Deuteronomy 28: The blessing/curses of the old covenant
It is vital when reading/studying the Bible to be sure to put everything into context concerning what is being said/taught. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses is again speaking with the Israelites and telling them about the blessing/curses they will receive if they keep/disobey God’s law.
“The LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth” (Verse 1)
“The LORD will establish you as a people holy to himself as he has sworn to you if you keep thecommandments of the Lord your God” (Verse 9)
If reading these verses out of context you would see a God who is adamant about his people keeping the law and then blessing them accordingly. Therefore, if the people were to obey God and keep his law they would ultimately be blessed in all they do. Which is true for the Israelite people, but this is not to be taken out of context and assumed for all people living today. When reading the text, the voice of Moses is pointed squarely at the Israelite people and never does he use terms like, “of all nations,” “of all people” or “from here on out” as he is speaking directly with a certain people at a certain time.
Therefore, it can be portions of the Bible like this that cause people to be deceived. That if they follow God’s law and keep track of their sins on a plus/minus scale and come out on top they’re going to be blessed.
On the other end of the spectrum, if they fail to keeps God’s law, they would be cursed. Reading on further on in Deuteronomy 28 when Moses addresses what will happen to the Chosen people if they break God’s law phrases like…
“You shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it” (Verse 30)
“And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you” (Verse 48)
Moses is again warning the Israelite people to obey all the laws of the LORD and to be obedient because he has chosen them to do so and wants to bless them. But, when applied out of context this verse can be falsely used as a way of explaining why people suffer and struggle in their own life, because they are not living in an “good” enough manner in the eyes of God.
However, because of the new covenant and the death of Jesus Christ we are to be obedient to God not to gain earthy blessings, but because we are in awe of all he did for us by sending his son as the sacrifice. As followers of Christ the Bible NEVER says you will be blessed on earth in all you do if you have faith in the Gospel.
Instead, it guarantees the ultimate blessing, an eternal blessing in heaven, which infinitely outweighs anything we could receive on earth. And it’s because of that known blessing for believers given to us by Christ, that we try to live a life according to God’s word.
His Humbled Servant,