Today's Verse

And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. — Deuteronomy 28:13 NKJV

Devotion

It pays to keep the conditions of the covenant that God has established between Himself and His people. In our verse for today from Deuteronomy, of course, the conditions are the conditions of the old covenant. These are the old covenant commandments. Under the terms of the new covenant, the conditions are different. One must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. The benefits and blessings, however, are the same. Under the old and the new, they include being the head and not the tail, being above only, and not beneath.

What does this mean exactly?

Speaking in a way that embraces the old and new, it means that the people of God will not be followers of the spirit of the age but will be leaders that oppose it. Instead of being unduly influenced by the times they live in, the people of God will be leaders that transform the times. Culture will be changed. Society will look different. Individuals will turn from their wicked ways and become lights that shine in dark places. Isaiah prophesied, "Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1) Just as light banishes darkness, so God's people will banish unbelief and its effects.

True, the leadership of the people of God was only sporadically realized in old covenant times. It peaked with David and Solomon and, more or less, went downhill from there. In new covenant times, in contrast, the leadership has been more consistent. Although there have been ups and downs over the course of the last two thousand years, the main trajectory has been upward and onward. As a result, the people of God have advanced and made an impact all over the world. Moreover, they continue to do so at an ever-greater pace.

If you want to participate in this world-wide renewal, if you want to be above only, and not be beneath, then you must meet the conditions of the new covenant. You must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31), remain attached to Him like a vine to a branch (John 15:1-8), and deny yourself, follow Him, and thereby become a leader in a position to transform your corner of the world. (Matthew 16:24)