Brent Niedergall

A FEATHER IN YOUR THEOLOGICAL CAP

Back when we lived in North Carolina, our drive home often brought us down a road where our favourite radio channel would turn to broken static. Our CD player stopped working years ago, but we had a top-notch classical music station. But our listening was always interrupted when we would travel down into this little valley. We began calling this place the “Valley of Interference.” 

Entering different places comes with different results. Reading the Old Testament, you can’t help but pick up on the recurring contrast between blessing and cursing. The outcomes of blessing or cursing hinge on our obedience or disobedience to God’s Word. It’s easier to conceptualize blessing. But what about cursing? I find Jenni and Wessterman’s description of cursing helpful. And here’s what brought me to reflect on entering. Someone who is cursed has not entered the Valley of Interference, but something much more ominous. To be cursed is to enter the “Sphere of Disaster.” Doesn’t sound like a place you would want to enter, does it? I thought entering the Valley of Interference was bad. But if you disobey God’s Word and commit the deed that brings cursing, you have entered a much grimmer locale. You have entered the Sphere of Disaster. 

God told the people of Israel not to do a whole bunch of stuff. Just take Deuterononomy 27:18 where the Levites declare this curse from God. 

‘Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

God said if you exploit the blind, you’re cursed. In other words, do this and you have entered into the Sphere of Disaster. This threat of disaster—this cursing—is motivation enough to obey. But there’s even more to motivate us to obey. There’s the opposite of cursing I mentioned back at the beginning. There’s the blessing that results from obedience to God’s Word. To have God’s blessing is to receive God’s good favour. You’ve entered not the Sphere of Disaster, but the “Sphere of Happiness.” This is a place of blessing. Happiness. It’s the first word of the entire book of Psalms. And that’s what we want to be. The Sphere of Happiness is where we want to be. And that’s the outcome of delighting and keeping God’s Word (Psalm 1:1).

Image Credit: Tom Delanoue @ tom2185 unsplash.com

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