Scripture reading – Deuteronomy 28-29
Deuteronomy 28 – The Blessing of Faithfulness
Having declared God’s Covenant with Israel as His chosen people (Deuteronomy 5-28), Moses concludes with a challenge for the people to affirm the covenant they entered into at Mt. Horeb 40 years earlier (Exodus 24), and acknowledge their obligation to the LORD to obey His Laws and Commandments (Deuteronomy 29-30).
Moses promised Israel, the nation would be blessed above all nations of the earth on the condition they would hear, obey, and follow His commandments (Deuteronomy 28:1-15). We find fifteen verses enumerating the multitude of God’s blessings should they obey His Laws and Commandments (28:1-14).
Of course, because the covenant was a binding agreement between the LORD and Israel, Moses warned the nation would bear the curse of God’s judgment should they turn away from the LORD, break His covenant, and live like the heathen people in whose land they were entering (28:15-68).
The promise of God’s blessings on Israel is stunning! Every area of the nation’s life would be blessed… “in the city…in the field” (28:3). Universal fruitfulness was promised…the womb of women, cattle, sheep and the fields would reap a harvest of God’s blessings (28:4-6). Israel’s enemies would fall before her, and their storehouses and treasuries would overflow (28:7-14).
In the same way God promised to bless the nation if the people obeyed Him, the opposite was true should they disobeyed Him. The curses that would befall Israel are listed in a series of judgments that are alarming to read (28:15-68). Should the people disobey the LORD, they were assured “all curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee” (28:15).
The cities, fields, storehouses, wombs of wives, livestock, and fields would all be cursed (28:16-18). Pestilence, physical disease, and drought would follow (28:20-24). The promise of God’s judgment for disobeying His Laws and Commandments continues another forty-eight verses! Humiliation before Israel’s enemies (28:25-29), poverty (28:30-31), slavery (28:32, 47-48), and disease (28:35) are all listed.
The siege of Israel’s cities and conditions of her poverty and hunger would become so severe the people would turn to cannibalism (28:49-57). All the diseases that befell Egypt would befall Israel (28:58-61). The people would know no rest and would be terrified day and night (28:62-68).
The basis of Israel’s obligation to honor the Covenant with the LORD was not only the sacrifices they had offered to seal the Covenant at Mt. Horeb (Exodus 24), but also the LORD’s loving care of the nation over the course of their forty years wandering in the wilderness (29:2-9).
The nation, its leaders (“captains…elders…officers”), and “all the men of Israel” (29:10), representing every man, woman, boy and girl…even “thy stranger that is in thy camp” (those in the midst of the tribes, but not of the Twelve Tribes), were to affirm the covenant with the LORD (29:11-15).
Moses warned the people (29:16-29), should they turn to idols and follow in the sins of the heathen nations, and fail to obey the LORD’S Laws and Commandments, the nation will be punished with plagues and sickness (29:22), and the ground would be cursed (29:23).
“Choices Have Consequences,” and no nation, people, or family can expect to disobey the LORD’s Law and Commandments and be blessed!
I close with good news. Although a promise received by king Solomon for Israel, I invite you to covet the same for our nation:
2 Chronicles 7:14 – 14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith