CALL TO OBEDIENCE #443
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"Grace and Truth"
By Reimar Schultze
Beloved servants of God: God is a God of blessings and curses. Of course, we prefer to hear only of His blessings and shun hearing about His curses. But just as God has revealed Himself in the Bible as a blesser to those who keep His covenant, so He has also made Himself known as a curser to those who break it.
Simply stated, a god who only blesses does not exist. Such a god would forgive all unconditionally, eliminate hell, and allow even the vilest of sinners into heaven, which would turn heaven into another hell. So as any society that refuses to punish evil will lose its goodness, so it is with the kingdom of God if evil would be permitted in it. Evil must be punished to secure the good.
Note that every book of the Bible has its peculiar story: Genesis gives us the beginning of a chosen people; Exodus speaks of these people uniting around the law of God; Leviticus is about worship; Numbers covers the wanderings of this people. Then in Deuteronomy, we find Moses’ farewell address to Israel, making this a book of blessings and curses. And surely two of the most expressive chapters in this regard are Deuteronomy 27 and 28. Here are some excerpts from the 28th chapter, on the “blessings” side:
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee... Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 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 [cows], and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out (Deut. 28:1-6).
Truly, God loves to bless. His eyes run to and fro all over the earth to find those whom He can bless by way of His extravagance. Every day He is watching, waiting for you to do or say something that He can bless. None of your deeds and actions escape Himfrom a kind word to your spouse to you going to a mission field. God has more delight in blessing you than in making the clouds His chariot and in walking upon the wings of the wind (Ps. 104:3).
Yes, He wants to bless you in the city and in the field; in the kitchen and the factory; in sickness and health; in prosperity and want; in persecutions and times of peace; in your coming and going; in your car, the streetcar, bus, train or plane. He wants to bless you so much that you get intoxicated with His blessings. Yes, it says here that all of His blessing shall overtake you if you will only keep all of His commandments. Perhaps only a few people have been as overtaken by blessings as David, as you read in the Psalms. The blessings he received due to his love for God and His laws were so great that they put all his earthly trials in the shadow. As you read from these verses in Deuteronomy, the covenant-keeping Christian will be perpetually blessed regardless of his circumstances and his station in life. I have found it to be so.
But now, just as God blesses, He also curses. First, He cursed the serpent that led Eve astray, then He cursed the land, then He cursed Canaan (one of the sons of Noah), and so on. And yes, He puts a curse on all backsliders, for they are covenant-breakers. Observe in Deuteronomy 28 that the people God curses are the covenant-breakers and not those who have never entered into a covenant.
These covenant-breakers went from having been blessed to being under a curse everywhere and all the time. Here are the curses that God laid upon them:
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed... because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me (Deut. 28:15-20).
We Gentiles have a hard time understanding the Abrahamic covenant relationship. This covenant relationship demands that each person will give himself entirely to the other. When one of the two parties disobeys, the covenant is broken and blessings turn into curses. Malachi the prophet addresses this issue clearly, talking about covenant people:
If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart (Mal. 2:2).
This is also brought out by the Apostle Peter:
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them (2 Peter 2:20-21).
This means that the covenant-breaker will receive greater condemnation on Judgment Day than the one who has never entered into a covenant to start with. DO NOT BREAK YOUR COVENANT WITH GOD. If you do so, you will live under a curse even before you die: in the city, in the field and everywhere. And God will be deeply, deeply disappointed with you, and Jesus will spit you out His mouth in utter disgust on that great Judgment Day to suffer the consequences of your disobedience forever in the unquenchable fires of hell (Rev. 3:16).
Note also that you do not stay in the covenant by believing the right doctrines, but it is a matter of doing and obeying. You can believe all that the Bible says, but if you as a husband do not love your wife, or if you as a wife do not submit to your husband as unto the Lord, or if you do not keep the Ten Commandmentsyou will miss the throne of God for which you were created. Again, do not break the commandments which were given to bless you. Look at these supporting Scriptures on this matter of doing:
1. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matt. 7:21).
2. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26).
3. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (1 John 2:17).
4. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10).
Remember, all the blessings and curses in Deuteronomy were given in the context of the Ten Commandments which became the foundation, the backbone of all the laws of God. If you do not start there, you do not start anywhere regarding morality. And if you do not have morality, you cannot have Judaism or Christianity and you will be God’s enemy.
This takes us to one of the greatest problems in America: the emergence of a Christianity without morality, without holiness and without repentance; and heaven without hell. And now there is another thing: observe that the devil will often compete with Jesus in blessing you. He did so with Eve from the very beginning. God was going to bless Eve if she would not eat of the tree. The devil offered to bless her if she would eat of the tree, promising to make her a god. You remember the outcome. In time,the devil’s blessings always lead to shame, guilt and death. Another difference is that the devil does not want you to pray about things. He knows that if you do so, his treachery may be uncovered. This is why he always offers instant gratification. He did this with Jesus by his three great temptations in the wilderness. He offered instant gratification, but Jesus was prayed upHe saw the deception. Oh, my friend, go slowly and be prayed up. Remember that God’s blessings are often veiled and at times only become obvious after great trials. These blessings frequently start like a trickle but eventually become an ever-growing mighty river, continuing into eternity.Summing it up, there are three types of men: those who are covenant-keepers, blessed beyond measure; those who are covenant-breakers, cursed; and those who have never yet tasted of the goodness of God. If your relationship with God is broken, get back together with Him for He has reserved a place for you to come back to at His table. If you never had a relationship with Him, He also has a place for you which was purchased by the precious blood of the Lamb of God. God wants all of us. But He must be firstLord of lords and King of kings. Anything less than that is not Christianity.