+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Opening – (Northumbria Community)
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.
Blessings for Obedience
Deuteronomy 28:1-8 (NLT) – “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:
- Your towns and your fields will be blessed.
- Your children and your crops will be blessed.
- The offspring of your herds and flocks will be blessed.
- Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be blessed.
- Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed.
“The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!
“The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
Established as God’s Holy People
Deuteronomy 28:9-14 (NLT) – “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. 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.
“The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.
Curses for Disobedience
Deuteronomy 28:15-19 (NLT) – “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:
- Your towns and your fields will be cursed.
- Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be cursed.
- Your children and your crops will be cursed.
- The offspring of your herds and flocks will be cursed.
- Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be cursed.
Destroyed and Scattered by God
Deuteronomy 28:20-68 (NLT) – “The Lord himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me….
“The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven!…
“The Lord will strike you with madness, blindness, and panic…
“The Lord will exile you and your king to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors….
“The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker….
“If you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and to obey the commands and decrees he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed….
“Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy. For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other….
Moses Reviews the Covenant
Deuteronomy 29 (NLT) – These are the terms of the covenant the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites while they were in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Mount Sinai.
Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them…
“Obey the terms of this covenant so that you will prosper in everything you do. All of you—tribal leaders, elders, officers, all the men of Israel—are standing today in the presence of the Lord your God. Your little ones and your wives are with you, as well as the foreigners living among you who chop your wood and carry your water. You are standing here today to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God. The Lord is making this covenant, including the curses. By entering into the covenant today, he will establish you as his people and confirm that he is your God, just as he promised you and as he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“But you are not the only ones with whom I am making this covenant with its curses. I am making this covenant both with you who stand here today in the presence of the Lord our God, and also with the future generations who are not standing here today….
“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.
Future Return with Changed Hearts
Deuteronomy 30:1-6 (NLT) – “In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you…. The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!
“The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!
Choose Life or Death
Deuteronomy 30:11-20 (NLT) – “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach…. No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
“But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Joshua: Be Strong and Courageous
Deuteronomy 31:1-7 (NLT) – When Moses had finished giving these instructions to all the people of Israel, he said, “I am now 120 years old, and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has told me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan River.’ But the Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the Lord promised.
“The Lord will destroy the nations living in the land, just as he destroyed Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites. The Lord will hand over to you the people who live there, and you must deal with them as I have commanded you. So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Israel’s Disobedience Predicted
Deuteronomy 31:14-18 (NLT) – Then the Lord said to Moses, “The time has come for you to die. Call Joshua and present yourselves at the Tabernacle, so that I may commission him there.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the Tabernacle. And the Lord appeared to them in a pillar of cloud that stood at the entrance to the sacred tent.
The Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die and join your ancestors. After you are gone, these people will begin to worship foreign gods, the gods of the land where they are going. They will abandon me and break my covenant that I have made with them. Then my anger will blaze forth against them. I will abandon them, hiding my face from them, and they will be devoured. Terrible trouble will come down on them, and on that day they will say, ‘These disasters have come down on us because God is no longer among us!’ At that time I will hide my face from them on account of all the evil they commit by worshiping other gods….”
“Comfort, Comfort Now My People” – Richard Proulx
Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!
Categories: Life in Christ