10 Blessed or Cursed the Choice is Yours
law of choice' may be very simply stated:
gives us clear choices, we have the freedom to make them, and they
see in the Bible that God gives instructions and sometimes people
disobey them. They clearly have the choice and the ability to reject
n the following
chapters, God's actions that often bring complaints from those who
haven't bothered to read the Bible and have not taken in the truth
of what is declared there, is the subject of our examination but in
every case we will see God's actions are in respect of a person or
people and in every case God will have made very clear what the consequences
will be, that follow from different courses of action.
results are because of the choice made by a human being! We
must hold this before us as we look at these case studies that will
follow in later chapters. WE
make choices and WE bring on ourselves the consequences.
decree of God's goodness that has its origins in heaven.
comparison, is simply a
decree from God for bad that has its origins in heaven.
see these in operation in the Old Testament, in respect of:
- the blessing promised Abram by God,
- Isaac blessing his sons,
- Jacob blessing his sons
as a nation.
call was always to be obedient to God's guidance (often His Law) and
failure to do that had negative consequences which appear to be a
combination of acts of God and acts of other nations against Israel.
the book of Judges we see a cycle of Failure Rebuke Repentance
Restoration, and in that we see God's desire to continually draw
back to Himself and back into a place of blessing.
knew blessing when they:
according to the Law God gave them, because it worked, AND
- by God's acts of goodness that flowed
out of His relationship with them.
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11 - The Judgment of God as seen in the Old Testament
the expression of negative
emotions of indignation and displeasure.
wrath is a cool, calm, purposeful bringing of judgment
that is deserved, anger that has determined
that action should be taken against this wrong-doing, i.e. anger in
wrath is thus seen to be His anger or indignant displeasure
that is of such a magnitude, because of the nature of the sin, that
it results in action by God against those committing the sin with
the purpose of bringing an end to the sin and, where possible, a change
in their behaviour
self-control and character.
is very similar action taken to bring about change of behaviour.
terms of the purpose or nature, in its simplest form, God's
Judgment is either:
Death, where God
sees that nothing He can say or do will change the heart or mind
of the individual in question, and so He stops their ongoing
misdemeanour by removing the person, or
in order to bring people to their senses so that they will return
to God, to a place where they are able to live as He designed them
to live, receiving all the goodness He has planned for them, i.e.
it stops a person following the course they are following
so that they follow a new path that is not hurtful, harming or destructive,
Corrective action designed
to bring change as above, but which,
if not heeded, will bring death.
note therefore that it will depend on:
whether the person or group will not change (and death is the likely
whether they will change (and something lesser is more applicable
to help bring about the change).
about God His thoughts and His actions are always exactly right.
Because He has total knowledge and total wisdom He never ever makes
terms of the instrument God uses, God's judgment appears to
be one of two kinds:
Those involving freak acts of nature, e.g. weather
conditions or earthquakes etc.
Those involving other people:
- Those where God directs action to
where God lifts off His hand of restraint and the enemy
are allowed to let their unrestrained hatred for others
to rise up and cause them to attack.
is God's grace that allows a people to carry on rejecting Him while
He sends His messengers to them again and again.
conclude, when God brings discipline or judgement,
it is always a form of remedial action.
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two chapters are about the activities of God. What may be slightly
surprising to us is that they are dependent on the actions of people.
people obey God and seek to come into relationship with Him and conform
to His design laws, then He acts to do good to them and they benefit
from the fact that the laws work and bring peace and harmony to society.
people fail to live by His design rules God does not sit back and
do nothing. love requires action be taken to bring those people back
into a good place with Him. Yet to do this he will not violate their
means that whatever action He takes may be of a long-term and perhaps
actions may produce God indignant displease that we call anger, and
if the actions persist and increase or are of a sufficiently bad nature,
anger may develop into God's wrath which is simply a determination
to act against the wrong.
against wrong may be discipline where the wrong is more in the nature
of an attitude or behaviour of weakness and training is the required
outcome, or correction where a specific change of behaviour is required.
these actions have a punitive edge to them we tend to speak about
the judgment of God which is simply a corrective action to bring about
the end of a behaviour, either by death (where the individual is intransigent
and refuses to change) or some other corrective action where there
is seen a more flexible heart in the individual or people as discerned
by the Lord.
judgments may be a) God simply allowing the individual to follow their
own path until they come to their senses or b) He brings a specific
thing against them to hasten the change.
of these things are designed to bring an end to unrighteousness and
bring about a change of behaviour so that the end result is a restoration
of relationship with the Lord where His blessing is able to flow again
through their obedience that we noted at the beginning of this section.