Deuteronomy 28: Do You Want Blessings or Curses?
Deuteronomy 28 is an incredibly long chapter, and if I was an Israelite, I think I would have been pretty terrified.
The first roughly 14 verses explain what will happen if the people follow God and do not wander off. The final 54 verses talk about what will happen to them if they don’t pay attention to God, and it does not sound pretty.
I am going to give you the middle few verses where we transition from the blessings to the curses.
Deu 28:13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Deu 28:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Deu 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
What is obviously the difference between receiving the good and bad outcomes?
Listening to God makes the difference. We can see this over and over again through many Bible stories. When people listen to God, He blesses them. For example, when Jonah finally decided to listen to God and go preach in Nineveh, his ministry was so blessed that the entire city was saved from destruction.
What happened when Peter listened to Jesus to walk to Him on the water? While he was listening and trusting God, he was able to do it. He then started to fall because he lost his focus, but while he was only paying attention to God, he was blessed.
Now, unfortunately, the other side is just as true for the same two men. When Jonah didn’t listen to God, he was eaten by a giant fish for temporary correctional services. When Peter didn’t listen to Jesus and denied him at Jesus’ trial, he was understandably upset. He would not have had to experience that pain if he would have listened to God.
The Bible is overflowing with people who either listened to God and were blessed or failed to listen and suffered because of it. I think that we all would prefer the list of blessings rather than the list of curses. You know how to make it happen.