We live in two words – blessing and curse. They are real and they have real effects. With them or behind them is the character of God – first came the blessing and only then followed by the curse. God is slow to anger, swift to show mercy, delighted to bless. It is better for us to be drawn into Him and His blessing by a child-like hope in His favour. That blessing is promised as we listen, trust and follow in obedience the word of God.
When this first appeared to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy, their hope totally depended on and was completely placed in the faithfulness of God and His promise.
So when we look at the law of God’s Word that produces blessings when we follow in obedience – which commandment is the first of them all? That question asked by a lawyer to Jesus is still what lies at the very heart of what we believe. Hard to believe for some of us that Bishop David Jenkins could quote such an orthodox statement, but it is quite the contemporary statement of our time —
There is God; He is as He is in Jesus; there is hope
The feasts established in the Old Testament took moments out of the lives of the people and turned the concept of time being busy towards repentance and to one of hope.
God is trying to get His voice into our hearts to say to us that He will meet our needs – He is our source. How many times do we see hope almost disappearing – feeling our source was running out – and God would rain from heaven, if you will, blessing us, restoring us.
If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today—loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul— then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil; and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. – Deuteronomy 11:13-15