A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
Deuteronomy 11:26, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;”
When the Israelites were about to enter into the Promised Land in the book of Deuteronomy God said that He had set before them a blessing and a curse. He called it life and death in Deuteronomy 30:15. He said He had set before them a blessing and a curse or life and death. God is not saying that He was setting before them being blessed or being cursed. He was saying He was setting before you being a blessing or being a curse.
Then in Deuteronomy 30:15 he uses a synonym of life and death. According to I Timothy 5:6 one can be dead and still be breathing. What God is saying here is whenever you learn to be a blessing to someone that is life and that is living. When you live for yourself that is a curse and that is death. God is saying He has set before you being a blessing or being a curse or being life to someone or being death to someone.
Those who on Saturday night attempt to satisfy their senses are dead though they are living. The people who live for others: Sunday school bus captains, Sunday school teachers, and soul winners they have chosen to be a blessing. When one chooses to be unselfish that person is choosing life. When one chooses to die to self that person will live for others.
Paul said to young Timothy, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” She breathes, but she is dead. She speaks, but she is dead. She walks, but she is dead. God said you are coming into the Promised Land and I am giving you a choice. You can choose to be a blessing or you can choose to be a curse.
God gives them an object lesson. He did something amazing here. Right in the center of Samaria is a valley. The famous place called Shekum it there and another famous place called Sychar is there in that valley where John chapter 4 occurred. On the north side of that valley is a mountain called Mount Ebal. To the south side of that little valley is a mountain called Mount Gerizim.
If you went there today you would see a very small narrow valley on the north side you would see Mount Ebal. Mount Ebal has no growth on it at all; no fruit trees, and is a barren king of a mountain. Just on the other side of the very small and narrow valley you can stand on Mount Ebal and speak and be heard on Mount Gerizim. Likewise you can stand on Mount Gerizim and speak and be heard on Mount Ebal.
On the north side is Mount Ebal, not a tree on it and nothing, but a cursed mountain. On the south side is Mount Gerizim: fruitful, fruit trees galore, and everything is green. Picture it, a beautiful green mountain on one side and on the other side of the valley a barren dry mountain on the other side. God uses that as a backdrop or as a visual aid.
Some of you reading this article are living on Mount Gerizim and you are living a life of unselfishness. You have lived a life for others. You could sing, “Lord, let me live from day to day in such a self forgetful way, that even when I knell to pray, my prayer shall be others. Others Lord, yes others, let this my motto be. Lord let me live for others that I may live like thee!” The truth is you are the happy children of God because you have experienced real life!
On the other hand there are those of you reading this article who are living over on Mount Ebal. You live for yourself! You did not put one bite of food in a hungry stomach last year. You did not put one coat on a cold back last year. You did not put one pair of shoes on a couple of cold feet last year. You have lived for yourself! It is me, my, and mine! The truth is friend that is living on Mount Ebal and God calls that being a curse or death. You may say, “Boy, I’m living it up!” No, you are “Dying it up.”
Let me suggest to you that you move over to Mount Gerizim and you live an unselfish fruitful life that helps other people. That old barren cursed death of a life helps no one but your self!
TWO MOUNTAIN PEAKS SIDE BY SIDE
There are two mountain peaks side by side and a vast difference between the two. Mount Ebal, which is barren and fruitless. That mount is just a few yards away from Mount Gerizim, which is fruitful and green.
The difference cannot be the climate! The climate is the same! Every time the sun shines on Mount Gerizim it shines on Mount Ebal. Every time it rains on Mount Gerizim it rains on Mount Ebal. It cannot be the climate or the weather!
Ok, it cannot be the people, because the same people live at the foot of Mount Gerizim that live at the foot of Mount Ebal. So, it cannot be the people!
When it snowed, rained, sun shining, was cold, or was hot it happened on both mountains. There are couples that sit in church side by side. Eat at the same table, parent the same children, sleep in the same bed, ride in the same car, and yet the truth is they are living on different mountains. Husbands, who are faithful, pay the bills, and are honest, yet never do anything for anyone else. You sir are living on Mount Ebal of me, my, mine, I, we, us, and ours.
Yet, who seats right beside you is a wife who lives on Mount Gerizim. She lives a fruitful life. She lives a life for others. She lives on Mount Gerizim while the husband lives on Mount Ebal. Yet, they live in the same house, parent the same children, sleep in the same bed, and eat at the same table.
Would it not be wonderful if the husbands living for themselves would resolve to start living for others? Would it not be wonderful if the wives living for them selves would resolve to start living for others?
The sad thing is there is a split in the atmosphere of a home where one lives on Mount Ebal and the other mate lives on Mount Gerizim. They share the same events in life, but one is being a curse and the other is being a blessing and it becomes a house divided against itself.
There are two brothers who grew up side by side. One is living on Mount Ebal and the other is living on Mount Gerizim. They have the same father and the same mother. They eat at the same table, ride in the same car, and go to the same church, but both are like Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. Side by side and yet do not live on the same mountain. One goes soul winning, prays, gives, and lives for others while the other does not.
There are two sisters who grew up side by side. One is living on Mount Ebal and the other is living on Mount Gerizim. They have the same father and mother. They sit at the same dinner table, ride in the same car, share the same hair curlers, and go to the same paint and body shop. Yet, they live on two separate mountains. One is unselfish and the other is selfish.
May I recommend to the couples both of you should live on Mount Gerizim. May I recommend to both brothers and sisters live on Mount Gerizim. It is a matter of choice. You can choose to live on the fruitful mountain if you want!