In Joshua 1:7-8, after Moses, God’s servant had died and the mantle of the leadership of God’s people the Israelites, had been passed to Joshua, God told him:
- “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe TO DO according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it, to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law SHALL NOT DEPART OUT OF THY MOUTH; but thou shalt MEDITATE THEREIN DAY AND NIGHT, that thou mayest observe TO DO according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
God was therefore encouraging Joshua to be saturated in his Word and to never depart from it. In summary, he was directing him to do three (3) specific things, which, if he obeyed, God was guaranteeing that he would live a prosperous life.
People often think of prosperity in narrow terms as wealth but God’s idea of prosperity is much wider than that. It includes good health, victory over enemies and things working out in life generally because of the favour of God upon a life or a people.
From the scripture above, God was telling Joshua to be careful to do three (3) things to attract and keep his favour, namely:
- To THINK ON OR MEDITATE CONSTANTLY ON his Word;
- To SPEAK his Word; and
- To DO his Word.
In short, he was telling Joshua that, when it came to his Word, the way to good success in life was to THINK about it, SPEAK about it and DO it.
He wanted Joshua to study and think constantly about his Word, as he told him, “…thou shalt meditate therein day and night…”. He wanted him to proclaim his Word with his lips as he told him, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth…” He also wanted him to do or obey his Word as he told him, “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe TO DO according to all the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left…that thou mayest observe TO DO according to all that is written therein.”
These three (3) activities were equally important and all linked. God wanted Joshua to spend time observing, studying, meditating and taking in or digesting his Word, so that, knowing and being reminded with each MEDITATION of what it said, he could then DECLARE IT by speech to others and himself and go on to perform or DO it, meaning obey it.
This reminds us as Christians today, that the Word of God, which has also been entrusted to us, needs to be MEDITATED upon, SPOKEN about (to others and to ourselves) and OBEYED. All three (3) are important if we are to be successful (as God defines success) in this life.
It would not be enough for us to simply spend time reading God’s Word and studying it, if we then neglect to tell others and even remind ourselves of what it says. It would not even be enough for us if we spent time reading and meditating on God’s Word, spoke about it to others and to ourselves but then failed to DO what it says. In short, we would not reap the benefits if we did everything else with God’s Word but failed to OBEY what it says we are to do.
The importance of DOING what God’s Word says as was highlighted in the above scripture, reminds me of a Sermon that I heard on the radio on 07th August, 2021 from the Kerwin Baptist Church and from which I had extracted some key points to help me with my own personal Christian walk.
The Pastor in that Sermon, had read 2 Corinthians 8:1-12, where the apostle Paul and Timothy had written to the Church at Corinth, encouraging them to abound in the grace of selfless and sacrificial giving, even as the Church at Macedonia were doing.
Having written about what the Church at Macedonia had selflessly done in giving a gift, through willingness of heart (although suffering a great trial of affliction and being in deep poverty) and that their actions demonstrated that the grace of God had been bestowed upon them, Paul and Timothy desired the same for the Church at Corinth. This Church was abounding in other areas but needed to also abound in this area. In verses 7-9, they therefore told them:
- “Therefore as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, SEE THAT YE ABOUND IN THIS GRACE ALSO. I speak not by commandment but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to PROVE THE SINCERITY OF YOUR LOVE. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
Paul and Timothy were therefore telling this Church that, as it was strong in FAITH and KNOWING God’s Word and OBSERVING what it said to do and TELLING others about it (all of which was commendable on their part), they now wanted them to also abound in the grace of selfless and sacrificial giving with willingness of heart, so as to prove the sincerity of their love. In short, they were telling them, seemingly, to not just have faith and know about the Word of God and talk about it and say that they loved but to prove the sincerity of their love by DOING.
Based on the above verses, the Pastor stated that it is possible:
- To be strong in FAITH but weak in GRACE;
- To be strong in BELIEF but weak in the DOING of it;
- To be good at EXPLAINING (Utterance) but not at EXPRESSING;
- For it to be easy to SAY what we believe but not to SHOW what we believe;
- To have KNOWLEDGE but be poor on DOING it;
- To MEMORIZE but not MAXIMIZE;
- To WORK HARD (Diligence) but NOT ACCOMPLISH MUCH.
In summary, he stated that it is possible to have it all IN THE HEAD but not IN THE HEART and that you can love in your HEAD but not in your HEART.
As if this was not disturbingly convicting enough, he went on to state that this is the problem with most professing Christians today. They are full of knowledge about what God’s Word says but are not DOING what they know they should be doing. They read the Word and study it but fall down when it comes to APPLYING it to their lives.
Yet, the Pastor noted that this is where the results are at: In the DOING. This is where the miracles of God show up and blessings flow: In OBEDIENCE.
He commented that it was no wonder that our Churches seemed so powerless today. God’s power had not waned and his willingness to show his power in our lives had not changed but it was that we were not being obedient. He stated that we talk but we don’t ACT. We know but we don’t PERFORM what we know.
This is so true.
The Pastor went on to state that this issue of obedience, of DOING God’s Word and not just knowing about it and talking about it was the hump or hurdle that all professing Christians needed to get over. He stated that every professing Christian must make a choice as to whether he or she will content himself or herself with being full of the Word in his or her head or whether he or she will go on to OBEY it, APPLY it, DO it.
The Pastor stated that if you as a professing Christian, decided to APPLY and DO the Word of God, that you will be one of the few who actually IMPLEMENT what they read and study.
To my mind, the hurdle or hump of which the Pastor spoke is like a triangle with a peak at the top, that being the hurdle to get over, to get to the other side. On the left of the triangle is where many professing Christians are and are content to remain. On that left side there is FAITH, DOCTRINE and KNOWLEDGE (which the professing Christians have) and there is also SPEAKING, WRITING AND READING about God’s Word, which they are good at.
However, God expects and requires professing Christians to not stay at that point but to grow in grace, so much so, that they get over the hump or hurdle and move on to the point (on the right side of the triangle) where they are also DOING, PERFORMING, APPLYING AND DEMONSTRATING. It is on this side, that the blessings and power of God will flow and be manifested.
Procrastination was an issue that was therefore alluded to in the Sermon, where, as Christians, we often say that we will do, plan to do, have the impulse to do whatever it may be that we are convicted that we should do and maybe even started to do but unfortunately, we never follow through in actually DOING or completing it.
To my mind, this could be your need to spend quality time with God or meditating on those verses you typed up or going out and engaging in Ministry based on whatever God has laid upon your heart to do or giving to others more and thinking of self less or it may be simply OBEYING the Word instead of pursuing your own self-will as most professing Christians do. Giving selflessly and sacrificially may require us to give unto others from what we have, even if, like the widow with the two mites to her name or the widow who was gathering sticks to make her last meal for her and her son, we have very little. It may require us to give of our time, resources, talents, gifts, prayers and especially to share the good news of salvation to the lost, which we have been entrusted with as stewards.
It makes no sense to be full of the Word and not outpour it to others in our daily lives, by the things that we DO. As the Pastor noted, people hear us when we speak but they are not as interested in what we have to SAY, as they are in SEEING IT DEMONSTRATED in our lives.
In verses 10-12, which the Pastor also focused on, Paul and Timothy told the Church at Corinth, which had apparently started to DO what they wanted them to do but then had stopped:
- “And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago, NOW THEREFORE, PERFORM THE DOING OF IT, that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have, For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
On the importance of DOING (OBEYING) and not just knowing or speaking about God’s Word, Jesus himself stated in Matthew 7:21-25:
- “Not everyone 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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and DOETH them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock; And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”
In essence, Jesus was saying that a life lived simply talking about God’s Word but not OBEYING it is a hypocritical life, as that person is merely calling Jesus Lord with his mouth but not embracing his Lordship in his heart. Obedience to God’s Word and what Jesus has said we should DO therefore, demonstrates genuine salvation. A life of disobedience, even hiding under the flimsy excuse (as some people love to do) that we are not perfect as Christians and will still mess up from time to time (which is true) is a life that calls the authenticity of that person’s Christianity into question.
As Christians, we are not sinless but we should be sinning less as we grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord. Due to us having been sanctified in position (justification) and going on to being progressively sanctified so as to resemble the Lord Jesus Christ more and more, we are supposed to be growing in obedience, not disobedience and as Christians, we are supposed to be endeavoring always, not just to read and regurgitate God’s Word from our heads but to OBEY it from the heart.
Luke 6:46-49 records the Lord Jesus as saying:
- “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and DOETH them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and DOETH NOT, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
In Matthew 15:7-8, Jesus, calling out the scribes and the Pharisees on their empty religiosity, told them: “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their MOUTH, and honoureth me with their LIPS; but their HEART is far from me.”
James 1:22-25 states:
- “But be ye DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a DOER, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and CONTINUETH therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
In verses 26-27, James went on to outline some examples of what was meant by DOING, namely:
- 1. Refraining the tongue from speaking evil or that which displeases God. In short, avoid gossiping, badmouthing, insulting others, putting them down maliciously with the mouth, speaking filthiness, that which is not edifying and untruths;
- 2. Making time to help and give to the less fortunate and those in affliction. In short, ministering to the needs of others, both inside the Church and outside;
- 3. Remaining separated from the world. In short, avoiding the ways of the world in music, dress, activities and lifestyle (which sadly, have infiltrated the Churches today) and refusing to embrace false doctrine no matter how popular it may be today but instead, clinging to the truth of God’s Word, even if you are regarded as strange, crazy, too fussy or too archaic and are ostracized as a result.
The scripture reads:
- “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is in vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
Among other instructions from God’s Word therefore, DOING these three (3) things (which admittedly are areas of challenge where many persons who have professed Christianity fall down), demonstrate our genuine love for God and for people.
James could not have set out these three (3) general requirements of DOING, any clearer: CONTROL YOUR MOUTH, ATTEND TO THE NEEDS OF OTHERS and STAY SEPARATED FROM THE DEFILEMENT OF THE WORLD.
In closing, since the scripture states that we must prove the sincerity of our love by DOING, some people get busy just doing a whole lot of stuff and think that God must be pleased with this. However, it is important to note that it is not EMPTY DOING for doing sake, that is commendable but MEANINGFUL DOING, that is, DOING that is motivated from a heart of genuine love for God and for people.
Some people do, do, do but not with sincere motives or out of a sincere heart and without genuine love but for selfish reasons. In other words, they DO what on the surface, seems good but they only do it as a tool to manipulate people so as to get their way or to influence them into thinking of them in a favourable way. This is not the DOING that the scriptures encourage.
On the futility of understanding and knowing God’s Word, speaking about it, having faith in it and even DOING good works as it instructs, without having love and being motivated by it, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 reminds us that:
- “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
DOING, while important and necessary therefore, must be done with the right motive and that motive should always be love: Love for God and love for people. Any other kind of DOING is useless and will not reap the blessings, favour and power of God in our lives.
(Written on 16th April, 2022)
I came across two (2) scriptures at the start of this New Year, 2024, which highlight the theme of this Article and continue to present a challenge to me, to DO God’s Word and not just to know and talk or write about it.
In keeping with the scripture that makes it clear that it is the DOER of God’s Word that is blessed, in Psalm 50:23, God makes it known as follows: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and TO HIM THAT ORDERETH HIS CONVERSATION ARIGHT WILL I SHEW THE SALVATION OF GOD.”
By the use of the word “conversation”, the scripture refers to one’s words, conduct, behaviour and lifestyle and ordering it means wilfully directing it into conformity with God’s will and way. The idea of ordering, highlights the fact that it is not automatic or easy but requires determination and effort. It will involve willing the mind and heart away from doing the things that self wants to do and crucifying the flesh with its ego, pride and lusts, to DO what God wants us to do.
God promises in his Word, that it is this man that DOES this, that he will show his salvation, meaning intervene to showcase his glory.
We all want to see the glory of God show up and show off in our lives but how many of us are willing to expend the effort required to ORDER OUR CONVERSATION, to DO WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS?
This morning, I also found a scripture in Ezekiel 33:30-32, which underscores the importance of DOING God’s Word, as opposed to just knowing about it in the head and saying we love him with our lips, which, without obedience is nothing but hypocrisy.
In the said scripture, God told the Prophet about his people’s response when the Prophet declared to them the Word of God. They would gather, much as the members of a Church gather today to listen to the Word but when it came to actually DOING it, they would not. Pride, stubbornness, self-will and self-interest ruled their hearts, which were actually far from God. God said:
- “Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the Lord. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, BUT THEY WILL NOT DO THEM: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: FOR THEY HEAR THY WORDS, BUT THEY DO THEM NOT.”
This sadly, remains the state of many in the Churches today and I myself am guilty of this sin.
Yet, is there a better or more sure way to procure God’s blessings and rewards than by obedience? There is a consistent trend in God’s Word where he makes grand assurances, which he surely intends to keep, to reward the person, not necessarily that knows his Word or tells others about it or simply quotes it but that DOES his Word.
For example, in Joshua 1 which we looked at earlier, God told Joshua, that among others, in observing to DO all that was written in his Word, Joshua would then enjoy a prosperous path in life and good success. In James 1:25, God boldly pronounced as a guarantee, that the man who, after having looked into his Word, continues in it and DOES what it says, would be a man that will be blessed in his deed. He did not say that this might be such a man’s portion but states that it would definitely be his outcome. In Psalm 50:23 which we also just looked at, God is again stating definitively, that he will show up to help the person who orders his conversation aright, meaning lives his life in conformance to his will, by DOING what he wants him to do.
It seems to me therefore, that God is making a promise over and over again, to bless the person who DOES his Word with a prosperous path (which may not necessarily include money), good success and demonstrated acts of his divine intervention and deliverance, when that person is in need. The surest way to be released from our troubles, adversities, problems and trials therefore (if it is God’s will that this be so) is by taking the path of OBEDIENCE, simply DOING what God has said to do.
In fact, in Isaiah 58, God again pronounced on the blessings that a person who simply DID what he wanted them to do, would attract. This was far more powerful than making endless prayers and engaging in fasting. While these are important, OBEDIENCE to his Word is considered far more pleasing to him. As Samuel told Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in OBEYING the voice of the Lord? Behold, TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HEARKEN THAN THE FAT OF RAMS.”
To hearken means to take note, to heed and to DO what has been said or instructed.
In Isaiah 58, the Lord explained to the Israelites through his Prophet, why they were seeing no results and no change in their circumstance, despite their much prayers and fasting. Simply put, they were engaging in acts calculated to try to win over God’s favour, while not DOING the things that he wanted them to do. This was hypocrisy and God refused to reward it.
On the converse, he set out for them all the blessings and goodness he would send, if they simply OBEYED, by DOING the things they knew pleased him and he provided examples of the things they should be DOING.
- “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God. Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours. Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
- Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
- THEN shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not DOING thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: THEN shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
The cart could not be put before the horse, so-to-speak. The Lord was making it clear that he was not impressed with anything outside of OBEDIENCE. This must be first and everything else can flow from it after.
Similarly, God is not impressed with the Church’s prayers, services, regular Church attendance, fasting and songs of praise offered to Him, if we are not DOING what his Word says to do. His Word says much more than to gather for services and to pray and to sing songs. It contains the mind and will of God on many matters, where we have been guilty of doing our own pleasure, instead of DOING the things that we KNOW full well, will please him. This includes gossiping, badmouthing, creating discord and conflict and cliques among the brethren, being spiteful and malicious to our brothers and sisters, to family members and to people in general, being two-faced, presenting one pious image to the Church and another at home, harbouring unforgiveness and resentment, jealousy and envy, competing with others, laughing and having delight in the adversities of others, being sexually immoral, holding on to pride and thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, not going out as a Church and as individuals and giving people the gospel, not caring for and helping and loving people, being disrespectful and speaking disrespectfully and dishonourably of authority figures, be it the Elders/Pastors in a Church, parents, our supervisors or those in government, not using what God has given us to edify and build up his saints and so much more.
We know individually, the specific areas in which we have been disobedient, the areas where we keep doing what we want to do in our stubbornness, pride, self-will and rebellion, instead of what God’s Word says to DO. We say with our lips that we have believed on Jesus and that he is Lord but our actions convey that we would not have him to rule over us. We want to retain control over our own lives and time and time again, this is reflected in us doing what we want to do, although we know what the Bible says to do. Yet, we have the audacity to expect God to bless us and to bless our Church gathering and even ask him for revival. There can be no revival if the children of God are living lives of blatant DISOBEDIENCE to God’s Word, on any matter. Instead of seeking revival, which are just words, we should engage in introspection and humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand and be honest with him and confess specifically the areas where we have not been DOING his will and repent of same.
God is not mocked and the Word of God makes it clear that whatever we sow, we reap. If as a Church, the individuals making up the Church have been sowing disobedience, how can we expect to reap the blessings that God promises to those who DO his Word? Are we not being delusional to think that God is appeased with Church services and regular and timely attendance at same, when we live lives unto ourselves, rather than unto him?
Father in heaven, please help us in this Year 2024 and beyond, should you spare life, to not just read, meditate, know and speak or write about your Word and to gather for Church services but to put into practice what your Word says. In short, help us to crucify what ever needs to be crucified in us as individuals, so that we will DO your Word in humility, as your servant. Let us not gloss over our shortcomings or pretend that we have sinned without knowing exactly where we have sinned, where this is just a tactic to excuse ourselves and we cannot fool you. Deliver us from the temptation to be content with hypocrisy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
For the New Year 2024 and beyond, I propose that we sit down prayerfully and list the areas of challenge in our lives, where we have found it difficult to DO what God’s Word says and then to prayerfully confess this to God, ask for his forgiveness and help in moving forward, to refrain from our former conversation and to finally DO what we know full well, God wants us to DO.
(Addendum written on 02nd January, 2024)
In Deuteronomy 28:1-13, through his servant, God again conveyed his promise to his people the Israelites, of the blessings that they would surely experience IF they chose to DO what he told them to do. The scripture reads:
- “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, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. 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, 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.”
While these promises for OBEDIENCE, of protection, increase and promotion were given specifically to the Israelites and not the New Testament Church, God’s character has not changed. He still loves and intends to bless those who DO his Word, as New Testament scriptures we have looked at, also attest. It may not be in the form that we expect but God will surely find ways to bless and reward the obedient. Even if some do not receive their reward here while on earth, they will in eternity.
On the converse, the God that promises to bless those who DO his Word, also promised to place curses on those who choose NOT TO DO his Word. The fact of the matter is, that some of you have been dealing with one thing after another, one form of adversity after another because of your own DISOBEDIENCE. You have chosen the path of rebellion against God’s Word and have refused, through a myriad of excuses, to DO what he has said in his Word, to do. As a result, you walk in curses, not blessings.
The same God that promised to bless the Israelites if they OBEYED him in Deuteronomy 28, conveyed in the same chapter, what he could guarantee would befall those who did not DO his Word. Verses 15-29 state:
- “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, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.”
Further awful curses are pronounced in verses 30 to 48, which because they are so many, I have not added them here. You are free to read them for yourself in the Bible.
The question is therefore, if you are a professing Christian, when you look at your life and what you have been going through, does it more resemble the life of the person that God promises to bless for DOING his Word or the life of the person that God has promised to curse for NOT DOING his Word?
If it looks more like the latter, this is an opportunity for you to engage in introspection and to be honest with God. Have you been DOING his Word? Have you been OBEDIENT?
If you haven’t, then therein lies the problem. Instead of walking around in life as a victim, bemoaning all that people have done to you, if you are really honest, it may be that you will realize that your situation and where you find yourself today is as a result of your own poor choices and therefore, what you have done to yourself. Your broken condition is largely as a result of your own sin.
Thankfully, you do not have to remain on the path of curses. You can CHOOSE this day, to DO all that the Lord has commanded in his Word that you do. The first thing that you must do though, if you are prepared and determined to change course and if you acknowledge that you have sinned is to go before God and admit it. Tell him that you sinned, what exactly you did, that you are sorry (if you are) and ask him to please forgive you of your sins and to cleanse you from all of your unrighteousnesses.
His Word states in 1 John 2:1-2:
- “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 1:9-10 also states: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
If you have been going through adversity and maintain that you have been DOING God’s will, then I am not in a position to say that you haven’t been. God knows. If you truly have been OBEYING but have still had a hard and difficult life, then God knows, even as he did with Job, why he is allowing you to be so tested and tried. For your situation, the Word of God states: “Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and STAY upon his God.”
My advice to you therefore is not to get weary in wellDOING for you shall reap one day, if you faint not (Galatians 6:9). STAY upon your God. Continue to DO what he says to do, even if your obedience doesn’t seem to be yielding returns on this side of life. God is faithful to reward all who OBEY his Word and that includes you. If he doesn’t do it on this side of life, he will in eternity.
(Further Addendum written on 14th January, 2024)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article and Addendums informative, beneficial or interesting, you may also be interested in reading the following under the ‘Single Daughters’ page:
- Note 94 – ‘How To Be Blessed’