Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;…
Our life is hourly a choice of alternatives. We can go to the right or to the left. Choice is incessantly demanded, and the issues of our choice are momentous.
I. THE REVELATION OF GOD'S WILL MAY BE A SOURCE OF ABSOLUTE BLESSING. Such revelation is the disclosure of man's true paradise. It is the opening of the door of God's own palace; and, unworthy though we are, we may enter and find rest. To do God's will is to be Christ-like - is to be a true son, and to possess a son's joy. Every step we take along that way of obedience is a step nearer God, from whose smile we obtain exquisite pleasure, and in whose society we find our heaven.
II. WE CANNOT REMAIN THE SAME, AFTER OBTAINING THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL, AS WE WERE BEFORE. Necessity requires that we should be either better or worse. You cannot dwell for an hour in the society of a good man, and continue in the former state of feeling. The fire that does not melt, hardens. To know God's will, and not to do it, inflicts unspeakable mischief upon the soul. Resistance of inward convictions begets callosity of heart, and blasts the budding life of conscience. Wanton treason against God is incipient hell. It is the darkening of the understanding, and the enslavement of the will. No blacker curse can enwrap a man than this.
III. MATERIAL NATURE FORECASTS THE ALTERNATIVES OF BLESSING OR WOE. The visible universe is a projection of God's thought, and all the forces of nature are the agents of God. We find upon this globe elements that minister to our development and strength and joy. We find also elements that are repulsive, menacing, and destructive. The cloud-capped peaks may draw around us the lightnings of vengeance, or may melt the laden cloud and distil showers of blessing. The twin mountains of Ebal and Gerizim were baptized as perpetual preachers of life and death. We may find "sermons in stones," lessons in leaves, counsels in running brooks.
IV. MATERIAL POSSESSIONS ARE NOT ABSOLUTE BLESSINGS. God here distinctly assures the Hebrews that they shall enter Canaan; but whether they should dwell under the frowning peaks of Ebal, or on the sunny slopes of Gerizim, was suspended on their loyal obedience. Even to the possessors of the Promised Land, there stood the dark possibility of the curse. Neither money nor learning makes a man; it is the power to use it. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;