Deuteronomy: double trouble…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Deuteronomy 28:1-29:29

Focus: Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 15-19

When it comes to the issue of reward and penalty in life, they are polar opposites. For a job well done, there is one reward, for a job not done well, the penalty is often the opposite of the reward. For example, a child that cleans their room may be rewarded with extra helping of desserts at dinner. If the child does not clean their room, dessert is withheld altogether (and they still have to clean their room)! Employment is much the same, though the consequences are far worse.

The nation of Israel had been set apart as God’s own chosen people. He brought them out of Egypt and He set before them decrees, commands and laws so that they might be different from the nations around them. He established His covenant with them and they entered into a special relationship with Him, He would be their God and they would be His people. As His people He would bless them if they obeyed Him and, likewise, He would curse them if they disobeyed Him.

What seems beyond comprehension is that if you look at the full discourse of blessings and curses found in Deuteronomy 28 you will find that the curses are double the length of the blessings. As you read it, you will also notice that the curses are the direct opposite of the blessings (plus, if you buy now, we’ll throw in more curses)! It goes on further that all Israel had witnessed God do against their enemies, He would do them Himself! The story of the Israelites told through the Old Testament is their stark disobedience against all God had done for them and the subsequent outplay of all these curses.

Seriously though, human nature confounds me when I think about how we are. We know the penalties for our actions, we know that they benefit no one, in fact, we’re just asking for trouble—and yet, we still go against the system. Why we put ourselves through all the pain and suffering? I don’t get it, life has enough trouble of its own…

Next Reading: Deuteronomy 30:1-32:47