Some will say that this is the most awful chapter of the Bible.One commentary tells of a wicked man who was so enraged when he read it that he ripped the page right out of the book.Though every Bible in the world be desecrated and destroyed, the truth of it cannot be denied.Israel, as every nation in the world today, had their destiny in their own hands.Obedience!That’s it.
To experience the blessings of God (Deut. 28:1-14) a nation only has to obey Jehovah’s commandments; to experience the agony of defeat, the nation must only continue in blatant disobedience.
There are two historical facts which cannot be argued: first, that Israel did depart from their God, and that all these curses did come upon them, from the terrible droughts and plagues to the military defeats and terrorism from their enemies.Truth has not changed.“…if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you…the Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies” (Deut. 28:15 & 25).
Moses had led the children of Israel to the edge of Canaan.Well within striking distance were Egypt to the south and the fearsome Hittites to the east; time after time, he warned them about becoming too familiar with foreign customs and religious practices.Yet, for all that, they would not listen.Defeat inevitably followed their stark defiance to Jehovah’s commandments.Now, as then, those nations who engage in lawlessness will suffer the same outcome as Israel: total destruction and slavery of the worst kind.For God’s chosen people, they felt the agony of defeat at the hands of Babylon, Egypt and then Rome.
When the wrath of God is brought against a nation, no army can defeat it.As the Righteous Judge of evil, disobedience will be obliterated in the strongest of nations by the hand of God.“Let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he falls” (I Cor. 10:12).
Every spoken word of Moses became a fact.Talk to the leaders of your nation and tell them to heed the Word of the Lord.To be sure, this admonition I am writing to you crosses all party lines and is applicable to everyone who holds the future of your country in their hands.Ultimately, the outcome is in all our hands…obey the commandments of God and live; disobey and perish.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, call our nations back to the Bible.Let us heed the warnings of Moses and know that disobedience requires certain consequences which will be a harsh lesson to our ungodliness.Please, Lord, turn us around or prepare us for the certain outcome of our sins.Amen and amen.
18-19Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They're a lot of hot air, that's all they are. They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.
20-23So, then, if with Christ you've put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? "Don't touch this! Don't taste that! Don't go near this!" Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they're just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important. Colossians 2:18-24 (The Message)
“The number you’ve dialed is no longer in service…”
Staying connected to family and friends is often a daunting task.With other obligations and demands on our time, it may preclude us from daily, monthly or even annual communications.Thus, “the number you’ve dialed is no longer in service” may be true for some.
Upon closer examination, we live in a world where communication is instant – via the internet, email, etc.How many of us feel out of touch when our Blackberry’s or iPhone’s don’t work or if our internet provider is temporarily out of service?
In a recent article researchers were shocked at the amount of time young people spend “connected” using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “those ages 8 to 18 spend more than 7-1/2 hours a day with such devices. “ This doesn’t even include time spent texting or on their cell phones.Of those users, 47 percent make good grades, but heavier users make fair grades, are often bored, get into trouble, don’t get along with their parents and aren’t happy in school.
Staying connected comes with a price.The study couldn’t confirm if media use causes the problems or if troubled young people turn to heavy media use.
What we envisioned as an educational tool or a valuable resource – the internet and various games – have become problematic for some.It has changed the social dynamic as well because many individuals don’t know how to have a real conversation – a necessary component to meaningful relationships at school, at work, at home, at church, etc.
Fortunately, staying connected to the most meaningful relationship we have – with God – doesn’t require any special devices.We need a quiet place, to speak directly and honestly.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, You know our thoughts before they are formulated.We can’t hide from You or use technology to impress You.You know our hearts.
Staying connected came with a price – the death of Your beloved son at Calvary to save us from our sins.Help us to know You completely and to converse with you for a portion of those hours we designate to anything and everyone else.
I am thankful that You always answer when I call.With You at my center, I never have to worry about “the number you’ve dialed is no longer in service.”