This One Might Make You Mad! #TraditionallySouthside

For the second year in a row, many of our Southside members have joined together in a daily Bible reading plan. Last year we read through the Bible in chronological order, and we had a good number of our people to complete the challenge. This year, we are reading passages from the Old and New Testament every day, and it has been good. I don’t know why it happens, but God always amazes me with His powerful word. I have read through the Bible many times. I have studied specific passages over and over again. And yet, somehow, God always – and I mean ALWAYS – reveals new things to me.

This morning, our reading was in Deuteronomy 28, one of Moses’ final messages to God’s chosen people as he prepares them to enter the Promised Land without him. He starts off with a set of promises that come directly from God. “If you obey me, I will bless you….” In the first part of the chapter, Moses lists a series of areas where God will bless, and taken together, he basically says that God will bless every area of their lives if they will only be obedient to Him. These promises cover the first 14 verses, and they are amazing. You can almost see the parallel to many of the promises (again based on our obedience) of the New Testament made to Christians:

  • No matter where you go, I will bless you.
  • I will bless your family.
  • I will provide for all your needs according to the riches of heaven.
  • I will defeat your enemies.
  • Everything you do will prosper.
  • We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Great promises, right? All based on our obedience to God which, by the way, we are committed to because we have surrendered our lives to His Lordship.

But then, the remainder of the chapter focuses on the curses of God if His people do not obey Him. Fourteen verses are focused on the blessings; fifty-four verses are focused on the curses. Wow! Do you want to know why I think that is? Because people are more likely to be disobedient than obedient. And I have to tell you, while the blessings promised are glorious, the curses are equally horrible. Scabs and boils all over your body, slavery, terror, defeat, diseases, starvation leading to cannibalism (I told Sonya that this was not good breakfast reading), and ultimately, total destruction. Again, WOW!

As I was reading this, a few things really struck home with me – some of the thoughts were new, but most of these thoughts I have preached on for years. For instance, if the blessings promised in the first part of the chapter could apply to the church of our day, then the curses must apply also. Blessings for obedience; curses for disobedience. But then I read v. 20 for probably the millionth time in my life, and God gave me the verse that covers what I have been saying for the past couple of years about our nation. Again, let me reiterate, these blessings and curses are directed at God’s people, and the United States of America is NOT God’s people. The church is, but as the church goes, so goes the nation. The Bible is clear. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” I truly believe that the USA was founded on Christian principles and that up to a few decades ago was a nation blessed by God because of this fact. However, we have strayed far from the Christian principles of our founding fathers. As President Obama has stated time and again, “We are no longer a Christian nation” (my paraphrase). And it is not his fault. It is not the fault of the Democrats. It is not the fault of the Republicans. It is not the fault of our Congress. It is not the fault of the Supreme Court. It is our fault. We, the church, must take the blame because we have failed to be the salt and the light. We are the ones who have not sought God’s will before we go to the voting booth. We are the ones who have voted according to our pocket books and not the Good Book. We are the ones who have refused to come together in unity under the direction of the Holy Spirit to put in place the leaders that would change the direction of this nation. And at one time, true Christians could have been the most influential group of people in the United States. But I believe those days are long gone. I believe that we are facing the curses of Deuteronomy 28, and it is very likely that we will see the most horrible of these curses in the days to come.

Here is my point for today. For the life of me, I cannot understand how the American people – specifically American Christians/Evangelicals — can be so blind unless Deuteronomy 28:20 has come to pass. How could God-fearing people on both sides of the aisles possibly vote for these leading candidates who have blasphemed God by their support of abortion, homosexuality, and a host of other issues that are contrary to God’s Word? How can self-professed followers of Jesus Christ ignore the Word of God and vote for a man who encourages violence, is known for being a deceptive manipulating business man who has on multiple occasions declared bankruptcy in order to make money? How can believers who know the words of Jesus vote for a woman who, in the face of horrifying deaths of people for whom she is responsible, says, “What difference does it make?”

Now I know that I’ve made the majority of the population of this country angry. Fortunately, most of them don’t read my blog. But I’ve probably angered a good percentage of those of you who do. Please understand. I don’t believe any of the candidates out there are adequate. I have no intention of endorsing any candidate. That is not my purpose in this blog. My purpose is to say that the only reason so many Christians are voting the way that they do is because God has sent that spirit of confusion referenced in v. 20. In my opinion, that is the only way that this great country has gone in the direction it has for the last 25 years. God has sent confusion to His people, the church, because we are under His curse because we have not been obedient to Him.

Before you get so angry that you want to reply to this in a negative way, would you pray about it? Would you ask God to reveal to you whether or not I am speaking truth? Would you let His Holy Spirit reveal to you if that confusion is reigning in your heart? And stay tuned for my next series of blog posts that will deal with how we can get out of this mess – if it isn’t too late!

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