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While the blessings received for obedience to the Lord are most pleasant and to be sought after, the curses received for disobedience are nothing short of terrifying. The better part of this long chapter is taken up in listing the potential ills that will befall the children of Israel if they are to turn away from the Lord their God.
While not all the curses have come to pass, we have seen one big one that did indeed come true for several thousand years before restoration was made available: the scattering of the Jewish people to all four corners of the earth with no place to call home, followed by horrific persecution and extermination of their race. And yet, in the year 1948 we see a miraculous rebirth of the nation of Israel in the very same location of the original “promised land”. For a mere sixty-four years has this people formed a modern nation, and it is to be seen how all prophecies concerning them will unfold themselves.
Turning next to our reading in Luke, we see Jesus busy in his ministry of healing, teaching, and preaching. It is of note that Jesus makes the point about the importance of being a listener and a doer of the Word of God.
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” he says in response to someone in the crowd who calls the woman who bore him as blessed. Jesus goes on to speak about the eye being the lamp of the body.
He says this: 33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
In our Psalm for the day, we see David in a reflective mood where he contemplates God’s goodness from the very beginning of the history of his people. In times of difficulty when it might appear that God is faraway and has not inclined his ear to his pleas, David has only to remember and recount the very many times that God has indeed brought relief and redemption in times past in order to be assured that this too shall pass. David says:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? 8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? 9 Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. 11 I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 12 I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Finally, our one verse from the book of Proverbs for today is one that is a brilliant nugget of wisdom. Solomon, son of David, wise king of Israel, and author of this book writes:
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.