For 400 years before Jesus was born, Israel went through a spiritual and physical drought. They didn’t have any food to eat. They didn’t have any words from the Lord. After Malachi, there was no prophet in the land. They were dry and empty and hungry, physically and spiritually.
12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
13 So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
14 Who knows if He will turn and relent,
And leave a blessing behind Him—
A grain offering and a drink offering
For the Lord your God?
God is merciful. God is good. Even so, God is a God of judgment. When people turn away from God the first thing that happens is they start to struggle with their finances. Then their children start acting up. Something happens to their physical body. Their marriage starts to struggle. All of these things are designed to wake us up and get us to go back to God.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. God allowed Him to go through this testing. The first thing Satan tempted Him with was bread – finances. That is the first thing that the devil attacks in our lives to try to pull us away from God.
If you are under a financial curse, what do you need to do? Take heed to Joel 2. Turn the Lord with all your heart. Rend your heart. Tear your heart before the Lord. Fast and weep and mourn. Repent for your sin.
God closed the windows of heaven for 400 years before Jesus came because people’s heart hardened with sin.
God is saying to His church, “Tear your heart.” Change will not come if you just tear your clothes you must tear your heart. Examine your heart. What areas do you need to change? What areas do you need to cut off? Let God work on you, to cut those areas off.
Deuteronomy 28:1-14 shows us how to be blessed, how to be the head and not the tail. God will open the windows of heaven if you obey and honor Him. Deuteronomy 28:15-68 talks about the judgment and curse on those who disobey and dishonor God.
If you obey and honor God, you will be blessed. If you disobey God, you will be cursed.
It is easy to be blessed by God. It is easy to have God’s favor. It is easy to prosper. It is easy to be the head and not the tail. It is easy to be used by God, for His glory. All you have to do is honor God and obey God. Deuteronomy 28:1 says, “If you obey Me.” What is the key to all of these blessings? Obedience.
But if you disobey, verses 15 through 68 are for you. The financial struggle, disease, persecution, attack, slavery, isolation, and separation are for you. It is critical that you teach your children what they need to do to be blessed. It is critical to teach your children to obey the Lord.
When God created man, the first commandment was to prosper and multiply and take dominion. He blessed His children. He didn’t talk about the curse of disobedience right away – that came later. The first thing on His mind and heart was blessing.
It is easy to walk in blessing and prosperity. Obey the Word. Obey His commandments.
God bless you,
Pastor Sun East