Old Testament: Deuteronomy 28:1-68
Deut. 28: 1-68 Blessing For Obedience, Cursing for Disobedience
My professors in school told me that this chapter was the centerpiece of the Old Testament. They said that all of the books of the Old Testament had the theme of “curses for disobedience and blessings for obedience.” This is certainly true but the key of understanding anything in the Bible is that God wants a relationship with us. And He wants it throughout eternity. If the Israelites obeyed God, they would prosper and be blessed but more importantly they would have a relationship with Yahweh. If they didn’t obey, they would be cursed materially but they also would break their fellowship with Yahweh.
Yahweh gave the nation some great object lessons to help them in their relationship. We have studied them, the sacrifices, the victory over their enemies, the structure of their theocracy. But time and time again they failed God. Moses even warns them if they were disobedient they would go into captivity (v. 36) and also be scattered around the world (v. 64). And they were!
Despite all these warnings, God made unilateral covenantal promises to Israel that He will fulfill His word (cf. Four covenants: Abrahamic in Gen. 12:1-3; Palestinian in Deut. 30:1-10; Davidic in 2 Sam. 7:12-16; and the New Covenant in Jer. 31:31-34). God cannot lie (Num. 23:19). God is so gracious! There will be a future for the nation of Israel.
New Testament: Luke 11:14-36
Luke 11:14 -28 How Phar Can You See?
This account is also found in Matt. 12:22-30; Mark 3:20-27.
Jesus cast out a demon and some bonehead accused Him of using the power of Satan. Wow. Jesus said that if that was true then Satan’s kingdom would fall because a kingdom divided against itself could not stand. I know, you thought Abraham Lincoln said that but Jesus was first. Jesus warned that anyone who was against Him was not with Him and would scatter. This was the opposite of when the disciples were upset about those who were casting out demons in Jesus’ name and Jesus said whoever was not against them was for them ( Mark 9:40, “For he who is not against us is for us”).
Jesus then warned that just casting out a demon is not enough. The implication is that the person had to be filled with something to replace the demon. We know now that a saved person receives the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9).
After Jesus explained these things, a lady in the crowd praised Mother Mary. Jesus disagreed with her and said that it wasn’t Mary that was blessed but those who heard the Word of God and obeyed it. Of course, the greatest command in the Bible is to trust Jesus for salvation (cf. Acts 16: 31, for example).
Luke 11:29-36 Tale Of A Whale Or A Whale Of A Tale?
Answer: A tale of whale. No, a whale of a tale. I guess both. But mostly the first. Jesus affirmed the historicity of the Jonah story. Otherwise, Jesus’ resurrection was just a story. So Jesus affirmed the entire Old Testament.
Jesus said that the Queen of Sheba and the people of Nineveh would rise up to judge the people in Jesus’ generation. They believed with a lot less evidence than those who had witnessed Jesus Himself.
Jesus said no one would hide a light since that would defeat the purpose of lighting a light. Jesus was not hiding anything. Further, if someone wanted to know the truth, it would come in through their eyes. Then they’d be full of light and they would themselves be beacons of light.