Category Archives: Blessed

Peace Be With You, Even In Trying Times

After the death of Yeshua, his disciples were fearing the Jews and meeting behind closed doors. They were not at peace. Yeshua came to them with a message of peace in their moment of trial and difficulty. He did not say that he would make it easy for them and thus not to be afraid. Rather he said simply for peace to be with them and that “as the Father has sent me, I also send you”. We can find peace in Christ, even as we face difficult situations.

John 20:19-29

Jesus among His Disciples

     19So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23“If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”

      24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

      26After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” 27Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

We do not all get the opportunity to meet face to face with a resurrected, physical Christ as the disciples did. Yeshua realizes that this makes it tougher. He even indicates blessing for those who did not see and yet believe. He knows it is hard for us at times. He still calls for us to believe in him and to follow after him. Faith is required to live in true peace.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

We Must Deal With Our Sin Before We Will Experience Victory In The Lord

Joshua and the Israelites faced defeat against Ai, as recorded in Joshua 7, due to sin and rebellion in the camp against YHWH. The sin of a single man led to defeat for Israel. Joshua dealt with the sin according to YHWH’s instructions and was once again directed by the Lord to continue taking the promised land. He then did as the Lord instructed, and those around him did as well, and the Lord granted them victory.

In a way, this serves as a blueprint for us in our everyday lives. We can not expect YHWH to give us victory while living in rebellion against his word or the Spirit. We must deal with our sin, the sins of our family, and even the sins of our nation if we are to experience full victory on the Lord’s path. That does not mean that we as individuals can not have strong relationships with the Lord even in a sinful nation… we can. However, do not expect him to grant great and lasting victory to a nation that rebels openly against him.

Joshua 8

The Conquest of Ai

     1Now the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2“You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.”

      3So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. 4He commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5“Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them. 6“They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ So we will flee before them. 7“And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8“Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you.” 9So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.

      10Now Joshua rose early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people to Ai. 11Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley. 14It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and pursued Israel.

      18Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.” So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. 20When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. 22The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped. 23But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.

      24Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000—all the people of Ai. 26For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27Israel took only the cattle and the spoil of that city as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the LORD which He had commanded Joshua. 28So Joshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day. 29He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until evening; and at sunset Joshua gave command and they took his body down from the tree and threw it at the entrance of the city gate, and raised over it a great heap of stones that stands to this day.

      30Then Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the sons of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones on which no man had wielded an iron tool; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32He wrote there on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written, in the presence of the sons of Israel. 33All Israel with their elders and officers and their judges were standing on both sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as the native. Half of them stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had given command at first to bless the people of Israel. 34Then afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.

I also find it interesting that at the end of a great victory, Joshua reads the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, to not just Israel, but to the strangers living among them. It is another indication that the law of YHWH was not meant only for Israel, but for all who came to join Israel and dwell among them. One law for all, not separate law for Jews vs. Gentiles.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Perfected In Unity With Yeshua And The Father, Not In Unity With The World

For the full text of the prayer (perhaps blessing) that Yeshua is praying over His disciples, click the link to John 17 below. Today’s scripture focuses on the last part of it.

John 17:22-26

Their Future Glory

     22“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 24“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

      25“O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

Sounds like a beautiful blessing. I would love to pray this for followers of Christ and have others pray it for me. That we should have the love of Christ in us as the love of the Father was in Him… that we should be one with Christ as the Father was one with Him. And the purpose?

that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved [the disciples], even as You have loved Me

There is no prayer that the disciples be one with the world! This is a prayer so that we would be one with Yeshua and the Father, which puts us separate and apart from the world.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

May His Face Shine Upon You

What a beautiful blessing we find in Numbers 6, intended for the audience of Aaron and his sons. I pray this now for myself, those close to me, and also for pastors and leaders who follow Christ with a genuine heart. I pray it for those reading through the scriptures with me daily… and I sure appreciate if / when you pray for me as well.

Numbers 6:22-27

      22Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

      24The LORD bless you, and keep you;

      25The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;

      26The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.’

27“So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them.”

Another translation captures verse 24-26 slightly differently… “may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you”. I certainly want to have that relationship with Him and please Him in that way. I want other brothers and sisters in Christ to do so as well.

Numbers 6:24-26 Living Bible (TLB)

24-26 ‘May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.’

Take some time this morning and pray for yourself, your family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and for whomever else you feel led to pray for today.

May the grace and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Blessings Of Moses

I really appreciate that Yahweh has a blessing for each of His tribes. Each is different, unique. Each receives a unique blessing. Moses takes time to address each one. He is not rushing through it. It is important. The other aspect that I find striking is that Yahweh just told Moses that the people would turn from Him in the future, but He still has a blessing for each of them now. Yahweh knows what will happen, but He will not break the covenant He makes with us… though if we choose to break it, the covenant is broken in its entirety.

Deuteronomy 33

The Blessing of Moses

     1Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death.

     2He said,
“The LORD came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran,
And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones;
At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.

      3“Indeed, He loves the people;
All Your holy ones are in Your hand,
And they followed in Your steps;
Everyone receives of Your words.

      4“Moses charged us with a law,
A possession for the assembly of Jacob.

      5“And He was king in Jeshurun,
When the heads of the people were gathered,
The tribes of Israel together.

      6“May Reuben live and not die,
Nor his men be few.”

      7And this regarding Judah; so he said,
“Hear, O LORD, the voice of Judah,
And bring him to his people.
With his hands he contended for them,
And may You be a help against his adversaries.”

      8Of Levi he said,
Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man,
Whom You proved at Massah,
With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah;

      9Who said of his father and his mother,
‘I did not consider them’;
And he did not acknowledge his brothers,
Nor did he regard his own sons,
For they observed Your word,
And kept Your covenant.

      10“They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob,
And Your law to Israel.
They shall put incense before You,
And whole burnt offerings on Your altar.

      11“O LORD, bless his substance,
And accept the work of his hands;
Shatter the loins of those who rise up against him,
And those who hate him, so that they will not rise again.

      12Of Benjamin he said,
“May the beloved of the LORD dwell in security by Him,
Who shields him all the day,
And he dwells between His shoulders.”

      13Of Joseph he said,
“Blessed of the LORD be his land,
With the choice things of heaven, with the dew,
And from the deep lying beneath,

      14And with the choice yield of the sun,
And with the choice produce of the months.

      15“And with the best things of the ancient mountains,
And with the choice things of the everlasting hills,

      16And with the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Let it come to the head of Joseph,
And to the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.

      17“As the firstborn of his ox, majesty is his,
And his horns are the horns of the wild ox;
With them he will push the peoples,
All at once, to the ends of the earth.
And those are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And those are the thousands of Manasseh.”

      18Of Zebulun he said,
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth,
And, Issachar, in your tents.

      19“They will call peoples to the mountain;
There they will offer righteous sacrifices;
For they will draw out the abundance of the seas,
And the hidden treasures of the sand.”

      20Of Gad he said,
“Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad;
He lies down as a lion,
And tears the arm, also the crown of the head.

      21“Then he provided the first part for himself,
For there the ruler’s portion was reserved;
And he came with the leaders of the people;
He executed the justice of the LORD,
And His ordinances with Israel.”

      22Of Dan he said,
“Dan is a lion’s whelp,
That leaps forth from Bashan.”

      23Of Naphtali he said,
“O Naphtali, satisfied with favor,
And full of the blessing of the LORD,
Take possession of the sea and the south.”

      24Of Asher he said,
“More blessed than sons is Asher;
May he be favored by his brothers,
And may he dip his foot in oil.

      25“Your locks will be iron and bronze,
And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.

      26“There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.

      27“The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’

      28“So Israel dwells in security,
The fountain of Jacob secluded,
In a land of grain and new wine;
His heavens also drop down dew.

      29“Blessed are you, O Israel;
Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD,
Who is the shield of your help
And the sword of your majesty!
So your enemies will cringe before you,
And you will tread upon their high places.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Walk With The Lord, Do Not Turn Away

Imagine a home where you have instructed your children in the way they behave and they have clearly understood. Now imagine that they flagrantly defy you and do the opposite of what you instruct. Imagine they have no respect that it is your house and they do what they want regardless of your instructions. They ignore and openly defy you. You are still master of the house… how many of us would be pleased? Angry? Should there be consequences?

What about a city or town in which part of the population totally disregards the law and does as they please? Would others be angry? should there be consequences?

All of us would be angry and yes, there should be consequences. It is funny to consider why people assume YHWH will just continue to accept their rebellious behavior without consequences and without Him getting angry when they defy Him more and more, despite having every opportunity to access His instructions in the Bible.

We do not obey to “earn salvation”, but our obedience is a reflection of our love and respect for our Father. To say we have not been taught right and blame pastors or someone else calls for us to remember we are each personally accountable to YHWH and in our country essentially all of us have excellent access to a Bible.  All of us reading this post have the internet, which has free online Bible and study resources. If we choose not to put forth the time to study ourselves, it is a poor excuse. If we love Him, why not put forth that time as priority to know Him?

We can be sure that YHWH knows our hearts, our intentions, and certainly our behaviors. He is not fooled as easily as we fool ourselves or others by excuses about being busy. As a matter of fact, we are reminded that He is timeless. He knows the past, present, and future. He already knows what we have done, are doing, and will do. He loves us enough to give us a chance to go the right way or to even repent and come back after we start the wrong way. He is gracious and loving. However, we still must choose Him if we are to expect His blessing. We must choose Him not just with words, but with the actions and attitude. We must submit, ask forgiveness, and change our ways to be like His ways.  To say we have submitted, without changing our ways is to lie, perhaps even to ourselves at times.

Deuteronomy 31:14-22

Israel Will Fall Away

     14Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, the time for you to die is near; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. 15The LORD appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at the doorway of the tent. 16The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17“Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’ 18“But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.

      19“Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, so that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. 20“For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. 21“Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.” 22So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.

Let us as a people be far from false gods and the ways of the world. Let us embrace His ways, laid out in the Bible. They are timeless and unchanging, like our Creator. If we rebel against Him and break the covenant He offers, He will allow us this choice. However, we also reap the consequences. Wherever you are in life, turn toward YHWH. Submit to Him. Ask forgiveness. Turn away from sin and toward Him. We are all sinners. He has made a way for us to be forgiven all our sins. Let us not turn away from such a gift as this.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Our God Is A God Of Forgiveness And Restoration

Deuteronomy 30 surely seems to apply to God’s chosen people, Israel. He prophetically foretold that they would sin and separate from Him, face the tough consequences, but that they would return to the Lord and be restored, even gathered back to the promised land… and they have been. It remains powerful evidence to the reality of God and the truth of His word.

We can also reflect that we serve the same God. One who offers us a choice of the blessing of obedience or the curse of disobedience… as a nation but also as individuals. Though we may choose poorly and make many mistakes, He is ready for us to return to Him, with humble and repentant heart… in obedience to Him and on His terms. What a wonderful God we serve!

Deuteronomy 30:1-14

Restoration Promised

      1“So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the LORD your God has banished you, 2and you return to the LORD your God and obey Him with all your heart and soul according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, 3then the LORD your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. 4“If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. 5“The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.

      6“Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live. 7“The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.8“And you shall again obey the LORD, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. 9“Then the LORD your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your cattle and in the produce of your ground, for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers; 10if you obey the LORD your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law, if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul.

      11“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. 12“It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 13“Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ 14“But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.

What He asks of us is not too difficult. It is not out of reach.  Our God has made it very achievable to do as He asks and don’t let the world tell you different. However, He does require us to come to Him on His own terms, not our own. We can not submit to Him halfheartedly and expect His full approval and embrace.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He will bless those who fear the LORD

I have grown not only to appreciate Psalms, but to love it. It helps guide me in praising our Father and leads me to celebrate Him when my natural tendency is to study Him and His word. Both are good and Psalms really helps me focus on Him and His glory.

Psalm 115

Heathen Idols Contrasted with the LORD.

     1Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.

      2Why should the nations say,
“Where, now, is their God?”

      3But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.

      4Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.

      5They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;

      6They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;

      7They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.

      8Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

      9O Israel, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      10O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      11You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      12The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.

      13He will bless those who fear the LORD,
The small together with the great.

      14May the LORD give you increase,
You and your children.

      15May you be blessed of the LORD,
Maker of heaven and earth.

      16The heavens are the heavens of the LORD,
But the earth He has given to the sons of men.

      17The dead do not praise the LORD,
Nor do any who go down into silence;

      18But as for us, we will bless the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
Praise the LORD!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Blessing or A Curse… Which Will You Decide To Choose?

YHWH repeatedly emphasizes that we have a choice. We can choose blessing by following all of His commands faithfully, or we can choose curse by living our own way or redefining His instructions to our own making… changing some, ignoring some, claiming others are obsolete.

The bad news is that this does not work like a menu where you pick and choose what you will obey. It works like a choose-you-own-adventure book where you choose to submit to Him, seek Him, and obey the fullness of His law / instruction… or you don’t.

Though some of the commandments can not be completed due to the lack of a temple and priesthood, we are to obey to the extent we can the rest of the commandments and instructions.

Deuteronomy 28 is a bit long, but don’t dismiss it as repetitive or redundant without taking time to contemplate and reflect on why YHWH takes to much time to emphasize this point. This is not the first chapter focused on the blessing of obedience or curse of disobedience. He repeats it, and with dramatic emphasis, for the same reason we would do so… to make an important point… so that people would really hear and understand this is important. Treat it as such.

Deuteronomy 28

Blessings at Gerizim

      1“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2“All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:

      3“Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.

      4“Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

      5“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

      6“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

      7“The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. 8“The LORD will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you. 9“The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 10“So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will be afraid of you.11“The LORD will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. 12“The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13“The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Consequences of Disobedience

15“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

      16“Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.

      17“Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

      18“Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

      19“Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

      20“The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me. 21“The LORD will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it. 22“The LORD will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish. 23“The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. 24“The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

      25“The LORD shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26“Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.

      27“The LORD will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28“The LORD will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; 29and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you. 30“You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit. 31“Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and will not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you will have none to save you. 32“Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 33“A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors, and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed continually. 34“You shall be driven mad by the sight of what you see. 35“The LORD will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils, from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36“The LORD will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. 37“You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the LORD drives you.

      38“You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it. 39“You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them. 40“You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off. 41“You shall have sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity. 42“The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground. 43“The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower. 44“He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail.

      45“So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the LORD your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46“They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.

      47“Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

      49“The LORD will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as the eagle swoops down, a nation whose language you shall not understand, 50a nation of fierce countenance who will have no respect for the old, nor show favor to the young. 51“Moreover, it shall eat the offspring of your herd and the produce of your ground until you are destroyed, who also leaves you no grain, new wine, or oil, nor the increase of your herd or the young of your flock until they have caused you to perish. 52“It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout your land, and it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout your land which the LORD your God has given you. 53“Then you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters whom the LORD your God has given you, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you. 54“The man who is refined and very delicate among you shall be hostile toward his brother and toward the wife he cherishes and toward the rest of his children who remain, 55so that he will not give even one of them any of the flesh of his children which he will eat, since he has nothing else left, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in all your towns. 56“The refined and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and refinement, shall be hostile toward the husband she cherishes and toward her son and daughter, 57and toward her afterbirth which issues from between her legs and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of anything else, during the siege and the distress by which your enemy will oppress you in your towns.

      58“If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, the LORD your God, 59then the LORD will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. 60“He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they will cling to you. 61“Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, the LORD will bring on you until you are destroyed. 62“Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63“It shall come about that as the LORD delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the LORD will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you will be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it. 64“Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. 65“Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul. 66“So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. 67“In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see. 68“The LORD will bring you back to Egypt in ships, by the way about which I spoke to you, ‘You will never see it again!’ And there you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Delight Yourself In The Lord

It is very easy to focus on how much evil there is in our nation and our world… there are plenty who reject YHWH and His ways. We can get so wrapped up in that sometimes that we can start to miss out on the joy of the Lord. YHWH reminded me recently to delight in Him. I hope Psalm 37 can encourage you as well. We should be living joyful lives in relationship with our Creator and Father. Not only will this make our lives more enjoyable, but it is consistent with scripture and will actually help us be a light to draw others to the truth.

Psalm 37

Security of Those Who Trust in the LORD, and Insecurity of the Wicked. 

A Psalm of David.

     1Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.

      2For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.

      3Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

      4Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

      5Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

      6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.

      7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

      8Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

      9For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

      10Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.

      11But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

      12The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.

      13The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees his day is coming.

      14The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slay those who are upright in conduct.

      15Their sword will enter their own heart,
And their bows will be broken.

      16Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked.

      17For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the LORD sustains the righteous.

      18The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will be forever.

      19They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

      20But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures,
They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

      21The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and gives.

      22For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

      23The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

      24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

      25I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.

      26All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.

      27Depart from evil and do good,
So you will abide forever.

      28For the LORD loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.

      29The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.

      30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.

      31The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.

      32The wicked spies upon the righteous
And seeks to kill him.

      33The LORD will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.

      34Wait for the LORD and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

      35I have seen a wicked, violent man
Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.

      36Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more;
I sought for him, but he could not be found.

      37Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright;
For the man of peace will have a posterity.

      38But transgressors will be altogether destroyed;
The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.

      39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in time of trouble.

      40The LORD helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.