What does it say?
Moses now lays out both blessings and curses in relation to Israel’s obedience or disobedience (Deu 28). Here, six blessings are balanced by six curses. But remember that Moses has just given instructions to the Levites to warn Israel of disobedience with a list of possible curses in the previous chapter. Even in this chapter (28) the curses as a consequence of disobedience clearly occupy proportionately more space.
Moses’ third great discourse to the people occupies our attention here (Deu 29). First, Moses briefly reviews the history of these years of pilgrimage. He then affirms the objective of the assembly is to be certain God’s purposes in Israel continue with this new generation poised to enter the land. The seriousness of what is happening here underscores Moses’ listing yet again the consequences of disobedience.
What does it mean?
Reading this section and the previous, it is impossible to avoid noticing the repetitive nature of blessings and curses related to Israel’s obedience or disobedience to God’s words. As we have followed this chronological/missional Bible reading, we have also established repeatedly that we do not live under the Law today as followers of Jesus Christ. There is, however, an important and very practical principle modeled for us here. Our choices bring consequences – for good or for bad.
No matter what decision we must make in life, there are consequences, positive and negative. Saying yes to something is also saying no to something else, even when no sin is involved. All decisions in life bring consequence, positive and negative, for us and for those in our circle of influence. The repetitive nature of these chapters of Deuteronomy should impress upon us the importance of this truth.
How will I respond?
What are some of the most important decisions in my life that I must face at this time? I will follow this template by considering the consequences of these important decisions. Sometimes these consequences will be clearly spelled out in scripture; sometimes they will not be clear. So, I will consider both the positive and negative consequences that I can see from my potential decision. Likewise, I will consider consequences not only for me, but also for those in my circle of influence, family, friends and co-workers. On this basis I will make my choices today. And, I will ask God to make this practice a part of my daily walk with him.