I know that in these Scriptures God is directing Moses to
instruct the children of Israel on how to receive His blessings, but
I believe that the principle found here is also applicable to the
children of God, Christians, in this age. The principle is taught
Genesis 2:17 But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is
he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and
keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at
hand.And everywhere in between
This is this theme: obey
God's word and be blessed; disobey and disaster follows. I'm
not trying to teach a works salvation. We are saved by trusting
Jesus Christ as our Saviour. All the work needed to save our souls
was done by our Lord Jesus. We simply repent and believe. However,
that does not preclude us from reading and heeding the word of God.
Even born-again Christians need to find out what God says in His
word and obey.
So, I wish to challenge you to read your Bible. How will you ever
find out what the Lord desires in your life if you don't even read
the word of God? Set up a specific time and place where you read and
pray. What I'm about to say may sound strange to you, but I believe
that reading is even more important than praying. Think about this -
what is of a greater priority, God talking to you or you telling God
something He already knows? Yes, I know that we are commended by the
Lord to pray, and I believe that that is very important in a
Christian's life, but reading, studying, memorizing the word of God
is a priority I believe. So get into the word of God and read. It
will draw you closer to Him, and the closer that you get to the Lord
the more that you will pray and do right.
Look at Psalm 119 -
Throughout this entire Psalm we are directed to get into and obey
God's word. Yes, we are admonished to pray in certain portions of
the Bible, but the overwhelming challenge of God's word is to read what
He has to say to us. Over and over again we are given this principle
by word and by example.
What about the New Testament? Are there Scriptures that challenge
us to obey? Absolutely!
Acts 5:29 Then
Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey
God rather than men.
3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath
bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose
eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among
5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder
you that ye should not obey the truth?
So what are Christians to do? Obey God. What is a preacher to do?
Obey God. Not to get saved, but because we are saved. How can we
obey if we do not know what the Lord has to say. Therefore, we must
read and heed the word.
4:16-19 And he came to Nazareth, where
he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the
synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And
there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And
when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was
written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath
anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to
heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives,
and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them
that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
4:1-5 I charge thee therefore before
God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and
the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be
instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with
all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they
will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall
they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they
shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned
unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
In order to be overtaken by the blessings of
God we are to obey His
word. That means that we have to know what His word tells
us. In order for us to know we have to hear it, read it or get it
into our hearts and lives somehow. Look at the following Scriptures:
8:34-35 And afterward he read all the
words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all
that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of
all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the
congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and
the strangers that were conversant among them.
23:2 And the king went up into the
house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the
inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the
prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read
in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which
was found in the house of the LORD.
8:1-8 And all the people gathered
themselves together as one man into the street that was before
the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the
book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to
Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the
congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with
understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he
read therein before the street that was before the water gate
from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and
those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were
attentive unto the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood
upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and
beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah,
and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left
hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and
Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book
in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the
people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And
Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people
answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they
bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to
the ground. Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub,
Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan,
Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the
law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the
book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and
caused them to understand the reading.
9:3 And they stood up in their place,
and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth
part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and
worshipped the LORD their God.
Mark 12:26 And
as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the
book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am
the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
Luke 4:16 And
he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his
custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and
stood up for to read.
Acts 13:15 And
after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the
synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye
have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.
4:16 And when this epistle is read
among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the
Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
Thessalonians 5:27 I charge you by the
Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
So as we see reading of the revealed word of God is very
Now we shall take a look at the specific blessings, in verses
1-9, that the LORD promises to His people if we adhere to His word.
We must remember that even though these verses are directly
applicable to the nation of Israel, they are also universal and
applicable to His people of all eras. Therefore we can take heart
that these specific blessings can be ours in the 21st Century.
Remember as you examine these scriptures, that the blessings are all
predicated upon obedience to the revealed word of God. That means
that we must have a copy of God's word in our language. Do we have
the unadulterated, pure word of God in our language? We absolutely
do have God's word in our language, and it is the Authorized Version
of the Bible. All other books only contain God's word, they are not
THE word of God. They can only have a limited impact on those around
us. The most powerful, influential, life-changing Book in the
universe is the King James Version of the Bible. Any departure from
its words is a step towards apostasy. However, that is for another
Let's take a look at some of the blessings promised to God's
children if they will follow, obey His word.
- Verse 3 Blessed shalt thou be in
the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
In this statement it is obvious that the blessings of God will
not be limited to geographic location.
- Verse 4 Blessed shall be the fruit
of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy
cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. We
are promised fruitfulness.
- Verse 5 Blessed shall be thy basket
and thy store. God promises provision
for the present and for the future.
- Verse 6 Blessed shalt thou be when
thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
God promises protection for the everyday travels that we all get
involved in on a daily basis.
- Verse 7 The LORD shall cause thine
enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face:
they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee
seven ways. We will be given victory
in the battles of life. In our Christian life we have three
enemies: Ephesians 2:1-3.
- the world - the worldly system which is controlled and
orchestrated by Satan to defeat us and destroy us. Galatians
- the flesh - Galatians 5:17
- the devil - 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
- Verse 8 The LORD shall command the
blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou
settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land
which the LORD thy God giveth thee. God
promises success in the work that He gives us to do in this
life. This is not the "prosperity gospel" that is preached by
the TV deceivers. God's measure of success is much different
than those charlatan's. God's measure of success is based upon
faithfulness to His word.
- Verse 9 The LORD shall establish
thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if
thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk
in his ways. Holiness is a special
blessing that enables us as His children to escape many of the
problems that the lost, sinful man must endure. There are
certain curses that are direct consequences of sinful behavior.
One old time preacher said it this way, "You can choose your
sin, but you can't choose your consequences." Saul, David,
Solomon, and many others whose stories can be found in the word
of God attest to this truth. We are admonished by God's word to
live holy lives,
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of
God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us
that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that
blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem
us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.
In this lesson I wish to concentrate on:
Verse 7 - The
LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be
smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way,
and flee before thee seven ways. In our
Christian life we have three enemies: Ephesians 2:1-3;
- a the world - the worldly system which is controlled and
orchestrated by Satan to defeat us and destroy us. Galatians
- the flesh - Galatians 5:17
- the devil - 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
We will go back to the teaching that we had previously, in
another lesson, concerning the natural man or the spiritual man.
Let's review that very quickly. Man was created in the image of God.
One aspect of that creation is that man was created with a body, and
spirit. However, in the garden man sinned and died spiritually
leaving only a soul unable to communicate with God on a spiritual
level Not only did man die spiritually, he began to die physically
and every person born of human parents is born dead in trespasses
and sins. Every person, man and woman, requires a new spiritual
birth to return back to the image of God. That is why Jesus said in John
3, "Ye must be born again."
Note that after salvation our enemies haven't changed. Romans
12:1-3. That is why you must find out what God's word says
so that you and I may have the victory in our everyday live.
This is how man was originally created. A unified individual
created to worship God in spirit and truth. You may see the triune
creation of man in different light, but this helps me to understand
it much better than other pictures. So here we have the dilemma -
After we are saved, to whom do we yield ourselves to obey? Romans
6, 7, and 8. If
we allow the Holy Spirit to control us we will obey God. If we allow
our spiritual enemies to control us, we will not obey the word of
6:12-13 Let not sin therefore reign in
your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness
unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive
from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness
Romans 6:16 Know
ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his
servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or
of obedience unto righteousness?
Romans 7:18 For
I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good
thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that
which is good I find not.
7:23-25 But I see another law in my
members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me
into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O
wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of
this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then
with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh
the law of sin.
I would like to take a little more time to discuss these very
important enemies and then take a look at the very important keys to
overcoming these enemies.
The Three Enemies Of The Christian
- The "world."-1 John 2:16 For
all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of
the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of
- Often used to denote that system of worldly works which
is in opposition to God and His influence in your life. Ephesians
- It is empowered by the devil himself.
- Strong defines it in part as follows:
- the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of men
alienated from God, and therefore hostile to the cause
- world affairs, the aggregate of things earthly
- the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments
riches, advantages, pleasures, etc., which although
hollow and frail and fleeting, stir desire, seduce
from God and are obstacles to the cause of Christ.
- This appeals to our desire to look good in the eyes of
- The "flesh."-Strong defines this as: "the
flesh, denotes mere human nature, the earthly nature of man
apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and
opposed to God."
- This is our desire to feel good. This is our emotional
nature wanting to take control.
- Sometimes spoken of as our "carnal mind.".
Romans 8:7 Because the
carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to
the law of God, neither indeed can be.
- The "devil." 1
Thessalonians 2:18 Wherefore we would
have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan
hindered us. Again, Mr. Strong gives us this definition:
- adversary (one who opposes another in purpose or act),
the name given to
- the prince of evil spirits, the inveterate adversary
of God and Christ
- he incites apostasy from God and to sin
- circumventing men by his wiles
- the worshippers of idols are said to be under
- by his demons he is able to take possession of
men and inflict them with diseases.
- by God's assistance he is overcome
- on Christ's return from heaven he will be bound
with chains for a thousand years, but when the
thousand years are finished he will walk the earth
in yet greater power, but shortly after will be
given over to eternal punishment."
- We must be aware of our enemies and trust God to overcome
them for us.
Romans 12:21 Be
not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
3 Priorities In The Christian's Life
During my over 34 years in the full time ministry God has shown
me many things. He has used His word, His men, and my experiences to
guide me and teach me. Some of the lessons stand out to me as
absolute truths that have served to keep me in the ministry. God has
shown me the Lordship of Jesus, His First Claim Principle, and the
Exchanged Life Principle (2 Corinthians 4). Some of
the other truths are that the ministry is God's ministry (Psalm
127:1-2), the church is God's church and faithfulness to
the Lord Jesus and His word is of utmost importance (1
Corinthians 4). This lesson that
follows covers one of those principles. This one may be the
most important. That is the principle of:
The 3 Priorities in the Christian Life
Perhaps you have heard of this couple. I have given them
pseudonyms as names; George and Sue. They got saved, and served God
for a few years, and then gradually they began to back out of the
Christian life. It started slowly with backing out of their work at
church, then they stopped giving, and then began missing church, and
now they are part of the great crowd of "use-to-bes." Some
call it "burn-out" and others call them "drop-outs."
However, in churches all over America there are those who are
like these folks but they haven't left church, they have just faded
away to where they are no longer doing anything for God. They are
just hiding in the pews. Why do people lose their fire and fervor
for God? Why isn't serving God exciting and enjoyable like it used
1-2. Now faith is the substance of things
hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders
obtained a good report. Faith is a product of a
close, and intimate, relationship with God. These three men here,
Abel, Enoch and Noah, in Hebrews 11:1-7, exemplify the priorities of
a Christian's life.
- Worship God Properly
- Life of Abel - Genesis
4:1-4 Abel brought the right
sacrifice. He learned to worship God on God's terms. No one
will serve God long who does not learn to worship God
Worship means "paying God homage, divine
honors, reverence in adoration prayers, confession,
thanksgiving and sacrifice."
- Moses - Exodus
- Face to face with God - Exodus
- Intimacy with God - Exodus
- Adoration of God - Exodus
- Confession of sin - Exodus 34:9
- Sacrifice for Him - Exodus
- Paul - Colossians 3:10.
life will energize our spiritual life, and we will WALK with
- Walk with God. Hebrews 11:4 -
- Enoch Walked with God.
To walk with
God is to pursue a course of life in which God directs your
footsteps daily. It is to simply allow God to be in control
of your life. Enoch and God walked hand in hand, and God
directed Enoch all along the way.
- Paul exhorted us to walk
with God. Colossians 2:6; Romans 13:13;
- John exhorted us to walk
in the light. 1 John 1:7; 2:6
This walk with God will give our bodies strength to work for
God without burning out.
- Work for God. It is important.
- Noah worked for God. (Hebrews
It was important to
do so. It saved his life and his family's life physically.
- If we have our priorities in order work comes naturally. 2
time with God Daily! Develop a close relationship with Him.
Then let God direct your walk with Him. Work will come
We have taken quite a bit of time to discuss verse 7 of our
chapter in Deuteronomy. Now it is time to move on to verse 8.
Deuteronomy 28:8 The LORD shall
command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that
thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land
which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
I believe that the Lord is giving the people of God some very
vital instruction concerning their material needs. The word
storehouses is only used 6 times in the Old Testament. The first
time is in, Genesis 41:56 And
the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all
the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed
sore in the land of Egypt. It is a word that
indicates their places for storing their material goods to be used
in time of need.
God uses the singular of this word one time in
the Old Testament and one time in the New Testament.
3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the
storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me
now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you
the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there
shall not be room enough to receive it.
Luke 12:24 Consider
the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have
storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye
better than the fowls?
In the Old Testament the people of God tithed of their material
blessings, not just their money. So there was a need for a place to
store those goods. Consider a couple of verses:
12:17 Thou mayest not eat within thy
tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy
oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of
thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave
offering of thine hand:
Chronicles 31:6 And concerning the
children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah,
they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe
of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God,
and laid them by heaps.
In the New Testament God gives us some interesting verses to
consider concerning the root word of "storehouse" - store.
Corinthians 16:1-3 Now concerning the
collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches
of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let
every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him,
that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come,
whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to
bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
And so, by tradition, over the years we have gathered on Sundays
in churches and gathered collections so that when people of God have
needs, those needs can be met. And as usual, over the years churches
have come to be called "storehouses" by God's people. We
have heard the practice called "storehouse tithing." I
don't know when or where this word originated, and I have never
taught this practice in any of the churches that I pastored.
However, I do believe that having material blessings available when
men of God come in to minister to the church is something that all
churches should practice. However, there is a problem when that
happens. The stored up material blessings sometimes are looked upon
as assets that the church must guard and never be disbursed. In the
Southern Baptist Convention millions of dollars are invested, or
deposited, and never allowed to be used because they might have an
emergency and God would be caught by surprise and couldn't supply
the need. That is not how God operates. It is a sin and shame the
way some organizations hoard their supplies. God intended for us to
be a channel of blessings not a stash. You see, in the storehouse,
stores came in and out. Jacob used the materials when needed. He
didn't just hoard them. Yes, he put them away in the storehouses,
but when the need arose he used them wisely to ultimately bless the
people of God.
41:36 And that food shall be for store
to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in
the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
41:56 And the famine was over all the
face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and
sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land
In the last verse of our current text, Deuteronomy
28:9, God gives the People of Israel a great promise.
28:9 The LORD shall establish thee an
holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou
shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his
We are not the nation of Israel, but, as we have mentioned
several times, we who have been born again, are the people of God in
this day and era. I believe that these are promises universal
principles that are applicable throughout the ages to God's people.
We do not keep the law to be saved: we are saved by grace through
faith without any works involved.
2:8 For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of
works, lest any many should boast.
By trusting in Jesus Christ as our Saviour we enter the family of
God and are saved eternally. However, as a part of the family of
God, we have a responsibility to obey the Lord in our everyday
6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we
continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall
we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
The principle that we see listed in this verse from Deuteronomy
28 is the principle of holiness:
Verse 9 The
LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he
hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the
LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
You will note that God promises that His people would be able to
walk in holiness if they determine to obey His word and let His word
guide our steps, our way of life, our "conversation",
as it is worded in the New Testament
1:27 Only let your conversation be as
it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see
you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye
stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for
the faith of the gospel;
1:15 But as he which hath called you
is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
2:12 Having your conversation honest
among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as
evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold,
glorify God in the day of visitation.
I think one of the problems that we have today in Christendom is
a lack of holiness. When lost people look at us and our behavior,
they find that there isn't much difference between us and them. We
dress like the world, talk like the world, act very worldly in our
everyday lives, and in general don't have much of a testimony of
holiness towards those who are not saved. Let's look at a New
Testament example of someone who desperately wanted to convince some
people that he wasn't a follower of Jesus Christ.
26:69-75 Now Peter sat without in the
palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with
Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know
not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch,
another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This
fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with
an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him
they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one
of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse
and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the
cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said
unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And
he went out, and wept bitterly.
This is just one example of how we may convince lost people that
we aren't part of the family of God. Peter chose the medium of cursing to
demonstrate to those lost people that he wasn't a follower of the
Lord. I have found over the years that our words (the Biblical word
"conversation" which means manner of life includes
our words) are very powerful demonstrations, to those around us, of
our relationship to Jesus Christ. Our talk, our words need to be
uplifting and Godly. We must be obedient to the Word when He gives
us instruction in the way that we talk.
3:1-18 My brethren, be not many
masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word,
the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole
body. Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may
obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the
ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce
winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm,
whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a
little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a
matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world
of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it
defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of
nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts,
and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is
tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man
tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith
bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which
are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth
proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought
not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet
water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive
berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt
water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge
among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works
with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and
strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual,
devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion
and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first
pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of
mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without
hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of
them that make peace.
Matthew Henry in
his Bible commentary on James 3 had this to say,
taught to think of the use we make of our tongues in religion
and in the service of God, and by such a consideration to keep
it from cursing, censuring, and every thing that is evil on
other occasions: Therewith bless we God,
even the Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after
the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing
and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be, James
3:9-10. How absurd is it that those who use their
tongues in prayer and praise should ever use them in cursing,
slandering, and the like!" Just as in Moses' time, we are
in this time, to watch our language.
Deuteronomy 28:10-14 And all
people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of
the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. And the LORD shall make
thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit
of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the
LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto
thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in
his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt
lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. And the LORD
shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above
only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the
commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to
observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the
words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the
left, to go after other gods to serve them.
In verse 10 we see that God promises to give us a good testimony
throughout the world. God tells His people that if they will obey
Him and His word they will have a good impact upon "all
the people of the earth."
people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of
the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee."
Maybe one reason that the world is not really interested in God,
or His word, is that God's people aren't obeying the word of God.
Over the years that I have been saved I have seen over and over that
the testimony of some Christians isn't very good. People who called
themselves saved are really not living a whole lot different than
the people of the world. One of the most disturbing statistics that
I have encountered over the past few years was uncovered by George
Barna. I have referenced this in one of my tracts and will give you
an excerpt from that.
An organization called 'The Barna Group', which is the brain
child of a man called George Barna, regularly polls people to try to
determine what they are thinking about various subjects. Over the
past few years Mr. Barna and his people have been talking to folks
about what they believe about God and His book, the Bible. Some of
their questionnaires have included what they have defined as a
"Biblical Worldview." According to The Barna Group a "Biblical
Worldview" is a set of specific beliefs about God and His Book. From
the Barna Group's website, in an 2003 article entitled, "Most
Adults Feel Accepted by God, but Lack a Biblical Worldview.",
They state: "The definition (of a Biblical Worldview) requires
someone to believe that absolute moral truth exists; that the source
of moral truth is the Bible; that the Bible is accurate in all of
the principles it teaches; that eternal spiritual salvation cannot
be earned; that Jesus lived a sinless life on earth; that every
person has a responsibility to share their religious beliefs with
others; that Satan is a living force, not just a symbol of evil; and
that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful maker of the universe who
still rules that creation today." The folks at The Barna Group
go on to say that only
about 9% of those who call themselves "born-again" Christians
actually have this "Biblical Worldview." What
a tragic state of affairs. If we were to apply Scriptural
definitions to these descriptions of what a person should have for a
"Biblical worldview", we would discover that having this is nothing
more than believing what God says in His Book, the Bible. Jesus
certainly had this kind of a perspective on life:
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth
shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. It seems to
me that a person who has been "born-again" would want to find out
what God what to say in His word and then try to follow it. In fact,
God tells us that very thing in several places in His word. John
5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He
that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath
everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life.This is just one of many portions
of Scripture, in the Old Testament and the New Testament, that tell
us how important it is for a person to hear, believe and obey the
word of God. Well, if God thinks that this is so very important, why
don't most people have a "Biblical Worldview?" Mr. Barna in his
book, "Think Like Jesus" says, "Few people in churches
have a biblical worldview because most preachers seem intent on
teaching broadly rather than deeply. That's emotionally and
intellectually appealing, but until people have a mental framework
through which they can process the numerous principles, ideas and
stories provided in the Bible, preaching is typically an exercise in
information overload. We have to prepare people to know what to do
with the information. A biblical worldview gives them the filter
they need to know how to categorize and implement the facts and
ideals they receive." Mr. Barna seems to feel, based upon what
he has said as noted above, that the preaching to which most
Christians are listening is generally shallow and based upon
appealing to the emotional aspect of man.
I have a tendency to believe this is one reason. However, I think
that it goes deeper than his explanation. We, generally speaking,
have no expository preaching and teaching of the word
of God. It is only the word of God that really changes a
person's heart, his innermost soul.
To go along with these thoughts is the sad fact that so many of
God's people no longer have an authoritative, reliable Bible to go
to in time of distress or need. The word of God in the English
language has been supplanted by weak, watered down versions of the
Bible which have no power to really change lives.
Romans 10:17 So then faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
28:10 And all people of the earth
shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they
shall be afraid of thee.
Here we see that the nation of Israel will be a blessing to all
the nations of the world, and they have through many different
areas. Jews have been great scientists, warriors, and leaders in
many fields of endeavors and have blessed the world with their
exploits and discoveries. Dozens have been selected for Nobel Peace
Prizes over the years just to mention one thing.
the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy
body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy
ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to
God promises to bless their material goods as we mentioned early
in these lessons. The condition? Obedience.
LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give
the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work
of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou
shalt not borrow.
Not only will God bless them individually and as a nation, but He
promises again to bless other nations of the world if they interact
with the nation of Israel correctly.
the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou
shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou
hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I
command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt
not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this
day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods
to serve them.
What great promises are found in these verses to the nation of
Israel! However, as mentioned several times in our studies on these
verses, I believe that the basic principles found here are
applicable to the people of God in our modern era. Obedience never
goes out of vogue. Since these last few verses apply to material
blessings I would like to apply them to the Biblical principles
found throughout God's word about the subject of giving.
Prepared and taught
Robert E. Bliss
1482 N. Ramah Dr.
Pueblo West, CO 81007