Not too long ago, there was economic optimism. “Let the good times roll.” There was a thought that it would never end. Things changed. Why?
Malachi 3:9 You are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation.
How much gratitude was given to God during those times? How many tithes and offerings were paid? Did the nation fall under a curse for its failure to obey in the good times?
Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to Yahweh your God’s voice, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come on you and overtake you. 16 You will be cursed in the city, and you will be cursed in the field….
Deuteronomy 28:45 All these curses will come on you, and will pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you didn’t listen to Yahweh your God’s voice, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded you. 46 They will be for a sign and for a wonder to you and to your offspring forever. 47 Because you didn’t serve Yahweh your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you will serve your enemies whom Yahweh sends against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in lack of all things. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
There are those who say we don’t need to bother with the laws of God, that we are under grace, that we are under the New Testament. Actually, Jesus brought a higher standard because with the redemptive work of Christ, after being born again, we have the Blood, the Name, the Word, the power of God and the Holy Spirit to help. We have a higher standard, not a lower one after Jesus. Jesus deals with matters of the heart as well as actions. Here are a few examples.
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.
Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Luke 6:9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you something: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?” 10 He looked around at them all, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his hand was restored as sound as the other. 11 But they were filled with rage, and talked with one another about what they might do to Jesus.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,
Matthew 5:17 “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18 For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through being born again, the Word, the Spirit, the authority of the Name of Jesus, the Blood of Jesus, the sacraments and obedience we can come up higher and escape the corruption in the world.
Jesus did not leave us a lesser standard, but a higher one.
Deuteronomy 28:1 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to Yahweh your God’s voice, to observe to do all his commandments which I command you today, that Yahweh your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
Deuteronomy 28:7 Yahweh will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck before you. They will come out against you one way, and will flee before you seven ways.
Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to Yahweh your God’s voice, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come on you and overtake you.
Deuteronomy 28:25 Yahweh will cause you to be struck before your enemies. You will go out one way against them, and will flee seven ways before them. You will be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth.
Joshua 23:15 It shall happen that as all the good things have come on you of which Yahweh your God spoke to you, so Yahweh will bring on you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land which Yahweh your God has given you,
I Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall.
13 No temptation has taken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
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