The Blessing and the Consequence of disobedience
Blessings at Gerizim
“Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God:” (Dt 28:1, 2)
Consequences of Disobedience
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.” (Dt 28:15)
This is the longest chapter in Deuteronomy. Moses spends less than 1/4 of the chapter describing the blessings and more than 3/4 of the chapter describing the curses. The blessing are wonderful but the curses are horrible and grow in strength as the description continues. This is the promised blessing and curse for the sons of Israel as they come into the land that was promised to their fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Much of what is said in this chapter describes many of the bad things that have happened to many people on the earth. For this reason, people ascribe the blessing and the curses of this chapter to their own nation; however, this is specific to the nation of Israel but it can help us better understand the general curse that happened when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. It can also help us better understand the future promise of a new heaven and new earth for the followers of Jesus Christ, and the curse, the lake which burns with fire and brimstone for all who reject the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Man has five main enemies that must be defeated: Satan, sin, death, the law and the wrath of God; according to the theology of Martin Luther, before a man can be saved, these five enemies must be dealt with. (Meyer, 68) Martin Luther had returned to the early church understanding of Christ as Victor. In Jesus Christ and in Jesus Christ alone is victory over these five enemies of man. The victory is already not yet. During his earthly ministry, Jesus was victorious over these five enemies; however, Satan remains the god of this world, (2 Cor 4:4) sin continues to abound, death befalls everyone, the law and the wrath of God remain. For the Christian, Satan, sin, the law and the wrath of God are defeated; the last enemy that will be abolished is death. (1 Cor 15:26) There will be blessing and no more curse. (Rv 22:3)