Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 15-20, 63-64(ESV)
Blessings for Obedience
28 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
Curses for Disobedience
15 “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. 16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 20 “The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.
63 And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 64 “And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known.
In Bible times, when the ruler of a powerful country made a peace treaty with a weaker country, it was called a covenant. These covenants always had a section of “blessings and curses.” This section described the good things that would happen if the weak country kept the covenant, and the terrible things the strong country would do, if the weak country didn’t obey. God’s covenant with Israel is described in the same way. Deuteronomy 28 lists the blessings and curses. Our reading today contains just the highlights (To read the whole chapter is too long and depressing). Keep these things in mind: 1) Before Christ, Israel did break the covenant repeatedly, and the curses of verse 64 came true. It seems troubling that God delighted in this, but we need to remember that because God is holy, God delights in justice, and God must keep his word. 2) Jesus has kept the covenant for us, and through Jesus, God himself bore the curses that should have gone on us!