Thursday, June 25
58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God—59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.
This chapter begins with a list of blessings, then progresses into a recitation of the many diverse punishments that await the person that does not obey the Lord. Plagues, illnesses, disasters, enemies, theft of your property and misuse of loved ones, fear, dread and oppression and more.
Day after day in the news we read headlines about war and disasters, people being victimized and children who are abused. We can delude ourselves that we are personally blameless, but in our heart we know that isn’t true. Maybe we have not caused some of the systemic failures in our country or around the world, but we are part of the anger and lawsuits and stress and victimization of others that bring suffering upon ourselves and others. We do wrong things, plain and simple.
That’s why God needed to send Jesus. We cannot extricate ourselves from our messes by ourselves. The suffering is too deep and our wrongs too entrenched. God had to find a new way for bring about the blessings God wishes to bestow on us. God had to find another way of helping us escape our all too human tendencies to self pride and disobedience. That way is Jesus. He took all our sins upon himself, all the curses and more that we deserved, out of love. Jesus opens the way to the blessings that God wants to share, when we give glory to God’s name.
Save us, Lord, from ourselves. Forgive the wrong things we do, or allow to keep happening. Open our hearts today to your love, your salvation, in Jesus Christ. We do not deserve your blessing, but you give them to us anyway, through the grace of our savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.