The law of the Old Testament clearly communicates the reasons why the Lord issued blessings and curses. As we examine them, let’s see how they affect us.
“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. Deuteronomy 28:1
This chapter in Deuteronomy begins by listing the blessings from the Lord. It says that the Israelites would experience the following blessings if they lived in obedience to the Lord.
- 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. Deuteronomy 28:3-6
With their obedience, the Lord didn’t stop at just those blessings. He continued by promising them victories over their enemies.
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! Deuteronomy 28:7
A big part of obeying God consisted of paying close attention to His commands. Because total obedience to them meant they would never be subject to anyone else again.
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. Deuteronomy 28:13
Not only Blessings but Curses as well
The prior verse said the Lord would make them the head and not the tail. Isn’t that how we sometimes use a coin? We consider one side heads and the others side tails.
We can use that analogy in this chapter in Deuteronomy. On one side, their obedience to God brought them His blessings, but on the other their disobedience meant curses.
Just as God in this chapter listed His blessings, He also listed curses. He described these curses as overwhelming.
- Your towns and your fields will be cursed.
- Your fruit baskets and breadboards will be cursed.
- Also, your children and your crops will be cursed.
- The offspring of your herds and flocks will be cursed.
- Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be cursed. Deuteronomy 28:16-19
Then the next 48 verses vividly speak of the curses they will suffer because of their disobedience. They mention nothing of any blessings mixed in among these curses.
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. Deuteronomy 28:17
Destroyed by their Enemies
Their disobedience will bring them devastating attacks by their enemies. And the Israelites will have no power to fight against them. These enemies will kill, steal and destroy them.
- The Lord will cause your enemies to defeat you.
- You will watch as they take your sons and daughters away as slaves.
- You will plant much but harvest little.
Afflicted by Diseases
These curses will also include the severe afflictions of terrible diseases. Some they had never experienced before. Maybe some we still don’t have cures for.
- 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. Deuteronomy 28:22
- 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. Deuteronomy 28:61
Between the afflictions, devastations, and their enemies, some curses would almost seem like blessings compared to others. But none of these curses could compare to blessings at all.
How do these Blessings and Curses Effect Us?
You may think, since the law doesn’t bind, then this don’t affect us at all. I agree, the law does bound us, but it does serve as our schoolmaster.
Jesus, however, did establish the law of the New Testament. He said the entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on the following two commandments.
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37,39
New Testament Application
This same principle of blessings and curses still applies to the New Testament law. Similar to how it did in the law of the Old Testament.
Loving God with all of your heart, soul, and mind produces total obedience to Him and His Word. According to John’s epistle though, you can’t love God if you don’t love others.
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John 4:20
The Israelites of old received God’s blessings or curses based on the choices they made. Just like them, we too choose our blessings or curses. But we must look at ours though in light of eternity.
When we choose Christ and live our lives for Him, we will receive all the blessings of heaven forever. Otherwise those who don’t choose Him will suffer the curses of severe afflictions for all eternity.
Lord, thank You for showing us in the Old Testament how serious You are about our obedience to You. Help us to stay obedient to You and Your Word every day.
The Lord wants to bless you, therefore, checkout this related post. May The Blessings Of The Lord Be Upon You.
Because the blessings of the Lord are available to everyone you should check out these related posts.
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