Deuteronomy 29: The Choice to Follow God
God doesn’t mess around. Particularly, He gets incredibly angry when people begin to follow other gods. This is illustrated pretty clearly in Deuteronomy 29.
Deu 29:24 Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? what meaneth the heat of this great anger?
Deu 29:25 Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt:
Deu 29:26 For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them:
Deu 29:27 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book:
I wrote a piece a few days ago about how it is important to keep your promise to God, and it really should be a serious and intentional commitment rather than just a flippant phrase.
That is what is happening here. God is saying that if the people of Israel do not follow through on the promise they made to Him, all of the curses listed back in chapter 28 could very well fall on them.
I know what you’re probably thinking. How could a loving God do this? Why would He ever punish anybody?
Part of the answer to that lies in the fact that God is just. He needs to follow through on His word, and it needs to apply to everyone equally. If anybody, even His chosen people of Israel, starts messing up, the consequences are the same.
If He was not just, then it would be impossible for Him to be the Judge of all eternity.
Another part of this answer lies in the fact that it any type of punishment would be the people of Israel’s own fault. There was definitely a way that they could follow God and avoid all of these problems. It isn’t like they had to guess what God wanted. Through the first five books of the Bible, God communicated His law to the people of Israel.
This also shows the justice of God again. The people of Israel really had to decide what they wanted, but they were working with very complete information. They could follow God, or they didn’t have to. They knew the consequences of both.