TRANSGRESSION LEADS TO CURSE
Date: March 22
Category: Follow God
"Know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one thing of them has failed. But just as all good things which the Lord promised you have come to you, so will the Lord carry out [His] every [warning of] evil upon you, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you. If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, if you serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land He has given you."
What an amazing truth! This is Joshua giving a speech to the Israelites near the end of his life. At this point, the children of Israel were able to possess their land because God gave it to them as they went and fought for it. Because of their efforts, God blessed them with the land. In verse 14, we read that everything God said He was going to do for the children of Israel He did. God promised them the land, so He helped them conquer and possess it. Through that, God provided them with a place of peace and prosperity – a place where they can live, work, and raise a family.
But in verse 15 we read, "Just as all good things which the Lord promised you have come to you, so will the Lord carry out [His] every [warning of] evil upon you…" In other words, as much as God was willing to bless the children of Israel, in that same measure He was also willing to bring curses upon them if they disobeyed Him.
What would cause God to bring curses upon us? In verse 16 we read, "If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you…" So if you sin against the covenant of God, then you can except to be cursed in your life. The second part of verse 16 explains what it means to transgress God's covenant. "..if you serve other gods and bow down to them…" So we transgress against God by serving other gods, by making something else more important than God.
So God says here that as much as He works to bless us, He'll work just as hard to curse us if we bow down to another god. What are some of the punishments that we may experience? Well one could be an early death. Many people who disobey God die early. For example, people that drink and drive, people who do drugs, and people who are promiscuous. They often die early in life because of their sinful ways.
Or our land can be cursed if we disobey God. It says in Malachi 4:6 that God was going to curse the land if the fathers didn't turn their hearts towards their children (paraphrased). So as a father, I'm not just to be thinking about my business, my ministry, or myself. But I should be thinking about my children. If we, as fathers, don't do that then we are cursing our land.
Sometimes people are cursed in their finances because they don't give to the Lord. God wants us to honor Him with the first fruits of our increase, meaning the first 10% of what we make. But if we don't do that, then our finances will be cursed and we'll be in lack all the time. God can't bless us if we don't honor His Word. So it's so important not to break the covenant of the Lord. If you break any of God's covenants, you are causing yourself to be cursed.
Almost any problem we have can be traced back to some kind of act of disobedience to the Word of God. Almost any problem in relationships, in finances, in health, or in anything in life can be rooted back to something we've done against the covenant of God. So if we are loyal to God by obeying His Word, then God will make sure we receive all His blessings upon our lives.
That's why it's also important to read the Word of God. Reading His Word will allow us to know what pleases God and what displeases God. That's how we know not to transgress His covenant. When we read the Word of God, we can align our actions up to His Word. When we do that, when we choose not to transgress the covenant of the Lord, then God will bless us. Our obedience will hold back curses away from us and it will release God's hand of blessings upon our lives.