|Reflections for this date are based on the following scripture passages:|
|Deuteronomy 27||Deuteronomy 28|
Chapters 27 and 28 of Deuteronomy form the first half of a set of blessings and curses Moses gave the Israelites prior to entering Canaan to take possession of the land. The blessings were theirs if they worshipped and obeyed the Lord and the curses came if they did not. These instructions cannot be fully appreciated, however, if viewed simply with a rules oriented perspective. A tit for tat mentality. This is the mentality we often default to in our approach to God. A works oriented mentality in which we think in terms of appeasing an angry god. If we disobey he will be angry with us and if we obey he will be pleased with us.
A full appreciation of obedience to God, however, can only be viewed within the context of relationship. This was what God was striving for throughout the whole history of Israel. The establishment of a people with whom He had a relationship in which He could demonstrate the blessings of living in relationship with the Creator-God of the universe. If we view God's instructions for living as simply a set of rules by which to please God, we distance ourselves from Him much as a teenager distances himself or herself from the relationship of their parents when they view their parent's instructions simply as a set of restrictive rules.
The blessings that come in obedience to God's instructions are first and foremost the blessings of living in right relationship with God. He has made us and designed life itself with full knowledge of how that life is lived to its fullest. This is the goal of His instructions and of our relationship with Him - to live the life He has given us to its fullest. If we live in rebellion to our Creator-God, we not only are displeasing to Him, we fail to live our lives to the fullest. Furthermore, by distancing ourselves from God He is not able to bless us as He would like.
We have to grow up and quit living like teenagers in relationship with God if we are to fully enjoy the life we have been given. God's instructions to us are the instructions of a loving Father, not of an angry God.