Blessings and Curses

*image originated here

Deuteronomy 26 – 30

We have come to the end of the declaration of the law. Now there is only a choice left. Moses says, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

-Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Throughout this book, there have been four distinct characters: God, the people, the leaders, and the land.

God is the lawgiver, the judge, the avenger, the atonement, and the one who blesses.

The people are to follow the law, be held accountable by the law, to be redeemed for breaking the law, be cursed for becoming enemies of the law, and be blessed beyond measure for following the law.

The leaders must be all that the people are, but with two more factors. The first is that they are given direct access to God. The second is that the example they set with their lives makes them accountable to the people just as they are accountable to the law.

The land is God’s gift to His people, but can and will become the source of His curses against them just as it was in the beginning. Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden because they were lawbreakers. The nation of Israel will be thrown out of Canaan. The land was cursed to make working the ground to obtain food by it difficult. The womb was cursed so that childbirth would be extremely painful. For Israel the land will no longer yield crops, the plants will grow but their fruit be worthless, the locusts and grasshoppers will devastate the harvest, the cattle and livestock be taken by their enemies. The women will bear children but they will be carried off as slaves to foreign lands.

If Israel thinks that God isn’t serious about their sin they will find out sooner rather than later that the One who has blessed them far beyond all others on earth will in equal measure destroy them as His enemies. We do not talk about this side of God today. We talk about the merciful and loving God. However, why would we need a merciful God if He did not have the right or intention to punish us for our crimes against Him? Why would we care about a loving God if we did not find ourselves so unloveable as lawbreakers worthy only of death and destruction?

God is our life. Choose Him and be blessed!

 

 

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