DAY 216- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE LAND
Reading: Genesis 28:1-68
Today’s focus is on the Old Covenant and the physical blessings or cursings that would take place in the Promised Land. Under the Old Covenant, the people of God (i.e. the nation of Israel) were to abide by the Law, which was recorded in the Pentateuch and taught by Moses, the elders and priests. The Law was also written in a summary form on tablets of stone.
At this point in the story, the Israelites had not yet taken possession of the land west of the Jordan, but were being prepared for life in the Promised Land. Both the blessings and the cursings act as a kind of prophetic blueprint of Israelite future in the land. Everything, both good and bad, did happen to them in the land, since they lived under a conditional covenant. When they served the LORD, they were blessed in every way in the land. When they rebelled against the LORD and served Baal, they were enslaved to foreign nations and suffered all kinds of tragedies. Many of the curses make you want to cringe, while the blessings sound idyllic. The Israelites used to proclaim the covenant blessings and cursings from Mt. Gerizim and Mt. Ebal respectively as a reminder to stay true to the covenant and receive God’s blessings. Unfortunately idolatry, especially Baal worship, was common and culminated in the siege against Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586BC, followed by 70 years of exile.
Later on, in the time of Jesus, the rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah lead to the destruction of Jerusalem again, in AD70. Fortunately, Christians under the New Covenant are not under a conditional covenant. Jesus has earned for us unconditional blessings. In the New Heavens and New Earth, it will be all blessings and no more curse.
Dear Father, thank You for an unconditional covenant of blessing earned by the Lord Jesus. We really want Your blessing in our lives, where we live. Amen
FOR THE FAMILY
Practice making up blessings and then praying them over each other.