Blessings - Deuteronomy - RR187BC101
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission|
Let us worship God. Thus sayeth the Lord ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all thy heart. Jesus said blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled. Let us pray.
Almighty God our Heavenly Father, we pray that Thou wouldst create in us a hunger and thirst after righteousness, after Thy justice, that we may indeed become the people of Thy truth, that we may make manifest that which Thou dost require of men and nations. Turn the hearts of the people unto Thee oh Lord, make us again a godly, a righteous people, give us a heart that hungers and thirsts for the things that are of Thee and for Thy kingdom. Grant us this we beseech Thee in Christ’s name, Amen.
Our scripture is from Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Our subject: Blessings. Deuteronomy 28:1-14.
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
7 The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
8 The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
9 The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.
10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.
11 And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”
It was perhaps twenty five years ago that I spoke at
It was perhaps twenty five years ago that I spoke at a college conference and said in passing that our God being creator of all things has made all things good and with a total rationality that makes knowledge possible. A distinguished graduate school professor from a major university also a speaker objected vigorously. For him the fundamental intellectual premise was the insistence that only a thin edge of rationality existed and that only in the mind of man. To insist on total rationality from God was to threaten the premise of modernity and the university. The universe has neither rationality nor morality. Well this is still the basic issue. An impersonal universe, one without God, can neither bless nor curse. It is then a world without intelligent nor moral consequences. This chapter was once basic to the oath of office. I was aware of that in American history but I had known of it, having read the English coronation ceremony, that it existed there and I am beginning to realize that it was once common to Christendom. The office bearer invoked God’s blessings for faithfulness and His curses for disobedience. Moral neutrality is an impossibility in such a universe because every act is before God’s eyes and there is no life nor thought outside of God nor apart from Him. We cannot step out of a moral universe nor outside of a God-governed cosmos. Years ago E. G. Brown in A Year Among The Persians wrote of one sect there, the Persian babi’s, a Muslim sect and I quote:
“They seem to have no conception of absolute good or absolute truth. To them good was merely what god chose to ordain and truth what he chose to reveal so that they could not understand how anyone could attempt to test the truth of a religion by an ethical and moral standard.” Unquote.
What the babi’s had done was to push the natural direction of Islam to its limits. This view posited an irrational god or fate. The modern view assumes an irrational world because the universe is totally God’s creation and however fallen is still governed by Him the curses and blessings are irresistible. In verse two they are shown to be not only inescapable but also irresistible, they pursue and overtake us. [00:08:39]
They follow inevitably because God so ordains it
They follow inevitably because God so ordains it. The words blessed and blessing occur ten times in this text. As Schroder pointed out as these blessings are first national, second the promised blessings are material and earthly. Third, the promised blessings are conditional, they require faithfulness. As David F. Pane pointed out verses three to six tell us how extensive and comprehensive these blessings are. They cover the city and the countryside, all human activities in war and peace and they promise universal fertility. In verse seven victories against enemies is declared. There will be battle but victory is assured. The nations will be afraid of the godly nation if they keep God’s commandments. All their activities will be blessed, again in verse ten and eleven, fertility in every area is promised to the nations. The weather shall be favorable, not destructive and their wealth shall be such that they will be a lending not a borrowing nation. They shall be the commanding nation; all these blessings will overtake them if they faithfully adhere to God’s sanctifying law. Not to adhere to His law is to serve other gods we are told. These verses are a part of a legal treaty. God promises to be their covenant lord and protector if they will keep His covenant law. The blessing of God covers and enhances all of life, every kind of activity. The choice before the people and us is life and death, between the sovereignty of God or the pretended sovereignty of men and nations. The doctrine of the covenant tells us that there is no life outside of God. He created all things and governs all things absolutely. The covenant is neglected by the modern church because it believes however faithful it often claims to be that man’s choice is final. This makes God a personal option. Man supposedly chooses God not God man. The bible is a covenantal book, it does not therefore present itself as an option for us but as a mandate. [00:11:50]
Because God cannot be someone for us to judge and accept
Because God cannot be someone for us to judge and accept on our terms we are required by the covenant to submit to God’s terms or be cursed. The blessings are radically related to national life and the land. Elsewhere the bible speaks of personal blessings and cursing’s, here they are primarily national. Our life here is important because eternity and heaven are important and the one is a preparation for the other. The blessings and the cursing’s cover every area of our life because no area is outside of God and His government. God’s blessings are a declaration of our future in Him because they are a promise of life whereas His cursing’s assure us of death and destruction. We know the future under God precisely in these terms, as blessings and curses. The modern impulse is to view the future naturalistically which is why the experts were taken by surprise when the Soviet Union collapsed. They had equated total power with total success. Political prognostications of the future are fallacious because they assume the ultimacy of the political order. Verse twelve tells us that God ordains the weather and that HE can destroy or bless men and nations thereby. Since God makes clear that He so powerfully rewards covenant nations it is obvious that the lawless nations are marked by a strong perversity in their rebellion against God which is what Psalm 2 also tells us. Man’s original and basic sin is his will to be his own god and he therefor wants no blessing if it comes from the hand of God. About fifty years ago a man made it very emphatically clear to me if there anything like a blessing in his life it would be of his own making. He wanted nothing from the hand of God. This is basic to life under God’s curse whereas a blessed life is one lived entirely under God and his law word. [00:14:58]
This morning I had a long conversation, telephone conversati
This morning I had a long conversation, telephone conversation with my brother with respect to problems in the Balkans where he is at work through his organization Macedonian Outreach. He will be returning there in a matter of days. The needs are so overwhelming that everywhere he goes he is confronted with desperation. The news yesterday spoke of the refugee camps outside of Rwanda and one relief worker spoke of the helplessness she felt not even having water enough to take care of more than a few. But the whole of the Balkan area is foundering because of conditions going back to 1940 and World War Two. The great illusion from motive by the United States and others is that freedom will bring wealth and prosperity but it does not. Moreover the idea of freedom is a very limited one. We equate freedom with the right to vote. What is required there is character. Moral standards put to work, a governing faith that creates its own environment. Lacing that, the people will curse freedom and democracy as much as they did Marxism and dictatorship. Freedom is a relative good, freedom can have an evil use as well as a good one. The faith and morality of the people determine their use of freedom. Our insistence and that of other countries in Western Europe on the right to vote as the key to the future is a very short sighted one. As a result it is leading to a growing contempt in those countries we are ostensibly helping for freedom which is again not right. [00:18:06]
We are trying to do good on evil premises and we may
We are trying to do good on evil premises and we may reap a deadly harvest because of it. It is not things mechanical like the ballot box that create a strong and prosperous people. Faith and character are required and no country and no congress with its foreign aid program nor any state department or foreign office can supply that. Let us pray.
Our Father we thank Thee for Thy word. Open the eyes of men and nations that they may know Thee to be the Lord and apart from Thy blessing there is no hope. Recall us to Thy law word, make us again a godly people, in Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions now about our lesson? Yes?
[Question] It’s interesting that the massacres in Rwanda have not resulted in any editorial comment, no accusations, no reproaches of discrimination. It’s taken as though it is a natural calamity and not the activity of people. Is that because there is no Christians involved or is it because there is no white people involved?
[Rushdoony] We took forever to recognize there was a problem there. I have wondered if it is not because of the illusion that there can be nothing wrong in black Africa, our unwillingness to admit there are problems there. We have blinded ourselves to the evils in black Africa and kept throwing more and more money at it. We have not seen that the very boundaries we created, meaning Western Europe and us, have guaranteed civil wars. So I have wondered as I watched the news if this is not an embarrassment to the power that be in Western Europe and here. Yes? [00:21:35]
[Rushdoony] A very good question. There are a variety of hostile warring tribes and this is the problem in Rwanda. It’s not something we’re new at doing, I spent eight and a half years on the western Shoshone Reservation which was half Piute. They were somewhat akin in that they spoke languages in the same family of languages and they could understand each other while not speaking the other’s language. But they were ancient enemies so we put them on one reservation together and we felt that all would be well somehow and we haven’t stopped doing that. So of course it has meant trouble wherever we’ve applied that policy, we believe there should be peace so we put enemies together and say ‘now don’t you really love one another’. Consider the very, very horrible civil wars that have prevailed in Africa. The evil peoples and their horrifying massacre, one of the horrors of the twentieth century. Or the long standing war against Christians in the Sudan. The Arabs, Muslims, killing off the black Christians. Hundreds of thousands and yet we ignore it. Somehow because they are a political unity they should be brothers and the Muslim faith again in Bosnia is that no Christian has the right to live and therefore the Servs have to die. And apparently the capitols of Western Europe and Washington D.C. agree. Any other questions or comments? [00:24:19]
[Question] Would you say that the world is governed
[Question] Would you say that the world is governed by public relations?
[Rushdoony] [laughs] It’s not governed by any moral premise, that’s for sure, unless you say humanistic moral premises, not Christian ones. And certainly it applies them with an eye for public relations. The various foreign offices and state departments apparently believe they are doing the right thing and therefore anything that tends to threaten that belief is regarded as illegitimate. Just consider in the Congo area where Rwanda is all the troubles that have been there since independence was declared, the good regime that prevailed for a while which we destroyed. A soviet puppet after whom a university in Moscow was named, whom the west regarded as a martyr when he was killed. It’s been a long history of small battles and big wars. And yet nothing has been ever done to correct it or to say these people have hostilities that go back for centuries, they are not going to live together in peace, let’s give them each their own territory, there are boundaries of a natural sort there but we will not recognize them. Any other questions or comments, well if not let us conclude with prayer.
Our Father, we have no answers for the problems that face us in our world but Thou hast the answers. Teach us to look unto Thee, to wait on Thee, to study Thy word, to apply it, to be a faithful people. Grant that we move out from under Thy curse into Thy blessing. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.