The time of Moses is coming to and end. In Deuteronomy Chapters 27-34, Moses lays out very plainly again the law and the consequences of not keeping the Commandments and statutes of the LORD Your GOD. Obedience brings prosperity and blessing, provision and protection from GOD. Disobedience leads to disaster and the LORD already knows which they will choose.
In Deuteronomy Chapter 28: 1-14 Moses gives the Isrealites all the blessings of obedience. If, they will only obey they LORD their GOD. The next 54 verses he covers the curses that will come if they chose to disobey. They can’t say they weren’t warned, and neither can we.
Obedience brings Blessings
9 The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 So all the peoples of the earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.
All the many blessings. Blessed in the city and in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of their womb and the fruit of their ground and their livestock. Their enemies will be defeated before them. The LORD will bless them in all they undertake, IF!
Deuteronomy 28: 13-14
….if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God which I am commanding you today, to follow them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I am commanding you today, to the right or the left, to pursue other gods to serve them.
There it is, plain and simple. GOD requires complete obedience and will not tolerate his people following other “gods” or idols. There were many “gods” in the world then, as is now, and the Israelites despite all GOD had done for them, would still be seduced by the “other gods”.
Rebellion Brings Curse
But,,,, if you do not obey the LORD your GOD by diligently observing all his commandments and decrees. The consequences of disobedience are disastrous and extensive.
20 “The Lord will send against you curses, panic, and rebuke, in everything you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have abandoned Me. 21 The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has eliminated you from the land where you are entering to take possession of it.
The list of curses is long and
- You shall be defeated before your enemies
- Your corpses shall be for every bird of the air and animal of the earth.
- You will be afflicted with the boils of Egypt, with ulcers, scurvy and itch which cannot be healed.
- You will be afflicted with madness and confusion of mind
- you shall be continually abused and crushed
- Your sons and daughters will go into captivity
On and on, “because you did not obey the LORD your GOD”. But, wait there’s more: You shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your own sons and daughters. A nation from far away will swoop down on you like an eagle and consume your livestock and the produce of your ground. It will besiege you in your towns.
62 Then you will be left few in number, whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 And it will come about that, just as the Lord rejoiced over you to be good to you, and make you numerous, so will the Lord rejoice over you to wipe you out and destroy you; and you will be torn away from the land which you are entering to possess. 64 Furthermore, the Lord will scatter you among all the peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you will serve other gods, made of wood and stone, which you and your fathers have not known.
I think maybe, the LORD is serious. If you are a student of History, you can recognize that Israel has experience many of these curses. From the Assyrian invasion to the Babylonian exile to the Conquering by Rome. All foretold here in the book of Deuteronomy. As the LORD says, so does the LORD do. He is not mortal that he should lie and he makes no idle threats.
Life and Prosperity or Death and Adversity
16 in that I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, so that you may live and become numerous, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but allow yourself to be led astray and you worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you will certainly perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and take possession of it.
Again, the blessing for obedience and the curses for rebellion. When something is important, the LORD often repeats it over and over so there can be no misunderstanding. No claiming that they (or we) weren’t warned. We have a choice to make, and the LORD already knows what we will choose.
“they will turn to other gods and serve them, despising me and breaking my covenant. For I know what they are inclined to do even now, before I have brought them into the land that I promised them on Oath.”..
16 The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the prostitute with the foreign gods of the land into the midst of which they are going, and they will abandon Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.
Moses Dies in the Land of Moab
The LORD tells Moses to bring Joshua to the tent of meeting “so that I may commission him”. The LORD tells Joshua “Be strong and bold, for you shall bring the Israelites into the land I promised them; I will be with you.“..
Moses then recites a song and commands the elders to teach it to their descendants because:
29 For I know that after my death you will behave very corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will confront you in the latter days, because you will do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”..
He tells them when he is done. “This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life.”.. That very day, the LORD commanded Moses to ascend Mount Nebo in Moab so he could view the land of Canaan. Before he goes, Moses commissions Joshua to lead Israel in his place. Then Moses died there and was buried in a place known only to GOD.
4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not go over there.” 5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, in accordance with the word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no one knows his burial place to this day.
34:10 Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.
It is the LORD Who Goes Before You
3 It is the Lord your God who is going to cross ahead of you; He Himself will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who is going to cross ahead of you, just as the Lord has spoken. 4 And the Lord will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5 The Lord will turn them over to you, and you will do to them in accordance with all the commandments which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”
But, it comes with an “IF”, if you diligently obey the LORD by keeping his commandments and statures and do not turn away and follow other “gods” (idols). Seems simple and straight forward, and it is, but it is in the nature of man to rebel. We seem to want to do everything our way. To be in control. Or, like Eve in the garden, to be like GOD. Read more about what the LORD requires in my recent post “Take Care that you do not Forget the LORD.”
Now, you may say, “this is the old covenant and it is no linger valid.”.. Do you really think GOD is no longer serious about our obedience. About, being the only GOD and not being forsaken for other “gods” or idols in our lives? Do you think that GOD no longer disciplines those he loves? We may be no longer under the “Law”, and have a new covenant, but GOD is still GOD.
I, personally think the choice is still valid for his chosen people, even under the new covenant. Chose obedience for blessings or rebellion for curses ( or discipline). I pray for the wisdom to begin to make the right choices more often and the wrong choices less often.
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Submitted by the peace love and grace of our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Sinner in the Mirror