Scripture – vs 4 “…then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.”
Vs. 14 “the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.” NIV
Vs. 16 “Love God, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess.” MSG
Observation – Scattered or gathered. Curses or blessings. Life or death. Obedience or disobedience. God or gods.
The picture is clear: God blesses those who draw close and walk according to the guidelines of his coming Kingdom.
Application – I cringe in the presence of “health & welfare gospel” believers. Doing good in order to receive financial security and healing seems so selfish and shallow. Yet, the message is clear in Deuteronomy… Love God, love God’s commands, obey holistically and God promises a good life! God promises to gather not scatter, to bless not curse, to give life rather than death.
Love. ‘Love God, your God,’ is the starting place. Like Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all this things will be added unto you.” Life founded in the love of God is a life that brims over with love for self, love for others, love for creation and love that recognizes God’s word is very close to each of us. (The word is in our mouth and heart… right there brimming forward to bring life.) It isn’t about financial freedom or disease free living. It is a life that is rich, grounded, firm and extending hospitality.
My application of this passage today is to live richly. As I work, interact with my spouse and children, compose emails… I hope to recognize God’s word in my mouth and heart and allow the riches of God’s blessings to flow forward.
Prayer – God of your word, check my motivations for obedience. You first loved me, help me to respond with love. Help me obey not out of duty, but out of relationship. Help me obey not out of a hope for blessings, but a hope to bless. Gather me in again today, for I have a tendency to be scattered.
Lloyd is married to Carol and the two of them are Regional Mission Mobilizers – Prairie Region for Mennonite Bretheren Mission.