49 “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. — Deut 28:49, 50 NLT
Deuteronomy 28 is probably best known for all the blessings that God promises if His people are obedient. If the Israelis obeyed God by keeping His laws and commandments, they would be the most blessed nation on earth. In this chapter, God also explains to them what will happen if they are disobedient. If they fail to keep His commandments and laws, they will be the most cursed nation on earth and will eventually not be a nation at all, but a scattered people. While the law was fulfilled when Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross and was resurrected, He still expects His people to be obedient. God’s commandments in the Old Testaments were not just suggestions and His commands to us to be holy even as He is holy and to love Him above everyone and everything and our neighbors as ourselves are not suggestions. He is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow, so we can be sure that if we are not obedient under the new covenant, the same curses will befall us. We may or may not be a “Christian” nation, but we are a nation with millions of Chrisitans living here. We can make a difference if we spend time on our knees before a holy God and petition Him continuously for mercy and grace for our nation. Jesus gave us the example of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). Let us follow that example in keeping on keeping on with our requests for our nation. God told Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, if He could find five righteous people there, let us pray that He will show us the same mercy.
17 Never stop praying. — 1 Thess. 5:17 NLT
24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”—Gen. 32:24-26 NIV
There are people who pray and then there are people who really, really pray. Which one of these are we? God is concerned about the biggest and the least little problem or issue that bothers us. He stands ready to send in a thousand angels to protect us, if that is necessary. But He wants us to ask and keep on asking until the answer comes. We may not get the answer we want, but He will always answer us. Jesus is our example and He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane until He sweat great drops of blood. Jacob refused to turn loose until He got His blessing. The woman with the issue of blood pressed through a crowd of people just to be able to touch His garment. We, too, can really get serious about prayer when lives are at stake. What would happen if we just asked God every moment to take care of the little things? At His Mother’s request, Jesus turned the water into wine. Couldn’t we all use that kind of miracle in our daily lives?
.6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. —1 Cor. 10:6-11 NASB
God uses the bad examples that the children of Israel set to show us what we shouldn’t do. They went back to the ways of the Egyptians instead of following the Laws of God. Because of this, many of them were killed by snakes and many were destroyed. These examples should instruct us not to use our liberty to commit sins. Our example to follow is Jesus Christ. He has called us to a lifestyle of Holiness. Even though all of our sins are forgiven, God will not allow His children to go on living sinful lifestyles. If we persist in living lives that are disobedient and causing strife in the body, we will suffer the same end the Israelites did. Paul gives us an example of a Christian having his lifetime shortened because of his disobedience.
5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.–1 Cor. 5:5 NASB
God does not wink at sin, He still feels the same way about it and still deals with it the same way. “Be ye holy” was not written as an afterthought. It was written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and is still in effect today.
16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”–1 Peter 1:16 NASB