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Week 23

September 25th, 2017
 
Fair Warnings
Deuteronomy 27:11-26
 
Read
“‘Cursed is anyone who carves or casts an idol and secretly sets it up. These idols, the work of craftsmen, are detestable to the LORD.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who dishonors father or mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who steals property from a neighbor by moving a boundary marker.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who leads a blind person astray on the road.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with one of his father’s wives, for he has violated his father.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with an animal.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his sister, whether she is the daughter of his father or his mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who attacks a neighbor in secret.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who accepts payment to kill an innocent person.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

“‘Cursed is anyone who does not affirm and obey the terms of these instructions.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’” (Deuteronomy 27:15-26)
 
Reflect
These curses were a series of oaths, spoken by the priests and affirmed by the people, by which the people promised to stay away from wrong actions. By saying Amen, “So be it,” the people took responsibility for their actions.

We may look at this list of curses and think that God has a bad temper and is out to crush anyone who steps out of line. But these restrictions are not threats but warnings about the plain facts of life. God’s words are not in a tone of anger but of love.

Just as parents warn children to stay away from hot stoves and busy streets, God warns us to stay away from dangerous places. The natural law of his universe makes clear that wrongdoing toward others or God has tragic consequences. God is merciful enough to tell us this truth plainly. His strong words help us avoid the serious consequences that result from neglecting God or wronging others. But God does not leave us with only curses or consequences.

Immediately following these curses, we discover the great blessings that come from living within God’s plan (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). These positive consequences give us extra incentive to obey God’s laws. While all these blessings may not come in our lifetime on earth, those who obey God will experience the fullness of his blessing when he establishes the new heaven and the new earth.
 
Respond
What blessings have you experienced from obeying God? What negative consequences have resulted from disobedience? Ask God to help you obey him willingly.
 
 
 
 
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