Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. ~ Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Blessing – a special favor, mercy, or benefit; a gift bestowed by God; to bestow good of any kind upon; protect or guard from evil
Curse – to wish or invoke evil, calamity, injury, or destruction upon a person or group; to afflict with great evil
God set before His people the choice of receiving a blessing or a curse. If they obeyed God’s Word and remained separated from the sin of the surrounding nations, then God’s blessing would come upon them wherever they were. However, if they adopted the ways of the world, God’s curse would come upon them and rob them of life and blessings. Unfortunately, Israel did not take God’s warning seriously and too often they went the way of the unbelievers and fell under God’s curse.
In the book of Joshua, a similar command is given regarding obeying the Word:
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 withersoever 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. ~ Joshua 1:7-8
In order to possess the promised land, Joshua and the Israelites had to commit themselves to obeying God’s written Word. It was to be their primary authority. They could not depend on human ideas, traditions, or religions. God commanded Joshua to be faithful to the written word by talking about it, meditating on it, and obeying it fully.
Four requirements for success according to Joshua 1:7-8
- To be strong and courageous
- To make God’s Word your guiding authority for all believes and actions
- To study and meditate daily on God’s Word
- To recognize and respond to God’s presence in every area of your life
Meditate – to read quietly or to talk to yourself as you think about something. It implies studying and carefully thinking about God’s Word to know and understand its principles and meaning.
After meditation should come application. After we get understanding, we must apply the Word to every area of our lives. Those who know and obey God’s Word will be prosperous and successful because they will possess the wisdom to do what is right and to achieve God’s goal for their lives. God’s goals and His will equal success. Keep in mind though, that often this doesn’t look like a worldly success.
But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. ~ Joshua 22:5
God gives the same choice to each of us today. If we hate sin, follow Christ and seek to serve him, then his blessing and power will be ours. If we depart from God, we will lose God’s presence, help and covenant protection.
Father, gives us the strength and wisdom to make the right choices today. Help us to stay in Your Word, to hate sin and follow and serve Jesus alone. Help us to do so with a right heart of love. In Jesus Name. Amen!