive. Jesus paid your way. All you need to bring is a willing and determined heart.