1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
Yesterday I wrote The next chapter lists the blessings for obedience and it does. A number of them follow the colon at the end of verse two which also gives the condition for all of the blessings if you obey the Lord your God. All the blessings do not follow with Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” as the acknowledgement of the curses required. Instead they are simply listed.
- 1 & 2 – 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
- 3, 4, & 5a/b – 4 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 lambs of your flocks.
- 6 & 7 – 5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
- 8 & 9 – 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
- 10 – 7 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.
- 11 & 12 – 8a The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to.
- 13 – 8b The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
The twelfth and thirteenth blessings are all encompassing and would include all the prior blessings. One thing that jumps out of me is all or most of these blessings are for people of the land. Even though verse 3 says You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country those that follow seem to be for a people of the land except number 10 which would cover both as would 12 and 13. However, Gill’s exposition of the Entire Bible notes
Blessed shalt thou be in the city,…. Not only in the city of Jerusalem, where the temple would be built, and there be blessed with the service, worship, and ordinances of God, but in all other cities of the land; where they should dwell in title, large, and spacious houses, and their cities should be walled and fenced, and be very populous; yet should enjoy health, and have plenty of all sorts of provisions brought unto them, as well as prosper in all kinds of merchandise there.
The blessings continue in verses 9-14, albeit with the conditions of if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him (vv 9b) and 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 (v14).
Then in verses 15-68 come the curses for disobedience. A comparison of this chapter with Exodus 23:20-23 and Leviticus 26 will show how Moses here resumes and amplifies the promises and threats already set forth in the earlier records of the Law (Barnes Notes on the Bible). But in summary I would like to leave you with Matthew Henry’s thoughts on the blessings and curses.
They are real things and have real effects. The blessings are here put before the curses. God is slow to anger, but swift to show mercy. It is his delight to bless. It is better that we should be drawn to what is good by a child-like hope of God’s favour, than that we be frightened to it by a slavish fear of his wrath.
Perhaps it should be the same reason we turn to Jesus and His Free Gift of Grace with a child-like hope of God’s favor rather than simply a fear of Hell.
It’s Friday and I hope you have Great Weekend and Remember to Go To Church as that is one way to ensure it is a Great Weekend. Our church is even having a Sunrise Service (flyer attached) to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ this Sunday. Starts at 7:15 a.m. (sunrise is 6:50 a.m.) when the sun should just barely be over the treetops and brightly lighting up the stained-glass windows on the East side of the church.