2014-09 God’s Blessings (Salvation) vs Cursings

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I would like to say thank you, Mrs. Lowry, for sharing this morning, because that’s the kind of stuff we’re talking about all the time. God is faithful. God has promises. God has made us promises and we are to walk in trust, and it’s there and it’s happening in our lives. I want to thank her for sharing. That’s so important.
Now, we are going to do a quick run through this. Psalm 40: 7-10. It just backs up what she was saying. It’s just what we read this morning but it says once again, “Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart. I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O LORD, You know. I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your loving kindness and Your truth from the great congregation.”
That is just what happened with her testimony. Originally, this was David, King David, giving his testimony about all the goodness of God. Today we’ve heard about God’s faithfulness and what He is still doing in this present day and age. Granted this is referred to as a Messianic Psalm because it says behold I come in the scroll of the book it is written of Me. This is talking about Jesus and He says that His law is written, God’s law is written in His heart talking about Jesus.
Now, originally David wrote this, but this is an inspired prophecy about Jesus coming, having the law, fulfilling it, and proclaiming it to everybody. That’s what the Gospels are all about, is Him making the proclamations of the law. But, as a little side note, as a little addendum as they say, this is a Psalm that refers to you also. Your name is written in the scroll. It might not be in this Bible that you’re reading, but your name is written in the scroll, the book of life when you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
When you did that, according to the New Testament, He writes His laws upon your heart and that’s why you have the urge to do what’s right more than the urge to do what’s wrong. But Paul says all those things which I would not do, those things I do, and those things which I would like to do I still mess up. Who is going to deliver me from this body of sin, and then he goes on to say thank God through Jesus Christ, my Lord.
Jesus is the one who is and who will deliver us, and He will consistently be there and those laws are in us urging us to go forward and trust more and more in Him all the time. This is a testimony, a witness. I would like to get into some other stuff about this but we’re going to shoot right on down the road. Going to chapter 11. Now, you don’t need to go there. Chapter 11 in Deuteronomy. I’ll tell you what’s going on and it’s just a reference.
He said when the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River that they were to go up on two mountains. Mount Gerizim to the South and Mount Ebal to the North. Ebal sounds like evil doesn’t it? Well, hold that in mind. That’s how you tell the difference. And He says that he divides the tribes up and He puts part of them on Mount Gerizim and part of them on Mount Ebal. Notice that the right hand side is Gerizim. Mount Ebal, evil, is on the left hand side. The sheep and the goat, it all plays out.

The guy is facing east, because that’s from the direction they come, and he says that the Levites were, and that’s the priest, they’re to stand in the middle and they’re to read the Word of God and as they’re standing there repeating the things that God has told them to say that the people on both sides are to be accepting. The one on the South is called the Mount of Blessing, the one on the North is called the Mount of Cursing, and as they read these the blessings are pronounced, the curses are pronounced, and the more interesting thing is not only are they on the left and the right and people say well, why did God choose these mountains? For one thing, if you were facing Mount Gerizim you would actually be looking at the Mount of Blessing and you’d be facing Jerusalem, the city of God, the future city of God, the city of peace. You would be facing that way. If you face the Mount of Cursing, you’re looking to the North, and by the way, in the Old Testament several times it refers to evil coming out of the North, you would be facing the North and your back would be to the city of Peace.
Not only that, as you’re facing the North and you’re looking at Mount Ebal or Mount Evil, you can say it. Actually, in Hebrew you can say Evil. Mount Evil, as you’re looking at Mount Ebal there and you’re staring at it you will realize it’s a limestone mountain. Stone, the law. Barren. Has no fruit, just barren. You turn around this way and you see the Mount of Blessing and its green, verdant. They could actually plant crops on it. It actually provided, they could raise food on it. So, the Mount of Blessing played out perfectly showing the way God’s blessings and curses are.
Now, if you do want to go someplace go to Deuteronomy if you’re back in that area. That’s the fifth book of the Bible, Deuteronomy 28, and don’t stray too far off that. I’m only going to read three verses and then we’re going to jump over to another part of it. Deuteronomy 28 and the first three verses go like this. “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God: ‘Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.'”
It goes on until you hit verse 14, God talking about the blessings that are going to come upon the people in their obedience to the Lord. Then on verse 15 the whole tone changes, “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.” Then it goes on verse after verse after verse. There are 14 verses of blessing. There are 81 verses of cursings listed. There are 98 separate curses listed in that section alone. 14 verses devoted to the blessing of God. 81 or more verses devoted to the cursing of God, and He numerates what they will get cursed. If they don’t do this, this will happen and if they don’t do that, that will happen, and He goes down through there and you can read these curses. God there is trying to hammer home a point.
You’re facing the North, the North is the stone. The law of God was written on stone. It’s hard. It’s not soft. It does not provide. It does not reward. It only condemns. The law of God is absolutely perfect, don’t get me wrong. The law of God is perfect in all of its ways but all it can do is say you either live up to me or you are condemned. You either live up to this law or you are condemned. Or you are condemned and God was pounding it home so that they would understand that they are not going to be saved by the keeping of law. But there are the blessings of God, and those blessings are great and tremendous and He will bless you in the city, He will bless you out of city, He will bless what you put your hands to.
The first 14 verses are really, really good to read. Now, Deuteronomy verse 29. That’s the last verse of chapter 29. I would like to read this to you, and then we’re going to jump over into Galatians. So, if you want to get a head start and start looking for Galatians you can. Deuteronomy 29: 29, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” The secret things that are hidden, they belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us, to our sons forever that we may observe all the law.
So, we have at this time the revealing of the Ten Commandments, those things which are going to end up as time goes on, they’ll learn that they are going to be condemned because they can’t keep them. God knowing that He says okay, I know you are not going to be able to keep them so I am going to give you help. I am going to provide for you a picture, and the picture is the lambs that are going to be sacrificed. They cannot take away your sin, but they can cover the sin and every year you make these offerings and I will keep covering your sins because it’s pointing toward a day when there is going to be a person, John the Baptist, who will say, “Behold, The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” when he sees Jesus Christ.
And Jesus is the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundations of the earth. That just means that God understood and knew what it was going to take when He created this whole system and He made it all good, but He provided the free will of man. I was going through some old stuff of mine and I found this picture of a cartoon. The cartoon was, I don’t even know the name of it, but it’s a little girl and she has a pet coyote. Anyway, she says, “Why does God permit all these bad things to happen in this world?” Don’t you guys hear that a lot? And the little coyote says, “Why do men always insist on doing such bad things?” Just as important a question. So, next time somebody says why does God… why do we insist?
That’s what God was getting at. God demands righteousness, but He gave us free will. Why do we insist on doing the things that aren’t perfect? God says I know how you are, but I still love you and I am going to make a provision for you. We know that the provision is perfect, it’s Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who He understood from the very beginning before time, before creation started and He started with time, He knew what was going to be required and Jesus had already agreed. His son, the Christ, had already agreed. I am willing to pay the price to ransom these people that I love and that You created and You care about. Even though they’re not perfect You love them and I am willing to pay the price to redeem them from the curses, and the curses that will be laid upon them and will be taught in Deuteronomy.
Now, remember what it says. The secret things belong to the Lord but the things that are revealed belong to us. The New Testament was a mystery. It was a mystery that God talked about in Jeremiah. He said the Old Testament, now this is Doyle’s paraphrase, the Old Testament has some flaws in it. It can’t redeem you, it can’t buy you back, it can’t completely wash away your sins. It covers it and it keeps shoving the judgment that should so rightly fall upon imperfect people, it shoves it back, it shoves it back but there’s a mystery. I know something you don’t know and that is one of these days Jesus the Christ is going to come at exactly the right time to make the greatest impact upon the history of humanity.
He’s going to show up at exactly that right moment and when He does He’s going to wash away the sins of the world to all those who believe, and though your sins be as scarlet He will make them white as snow. That’s the revelation, that’s the mystery. God had this mystery, but to us in the New Testament the mystery is revealed. Anything that’s revealed is ours. That’s what it says isn’t it? Secrets belong to God and there are other secrets that we have yet not completely understood and He has not completely revealed, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever that they may observe all the words of the law.
Galatians chapter 3. That was Old Testament and it’s talking about things that are going to come up in the New Testament because the things that are revealed, and if you go to Galatians 3: 9-14, “So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the law, to perform them.'” That’s what we were reading about. “Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for,’The righteous man shall live by faith.’ However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ‘He who practices them shall live by them.'” Okay, he who practices them shall live by them. This is a reference of trying to keep the law, but also they who practice them will live by them. If you practice faith you’ll live by faith also. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree – in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Holy Spirit through faith.”
Now, what we’ve got here is this new revelation. The things that were secret belong to God but now we have this revelation that’s been revealed and the revelation is this. The law will not make you righteous. There’s no way of keeping it, and if you want to be righteous by the law you’ve got to practice it utterly perfectly but if you fail you will be cursed, you will be cursed, you will be cursed 98 times just in that one section alone. Cursed, cursed, cursed, cursed, cursed, cursed, cursed, but then this revelation comes in Galatians explaining what Jesus did and He said but there is a righteousness of having a perfect standing before God and it’s by faith, and then He says what we need to understand is there’s this prophecy. Here was this secret that now is made revealed.
In the Old Testament the secret said cursed is everyone who hangs upon a tree. He said Jesus Christ hung upon a tree. He became a curse. He who knew no sin became cursed. He took all the curses upon Himself that we who were imperfect or who knew sin would become the righteousness of God and our sins would be done away with. Therefore, when Christ died as cursed He took all those curses on Himself and He died with them, He died for them. They were nailed to the cross it says and so those curses died with Him, and if we will practice faith in Christ what does it mean? We have the righteousness of God. It’s a gift that’s given to us.
We are then like Abraham. Though we’re not perfect we trust God and He says I declare you righteous because My son’s blood is good enough not just to cover your sins but to actually wash your sins away to make you white as snow. The new revelation is the curse of God is gone. If the curse of the law is gone, what’s left? The blessings of God. He has lifted all the curses of God from us because we couldn’t keep the law and all that’s left now are the blessings of God that will flow toward us and to us because Jesus Christ kept the law for us. He became the curses. He took all the curses and sins and all the failures we had and said I accept all that upon myself and He hung upon the tree and became a curse and so the curses died with Him and all that’s left now are the blessings of God as we look towards the city of peace. The place where Jesus will reign and rule someday. There is where our Christ sits, there is going to be the future throne of Jesus Christ.
One last scripture, we’re almost done. 1 John. It’s way in the back. 1 John 5:1-5, “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God,” is the one that overcomes.
The new revelation is this. We don’t keep the commandments of the law. We’re going to fail there. Christ died and those are removed. All that’s left are the blessings. We now have a new covenant, a new set of commandments, and what’s the main commandment that we are required to do? Trust in Christ, that He is the son of God and if we trust in Him that He is the son of God and in His death, burial, and resurrection in that sacrifice our sins are washed away. That is the main root of what we are to do is to trust in Him, and as we believe, and trust, and obey that He will lead us, He will guide us, and He will cause us to have all those blessings that are listed in verse 14.
He will cause us to have these blessings to come for us, to come toward us. Actually, in the Old Testament it says they will overtake you. Your blessings will sneak up behind you and surprise you when you are least aware of it. You know boom, there it is. You get hit by a car and a car door and it becomes a blessing. “All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Our new covenant is we trust in the sacrifice of Christ. Because we trust in Him, our trust is what causes us to overcome the world. We have, actually it says already overcome the world. We’re in a position of victory and of power.
You say well, it sure doesn’t seem that way in my life. Third, we trust our shepherd because as we walk by faith, those who practice, you’ve got to practice what you believe, those who practice righteousness by faith, as we trust our shepherd Jesus Christ the Son of God, His death, burial, and resurrection through the Holy Spirit because He moves into us when we believe in Him, as we trust in His leading and guiding and directing us the increased reality will be that the laws that He has written upon our hearts and in our minds will keep increasing in our lives and we will live it out more and more and more as we learn to walk in faith.
That overcoming that we have already been promised and put in a position of ultimate victory, it will become more manifest each and every day. Now, if we were to go back to that first Psalm. I’ll make it quick back here. We are to be just exactly like David and like (Mrs. Lowry). We read it and he said my name is written in that book and because of that, and these are the things that he says I will do, I will proclaim, I will not seal my lips, I will not hide Your righteousness. I will speak of Your faithfulness and I have not and will not conceal Your love or Your faithfulness.
As born again Christians, as people whose names are written in the book, as people who are prophesied about also as coming and people who are trusting in God, we are to do what David, the beloved guy, the beloved King David, and when I say that it’s a double there because the word David actually means beloved, and he was beloved by God not because of his perfection but because he practiced what he preached. He trusted in his God, he trusted that God would lead him and David comes to this, I will proclaim, I will proclaim. I will talk about Your righteousness. I will not hide it. Our righteousness is in Jesus Christ. We will proclaim it, we will proclaim it.
We are to be the witnesses of God and now witnesses are people. You go to court and they won’t say well, uh, Mr. Doyle, have you got anything to say? And I say yeah, I’ve got lots to say. Would you, you know, and they ask questions and then I say well, I was told by Dwayne, who was told by Gary, who was told by Barb that this is what was said and this is what… and they go wait a minute. You’re not a witness, you’re a gossiper, you know. If you’re going to be a witness it’s something that you have to experience or something that you saw with your own eyes.
Witnessing is not pinning somebody’s ears back and ndndndndnd condemning them. Witnessing is telling them about what God has done in your life. It’s not about necessarily reciting all these verses to people. It can, you can share the Word of God, it’s great and tremendous, but the witnessing is standing there saying this is what God promised, this is what I saw, this is what I experienced, this is the end result, and I’m praising God. All you have to do is tell people what God has done in your life and if you do that you’re a witness.
You don’t have to take all the courses. You don’t have to go to Moody Bible Institute or some other college to learn how to do what comes naturally. Just talk about Jesus your God and the things He has done in your life. We are a people who are going to be blessed. As we walk in faith we are going to be blessed, we’re going to be blessed, we’re going to be blessed because all those curses lie behind us and Christ dealt with all that in the past and every day, each moment, each morning it’s new, it’s renewed. Morning by morning, morning by morning. As we wake up it’s a new day. What’s past is past and we have a bright and hopeful future. Even when the sun don’t shine we still have a bright and hopeful future. As we patiently wait upon the Lord at His time He will bring about the fulfillment of His promises. Shall we pray?
Father, in the name of Jesus all glory and honor to You. Thank you for hearing and answering prayer in Mrs. (Lowry’s) life. Thank You that things worked out so great and that You heard her prayers about the person would take everything when they bought that stuff. Thank You that Bible college came forward and had need and can use the extensive library also. Father, all glory and honor to You for Your answering, for Your prayer, and for Your encouragement as she walked by faith. Father, help this testimony that was given today and the testimony of Your word. Also, be an encouragement to us to hold on, to walk by faith and know that our prayers are just as valuable and our prayers are being heard and at the right time we will see the fruition of Your answer to our prayers. All glory and honor to You, Jesus. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.