Here we go. We have half the tribes on Mt. Ebal (dry and rocky) and the other half on Mt. Gerazim (green and lush).
- You may read this historically (it is historical)
- or you may read this personally (it is personal).
- I tend to read it both and add a 3rd one in there, where does America fit into this
Blessings: 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:
- Your city and county will be blessed (v.3)
- Your children (fertility), herds, and crops will be blessed (v.4)
- Your needs (food) will be blessed (v.5)
- Wherever you go and whatever you do will be blessed (v.6)
- Your enemies will attack you from 1 direction, but you will scatter them in 7 (v.7)
- You will lend money to nations but never have to borrow (v.12)
Curses: 15 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 on you and overtake you:
- Your city and county will be a curse (v.16)
- Your children (fertility), herds, and crops will be cursed (v.18)
- Your needs (food) will be cursed(v.17)
- Wherever you go and whatever you do will be cursed(v.19)
- Your enemies will attack you from 1 direction, but you will scatter in 7 (v.25)
- They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them (v.44)
These are all the blessings, but not all the curses. Moses lists about four times more curses than blessings. The lists of curses (in ancient documents) were typically longer and more detailed than the lists of blessings probably to stress the seriousness of violating the covenant. Israel was entering a very dangerous environment in Canaan, and needed strong warnings against the temptations they would encounter.
This might be a huge spoiler alert for some (sorry) but it will make future reading more interesting: After we are in the Promised Land for some time; the curses of disobedience will be literal. Read chapter 28 closely and you will see the Captivity at its worst. Many do not know what I mean when I say the captivity since we have not read it yet. A quick summary of the captivity: after hundreds of years of God warning the Israelites to obey him (he’s very patient), He finally takes His hand of protection off of them. He will allow the Assyrians and the Babylonians to capture all of them and take them OUT of the land completely. Here is a quick visual.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.
First, the Assyrians will capture them, but then the mighty Babylonians will sweep in and take them to their land.
This captivity will be so severe that they will resort to cannibalism and eating the afterbirth. Then finally in verse 64: Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. we will see the prophecy of the scattering “diaspora”. They literally scatter around the Mediterranean Sea rather than return to Jerusalem (only a few will return). This will explain WHY Paul’s mission trips to find Jewish people are so far from each other.
Chapter 29! This is it! Moses Final Speech so read it closely (I am honest with you when I skim, so now I am telling you to hang on every word)
As the people stand in God’s presence to renew their allegiance to him ALL are included. Men, wives, children, servants…ALL. He renews the Covenant from Genesis 15 (Promised in 12), and warns them one last time about idolatry, apostasy, hypocrisy, and rebellion.
There are so many verses I want to talk about. Last year, 29:19 hit me hard. This year it is:
24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”
Why do bad things happen?
25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them.
29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.