Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Power over the enemy is a sign of God's blessing upon a person's life. In contrast, Jesus said that a man who had no blessing in his life would be attacked by seven other spirits more evil than the first spirit (Luke 11:26). In the absence of the blessing of God, demons rush in "to steal and kill and destroy" (John 10:10). In every area of life-financial, physical, mental, and marital-these demons will run roughshod and wreak havoc to their hearts' content.

No blessing . . . no protection! Without God's blessing, Israel could expect continual shortfalls, diseases, plagues, depression, anxiety, and broken families. However, with God's blessing, no enemy could affect Israel and no lack could come near God's people.

Because we are the blessed, let us march triumphantly against our enemies and watch them flee. "When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths" (Psalm 77:16). Demons always tremble when God begins to march! In seven directions they flee in terror; therefore, "resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7 NIV).

Deuteronomy 28:1-68

Blessings for Obedience

28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully followS Dt 15:5 all his commandsS Lev 26:3 I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.S Nu 24:7; S Dt 26:19All these blessings will come on youJer 32:24; Zec 1:6 and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessedPs 144:15 in the city and blessed in the country.S Ge 39:5

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.S Ge 49:25; S Dt 8:18

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.Ps 121:8

The Lord will grant that the enemies2Ch 6:34 who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.S Lev 26:8, 17

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will blessDt 15:4 you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people,S Ex 19:6 as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commandsS Lev 26:3 of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him.10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the nameS Nu 6:27; 1Ki 8:43; Jer 25:29; Da 9:18 of the Lord, and they will fear you.11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestockS Ge 30:27 and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.ver 4; Dt 30:9

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouseJob 38:22; Ps 135:7; Jer 10:13; 51:16 of his bounty,Ps 65:11; 68:10; Jer 31:12 to send rainS Lev 26:4; 1Ki 8:35-36; 18:1; Ps 104:13; Isa 5:6; 30:23; 32:20 on your land in season and to blessIsa 61:9; 65:23; Jer 32:38-41; Mal 3:12 all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.ver 44; S Lev 25:19; S Dt 15:3, 6; Eze 34:2613 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully followJer 11:6 them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.S Dt 26:1914 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left,S Dt 5:32; Jos 1:7 following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience

15 However, if you do not obey1Ki 9:6; 2Ch 7:19 the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today,S Dt 27:26 all these curses will come on you and overtake you:Dt 29:27; Jos 23:15; 2Ch 12:5; Da 9:11; Mal 2:2

16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.ver 3

17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.ver 5

18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.ver 4

19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.ver 6

20 The Lord will send on you curses,ver 8, 15; Lev 26:16; Jer 42:18; Mal 2:2; 3:9; 4:6 confusion and rebukePs 39:11; 76:6; 80:16; Isa 17:13; 51:20; 54:9; 66:15; Eze 5:15 in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruinDt 4:26 because of the evilS Ex 32:22 you have done in forsaking him.Hebrew me21 The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.Lev 26:25; Nu 14:12; Jer 24:10; Am 4:1022 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease,ver 48; Dt 32:24 with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought,Lev 26:16; 2Ki 8:1; Job 12:15; Ps 105:16; Jer 14:1; Hag 1:11; Mal 3:9 with blightHag 2:17 and mildew, which will plagueS Lev 26:25 you until you perish.Dt 4:26; Am 4:923 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron.S Lev 26:1924 The Lord will turn the rainLev 26:19; Dt 11:17; 1Ki 8:35; 17:1; Isa 5:6; Jer 14:1; Hag 1:10 of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated1Sa 4:10; Ps 78:62 before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven,S Lev 26:17 and you will become a thing of horrorver 37 to all the kingdoms on earth.2Ch 29:8; 30:7; Jer 15:4; 24:9; 26:6; 29:18; 44:12; Eze 23:4626 Your carcasses will be food for all the birdsS Ge 40:19 and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away.Ps 79:2; Isa 18:6; Jer 7:33; 12:9; 15:2; 16:4; 19:7; 34:2027 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of EgyptDt 7:15 and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.29 At midday you will gropeGe 19:11; Ex 10:21; Job 5:14; 12:25; 24:13; 38:15; Isa 59:10 about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescueJdg 3:9; 2Ki 13:5; Est 4:14; Isa 19:20; 43:11; Hos 13:4; Ob 1:21 you.

30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her.Job 31:10 You will build a house, but you will not live in it.Isa 65:22; Am 5:11 You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit.Jer 12:1331 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them.32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation,ver 41 and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand.33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppressionJer 6:6; 22:17 all your days.Jer 5:15-17; Eze 25:434 The sights you see will drive you mad.ver 6735 The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boilsDt 7:15; Rev 16:2 that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.Job 2:7; 7:5; 13:28; 30:17, 30; Isa 1:6

36 The Lord will drive you and the king1Sa 12:25 you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors.S Dt 4:27; 2Ki 24:14; 25:7, 11; 2Ch 33:11; 36:21; Ezr 5:12; Jer 15:14; 16:13; 27:20; 39:1-9; 52:28; La 1:3 There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone.S Dt 4:2837 You will become a thing of horror,ver 25; Jer 42:18; Eze 5:15 a bywordPs 22:7; 39:8; 44:13; 64:8; Jer 18:16; 48:27; Mic 6:16 and an object of ridicule2Ch 7:20; Ezr 9:7; Jer 44:8 among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.1Ki 9:7; Ps 44:14; Jer 19:8; 24:9; 25:9, 18; 29:18; La 2:15

38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little,Lev 26:20; Ps 129:7; Isa 5:10; Jer 12:13; Hos 8:7; Mic 6:15; Hag 1:6, 9; 2:16 because locustsS Ex 10:4 will devourS Ex 10:15 it.39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wineS Lev 10:9 or gather the grapes, because worms will eatJoel 1:4; 2:25; Mal 3:11 them.Isa 5:10; 17:10-11; Zep 1:1340 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off.Jer 11:16; Mic 6:1541 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity.ver 3242 Swarms of locustsver 38; Jdg 6:5; 7:12; Jer 46:23 will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.

43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower.ver 1344 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them.S ver 12 They will be the head, but you will be the tail.S Dt 26:19

45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake youS Ex 15:9 until you are destroyed,ver 15; Dt 4:25-26 because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you.46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever.S Nu 16:38; Ps 71:7; Isa 8:18; 20:3; Eze 5:15; Zec 3:847 Because you did not serveS Dt 10:12 the Lord your God joyfully and gladlyS Lev 23:40; Ne 9:35 in the time of prosperity,48 therefore in hunger and thirst,Jer 14:3; La 4:4 in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yokeJer 28:13-14; La 1:14 on your neckGe 49:8 until he has destroyed you.

49 The Lord will bring a nation against youS Lev 26:44 from far away, from the ends of the earth,Isa 5:26-30, 26; 7:18-20; 39:3; Jer 4:16; 5:15; 6:22; 25:32; 31:8; Hab 1:6 like an eagle2Sa 1:23; Jer 4:13; 48:40; 49:22; La 4:19; Eze 17:3 swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand,S Ge 11:7; 1Co 14:21*50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the oldIsa 47:6 or pity for the young.51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new winePs 4:7; Isa 36:17; Hag 1:11 or olive oil,S Nu 18:12 nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined.ver 33; Jdg 6:452 They will lay siege2Ki 6:24 to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.Jer 10:18; Eze 6:10; Zep 1:14-16, 17

53 Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you.ver 57; Lev 26:29; 2Ki 6:28-29; La 2:2054 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children,55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities.2Ki 6:2956 The most gentle and sensitiveIsa 47:1 woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughterLa 4:1057 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat themS ver 53 secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities.

58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law,Dt 31:24 which are written in this book, and do not reverePs 96:4; Jer 5:22; Mal 1:14; 2:5; 3:5, 16; 4:2 this glorious and awesome nameS Ex 3:15; S Jos 7:9—the Lord your God—59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.60 He will bring on you all the diseases of EgyptEx 15:26 that you dreaded, and they will cling to you.61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law,Dt 29:21; 30:10; 31:26; Jos 1:8; 8:34; 23:6; 24:26; 2Ki 14:6; 22:8; 2Ch 17:9; 25:4; Ne 8:1, 18; Mal 4:4 until you are destroyed.Dt 4:25-2662 You who were as numerous as the stars in the skyS Ge 22:17; Dt 4:27; 10:22 will be left but fewS Lev 26:22 in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God.63 Just as it pleasedDt 30:9; Isa 62:5; 65:19; Jer 32:41; Zep 3:17 the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will pleasePr 1:26 him to ruin and destroy you.S Ge 6:7 You will be uprootedPs 52:5; Jer 12:14; 31:28; 45:4 from the land you are entering to possess.

64 Then the Lord will scatterS Dt 4:27; Ezr 9:7; Isa 6:12; Jer 32:23; 43:11; 52:27 you among all nations,Ne 1:8; Ps 44:11; Jer 13:24; 18:17; 22:22 from one end of the earth to the other.S Dt 4:32; S Jer 8:19 There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known.Dt 11:28; 32:1765 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting placeLa 1:3 for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyesJob 11:20 weary with longing, and a despairing heart.Lev 26:16, 36; Hos 9:1766 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life.67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.ver 3468 The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again.S Ex 13:14 There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

Blessings for Obedience

28 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God:

Your towns and your fields

will be blessed.

Your children and your crops

will be blessed.

The offspring of your herds and flocks

will be blessed.

Your fruit baskets and breadboards

will be blessed.

Wherever you go and whatever you do,

you will be blessed.

“The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!

“The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

“If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do.10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.

11 “The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops.12 The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.13 If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.

Curses for Disobedience

15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:

16 Your towns and your fields

will be cursed.

17 Your fruit baskets and breadboards

will be cursed.

18 Your children and your crops

will be cursed.

The offspring of your herds and flocks

will be cursed.

19 Wherever you go and whatever you do,

you will be cursed.

20 “The Lord himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me.21 The Lord will afflict you with diseases until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy.22 The Lord will strike you with wasting diseases, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These disasters will pursue you until you die.23 The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth beneath will be as hard as iron.24 The Lord will change the rain that falls on your land into powder, and dust will pour down from the sky until you are destroyed.

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven! You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.26 Your corpses will be food for all the scavenging birds and wild animals, and no one will be there to chase them away.

27 “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, scurvy, and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.28 The Lord will strike you with madness, blindness, and panic.29 You will grope around in broad daylight like a blind person groping in the darkness, but you will not find your way. You will be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will come to save you.

30 “You will be engaged to a woman, but another man will sleep with her. You will build a house, but someone else will live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will never enjoy its fruit.31 Your ox will be butchered before your eyes, but you will not eat a single bite of the meat. Your donkey will be taken from you, never to be returned. Your sheep and goats will be given to your enemies, and no one will be there to help you.32 You will watch as your sons and daughters are taken away as slaves. Your heart will break for them, but you won’t be able to help them.33 A foreign nation you have never heard about will eat the crops you worked so hard to grow. You will suffer under constant oppression and harsh treatment.34 You will go mad because of all the tragedy you see around you.35 The Lord will cover your knees and legs with incurable boils. In fact, you will be covered from head to foot.

36 “The Lord will exile you and your king to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors. There in exile you will worship gods of wood and stone!37 You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the Lord sends you.

38 “You will plant much but harvest little, for locusts will eat your crops.39 You will plant vineyards and care for them, but you will not drink the wine or eat the grapes, for worms will destroy the vines.40 You will grow olive trees throughout your land, but you will never use the olive oil, for the fruit will drop before it ripens.41 You will have sons and daughters, but you will lose them, for they will be led away into captivity.42 Swarms of insects will destroy your trees and crops.

43 “The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker.44 They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail!

45 “If you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and to obey the commands and decrees he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed.46 These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever.47 If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received,48 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you.

49 “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand,50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young.51 Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will be destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, and you will starve to death.52 They will attack your cities until all the fortified walls in your land—the walls you trusted to protect you—are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the Lord your God has given you.

53 “The siege and terrible distress of the enemy’s attack will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you.54 The most tenderhearted man among you will have no compassion for his own brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving children.55 He will refuse to share with them the flesh he is devouring—the flesh of one of his own children—because he has nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns.56 The most tender and delicate woman among you—so delicate she would not so much as touch the ground with her foot—will be selfish toward the husband she loves and toward her own son or daughter.57 She will hide from them the afterbirth and the new baby she has borne, so that she herself can secretly eat them. She will have nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns.

58 “If you refuse to obey all the words of instruction that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God,59 then the Lord will overwhelm you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick.60 He will afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and you will have no relief.61 The Lord will afflict you with every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of Instruction, until you are destroyed.62 Though you become as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the Lord your God.

63 “Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy.64 For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone!65 There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair.66 Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive.67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were night!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ For you will be terrified by the awful horrors you see around you.68 Then the Lord will send you back to Egypt in ships, to a destination I promised you would never see again. There you will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will buy you.”

28 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.

The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.

10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.

11 And the Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.

17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.

18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.

27 The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

28 The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:

29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.

32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.

33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

35 The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.

36 The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.

38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.

40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.

41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.

42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

49 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:

55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,

57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.

63 And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

68 And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.

Luke 11:14-36

Jesus and Beelzebul11:14, 15, 17-22, 24-26pp — Mt 12:22, 24-29, 43-4511:17-22pp — Mk 3:23-27

14 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.Mt 9:32, 3315 But some of them said, “By Beelzebul,S Mk 3:22 the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.”Mt 9:3416 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.S Mt 12:38

17 Jesus knew their thoughtsS Mt 9:4 and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.18 If SatanS Mt 4:10 is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul.19 Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God,Ex 8:19 then the kingdom of GodS Mt 3:2 has come upon you.

21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.

23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.Mt 12:30; Mk 9:40; Lk 9:50

24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”2Pe 2:20

27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”Lk 23:29

28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of GodS Heb 4:12 and obey it.”Pr 8:32; Lk 6:47; 8:21; Jn 14:21

The Sign of Jonah11:29-32pp — Mt 12:39-42

29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign,ver 16; S Mt 12:38 but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.Jnh 1:17; Mt 16:430 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom;1Ki 10:1; 2Ch 9:1 and now something greater than Solomon is here.32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah;Jnh 3:5 and now something greater than Jonah is here.

The Lamp of the Body11:34, 35pp — Mt 6:22, 23

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.S Mt 5:1534 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy,The Greek for healthy here implies generous. your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy,The Greek for unhealthy here implies stingy. your body also is full of darkness.35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness.36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Jesus and the Prince of Demons

14 One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed,15 but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,Greek Beelzeboul; also in 11:18, 19. Other manuscripts read Beezeboul; Latin version reads Beelzebub. the prince of demons.”16 Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

17 He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.18 You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive?19 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said.20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God,Greek by the finger of God. then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.21 For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe—22 until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.

23 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

24 “When an evilGreek unclean. spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order.26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”

27 As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”

28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

The Sign of Jonah

29 As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign. But the only sign I will give them is the sign of Jonah.30 What happened to him was a sign to the people of Nineveh that God had sent him. What happens to the Son of Man“Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. will be a sign to these people that he was sent by God.

31 “The queen of ShebaGreek The queen of the south. will stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Now someone greater than Solomon is here—but you refuse to listen.32 The people of Nineveh will also stand up against this generation on judgment day and condemn it, for they repented of their sins at the preaching of Jonah. Now someone greater than Jonah is here—but you refuse to repent.

Receiving the Light

33 “No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a basket.Some manuscripts do not include or puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where its light can be seen by all who enter the house.

34 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness.35 Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness.36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”

14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.

15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

Psalm 77:1-20

Psalm 77In Hebrew texts 77:1-20 is numbered 77:2-21.

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.

I cried out to GodS 1Ki 8:52 for help;

I cried out to God to hear me.

When I was in distress,S Ge 32:7; S 2Sa 22:7; S Ps 118:5 I sought the Lord;

at nightPs 6:6; 22:2; 88:1 I stretched out untiring hands,S Ex 9:29; S Job 11:13

and I would not be comforted.S Ge 37:35; Mt 2:18

I rememberedPs 78:35 you, God, and I groaned;Ex 2:23; S Ps 6:6; Jer 45:3

I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 9 and 15.S Ps 6:2

You kept my eyes from closing;

I was too troubled to speak.S Ps 39:2

I thought about the former days,Dt 32:7; Ps 44:1; 143:5; Ecc 7:10

the years of long ago;

I remembered my songs in the night.

My heart meditated and my spirit asked:

“Will the Lord reject forever?S 1Ch 28:9

Will he never show his favorPs 85:1; 102:13; 106:4 again?

Has his unfailing loveS Ps 6:4; 90:14 vanished forever?

Has his promise2Pe 3:9 failed for all time?

Has God forgotten to be merciful?Ps 25:6; 40:11; 51:1

Has he in anger withheld his compassion?Isa 49:15

10 Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:

the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.S Ex 15:6

11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord;

yes, I will remember your miraclesS Ne 9:17 of long ago.

12 I will considerS Ge 24:63 all your works

and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”Ps 143:5

13 Your ways, God, are holy.

What god is as great as our God?S Ex 15:11; S Ps 71:19; 86:8

14 You are the God who performs miracles;S Ex 3:20; S 34:10

you display your power among the peoples.

15 With your mighty arm you redeemed your people,S Ex 6:6

the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

16 The watersEx 14:21, 28; Isa 50:2; Hab 3:8 saw you, God,

the waters saw you and writhed;Ps 114:4; Hab 3:10

the very depths were convulsed.

17 The clouds poured down water,S Jdg 5:4

the heavens resounded with thunder;S Ex 9:23; S Ps 29:3

your arrowsS Dt 32:23 flashed back and forth.

18 Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind,S Ps 55:8

your lightningS 2Sa 22:13 lit up the world;

the earth trembled and quaked.S Jdg 5:4

19 Your pathS Ex 14:22 led through the sea,S Job 9:8

your way through the mighty waters,

though your footprints were not seen.

20 You led your peopleS Ex 13:21 like a flockPs 78:52; Isa 63:11

by the hand of Moses and Aaron.S Ex 4:16; S Nu 33:1

Psalm 77

For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.

I cry out to God; yes, I shout.

Oh, that God would listen to me!

When I was in deep trouble,

I searched for the Lord.

All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,

but my soul was not comforted.

I think of God, and I moan,

overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude

You don’t let me sleep.

I am too distressed even to pray!

I think of the good old days,

long since ended,

when my nights were filled with joyful songs.

I search my soul and ponder the difference now.

Has the Lord rejected me forever?

Will he never again be kind to me?

Is his unfailing love gone forever?

Have his promises permanently failed?

Has God forgotten to be gracious?

Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude

10 And I said, “This is my fate;

the Most High has turned his hand against me.”

11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord;

I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.

12 They are constantly in my thoughts.

I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.

13 O God, your ways are holy.

Is there any god as mighty as you?

14 You are the God of great wonders!

You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.

15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people,

the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude

16 When the Red SeaHebrew the waters. saw you, O God,

its waters looked and trembled!

The sea quaked to its very depths.

17 The clouds poured down rain;

the thunder rumbled in the sky.

Your arrows of lightning flashed.

18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind;

the lightning lit up the world!

The earth trembled and shook.

19 Your road led through the sea,

your pathway through the mighty waters—

a pathway no one knew was there!

20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep,

with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.

77 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?

Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?

Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.

11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?

14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.

17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.

18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Proverbs 12:18

18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,S Ps 55:21; Pr 25:18

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.Pr 15:4

18 Some people make cutting remarks,

but the words of the wise bring healing.

18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

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