Deuteronomy 28:58 If you do not diligently observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, fearing this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will overwhelm both you and your offspring with severe and lasting afflictions and grievous and lasting maladies… 63 And just as the Lord took delight in making you prosperous and numerous, so the Lord will take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction; you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to possess.
First, v.63 says the Lord would “delight” in cursing the Israelites if they disobeyed the law. Sometimes an English translation of a Hebrew word is a bit off, so I checked the original Hebrew word. Turns out “delight” is a pretty good translation. Doesn’t seem right. I can understand how the Lord may have felt compelled to hold people accountable for disobedience, but to “delight” in bringing punishment? Wow.
The good news, however, is that our place before God is no longer determined by fidelity to the rules, but by the death and resurrection of Jesus. It’s a new covenant of grace rather than the law. This doesn’t mean we should no longer strive to bring our lives into alignment with the will and ways of God. We should – because living God’s way is simply a better way to live.
I reflect this morning on my own journey with the Lord. There’s no question that I’m doing much better at obedience to the Lord than when I was a younger man. Probably because there were so many more temptations around back then. These days, I have a hard time even staying up for the 10pm news! But that doesn’t mean temptations are gone. They’re just different. You know what I mean.
Heavenly Father, your ways are not our ways. Your ways are better. Give us grace to embrace your ways, not for fear of punishment, but out of love for you and confidence that your ways simply work. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.