Blessings and Curses

Deuteronomy 28

The Blessings For Obedience

“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all these commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 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 lamb of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

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

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, IF you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. Then all the people on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will feat you. The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity- in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock, and the crops of your ground- in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you.

The Lord will open up the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all of the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 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 follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.”

Curses for disobedience

“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:

You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. Your basket and kneading trough will be cursed. 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. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess.

The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The Lord will make the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.”

(There are additional verses, 30-68, that still remain in this chapter, and I encourage you to read it in its entirety.)

Obey To Make It Today

Ok, I took that from MC Hammer’s song, “Pray” (because I love the eighties and I love pop culture). There is a lot of contention around God’s instructions in the Old Testament applying to believers in the New Testament church today. Because today’s scripture passage was long, I’ll be brief: Jesus didn’t come to strike down the law given to Moses, he came to fulfill or complete it (Matt. 5:17), meaning that Jesus came to do what we couldn’t: operate in perfection while here on earth and make himself the atoning sacrifice for us so that we could live in rightness with God. In other words, Jesus did something that God knew we could never do- keep the law.

But now, we have a better inheritance and the law still applies, but under the blood of Jesus. Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28). We are not exempt from obedience because of the hyper-grace that many believers focus on today.

Hyper grace looks like this: “Jesus loves me just as I am therefore I don’t need to change.” Here is some additional philosophy around hyper grace taught today:

“The term hyper-grace has been used to describe a new wave of teaching that emphasizes the grace of God to the exclusion of other vital teachings such as repentance and confession of sin. Hyper-grace teachers maintain that all sin, past, present, and future, has already been forgiven, so there is no need for a believer to ever confess it. Hyper-grace teaching says that, when God looks at us, He sees only a holy and righteous people. The conclusion of hyper-grace teaching is that we are not bound by Jesus’ teaching, even as we are not under the Law; that believers are not responsible for their sin; and that anyone who disagrees is a pharisaical legalist. In short, hyper-grace teachers “pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality” (Jude 1:4) and flirt with antinomianism” (full article here).

This is also way many modern-day believers claim that tithing is no longer required, and many go as far as to say that Israel is no longer God’s covenanted people.

Paul instructed the new church in whole counsel of God, which is his full word- the Old and New Testaments. It was the Old Testament where Christ was concealed through prophecy and the New Testament where Christ is revealed. One cannot exist without the other, and the former is not tossed into the trash because the latter has appeared and made himself known.

Still Relevant

That said, the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience still apply today. If you’re taking inventory of your life alongside the blessings and curses and the scales are tipping in favor of disobedience, go to God and ask him to show you where you disobeyed. Then repent. Ask for forgiveness, and then forgive yourself. Recommit to starting over and do just that.

The Bible instructs us numerous times to give “careful consideration” in all things. Life and death. Blessings and Curses. The Blessed Life or the Burdened Life. You get to choose, and as long as you’ve got breath, you’ve got time to correct. God desires to bless his obedient children just as much as you desire to bless your kids with surprises and favor when they obey you! I hope this helps you see obedience differently, and I hope it creates a desire in you to live a life of obedience.

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