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Commentary On Deuteronomy 28
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Commentary On Deuteronomy 28

The Book of Deuteronomy is a riveting exploration of the covenant between God and Israel. Chapter 28, in particular, sheds light on the consequences of obedience and disobedience to God’s commands.

This commentary is an in-depth probe into Deuteronomy 28 as we navigate the blessings and curses that are bestowed upon the Israelites, and extract valuable teachings for Christian living today.

Drawing extensively from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, this examination aims to comprehend the profound spiritual implications behind these ancient laws that not only shaped Israel’s history but continue to resonate in our faith journey.

As Charismatic Christians, we believe in the active workings of the Holy Spirit and the ongoing relevance of the scriptures that profoundly enlighten our understanding of God’s love, justice and sovereignty.

Join us, as we delve deep into this study of the Deuteronomy 28 – exploring its themes, nuances, and timeless lessons within its verses.

Commentary on deuteronomy 28

Overview of Deuteronomy Chapter 28: Blessings and Curses in the Covenant

Deuteronomy Chapter 28, one of the central chapters in the fifth book of the Pentateuch, lays out the blessings and curses that God sets before the Israelites as part of His covenant with them.

The general premise here is straightforward: obedience to God’s commandments brings blessings, while disobedience brings curses. The blessings are described in verses 1-14, and the curses are outlined in the lengthy segment from verse 15-68.

The Blessings – God promises an abundance of blessings to the Israelites if they listen carefully and follow His commands (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Specifically, He promises to:

  • bless them in the city and in the country
  • make their offspring and their soil productive
  • grant them victory over their enemies
  • open the heavens to provide rain for their land in its season
  • make them the head and not the tail, above and never beneath, if they listen to His commandments.

These blessings are not just physical or material, but also relational, spiritual, and societal.

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The Curses – Conversely, if the Israelites do not obey God’s commandments and turn away from Him, they will face severe consequences (Deuteronomy 28:15-68). These include:

  • curses in the city and the country
  • curses on their barns and baskets
  • plagues and illnesses
  • drought and failing crops
  • defeat and dispersion among the nations

These curses are essentially the opposite of the blessings, warning the Israelites of the grave repercussions of disobedience and covenantal unfaithfulness.

An Examination of Blessings and Obedience: Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 (NKJV)

In the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 28, verses one through fourteen, the context of blessings in direct alignment with obedience to God is profoundly illustrated.

The promises of numerous blessings are put forth to the Children of Israel by Moses, as directed by God, should they not only heed to, but also, diligently observe His commands.

The text is expressive and bountiful in the blessings it promises, from overtaking and establishing them as a holy people (v.9) to the blessings of the country, the city, offspring, and even daily tasks.

Following are the blessings of obedience as outlined by the passages:

  • Being set on high above all nations of the earth (v.1)
  • Blessed shall be the fruit of the body and the produce of the ground (v.4)
  • Enemies who rise up against you shall be defeated before your face (v.7)
  • The LORD will command the blessing on your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand (v.8)
  • You will be a holy people to the LORD (v.9)
  • The LORD will open to you His good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season (v.11-12)

All these blessings are contingent on the devoted obedience to His commandments, encapsulating the idea that obedience to the commands and statutes of God is not without reward.

It is crucial to emphasize that these blessings were not just to benefit individual Israelites, but rather, they were meant to benefit the entire nation – to make them a beacon and model of God’s love and faithfulness to all people. As modern day believers, there are profound parallels that can be drawn.

While the setting and cultural context has changed, the principle has not: obedience to God and His Word brings blessings. As Christians, we’re invited to follow His commandments and statutes and enjoy the compounding blessings as promised in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 (NKJV).

Delving Deep into the Consequences of Disobedience: Deuteronomy 28: 15-68

In Deuteronomy 28:15-68 (NKJV), the Bible outlines diverse consequences of disobedience that the Israelites would bear if they refuse to heed God’s commands listed in the earlier verses of Deuteronomy 28.

Particularly, the verses underscore the inevitability of harsh penalties for forsaking God’s commands and turning to other gods. The consequences range from disease and economic hardship to social turmoil and foreign invasion.

God, in His omniscience, categorically highlights the consequences into several headings.

Principally, there would be the curse of disease (‘But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, … The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess.’ – Deut 28:15 NKJV, Deut 28:21 NKJV).

Other consequences include economic hardship (‘You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall lie with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but shall not gather its grapes.’ – Deut 28:30 NKJV) and social distress (‘The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth.’ – Deut 28:25 NKJV).

Furthermore, these verses detail the severity of God’s judgment as detailed in Deuteronomy 28:63-68 where God declares how His people will become an object of horror to all nations. The Israelites would go from being a chosen, prosperous nation to one in ruin and disorder, haunted by poverty, disease, and destruction.

By weaving these warnings into His covenant, God aimed to deter His people from rebelling against His commands. However, it also exemplifies His abundant mercy–reminding His people that obedience brings blessings while disobedience invariably leads to destruction.

A Christian Interpretation of the Reproach and Redemption in Deuteronomy 28

In accordance with Christian theology, Deuteronomy 28 shines a light on the reproach and redemption embedded in God’s covenant with His people. The reproach, as depicted in the verses, emerges as a consequence of disobedience, veering from the path of God’s commandments and principles.

According to verses 15 through 68, the reproach denotes a variation of penalties, including illness, drought, famine, defeat, and exile. These punishments, as severe as they might seem, signal an earnest call to surrender to God, not merely externally, but internally with sincere repentance and a dedicated heart.

Acknowledging the depths of the reproach is critical in the journey God’s people undertake towards redemption. According to Charismatic Christian beliefs, redemption is neither earned nor achieved through human endeavor. Instead, it is perceived as an act of divine grace.

Through God’s mercy and everlasting covenant, redemption is extended, leading to healing, provision, victory, freedom, and restoration.

This narrative of redemption echoes in verses 1 through 14, where obedience brings forth blessings on all aspects. These blessings, according to Charismatic Christianity, could include supernatural and tangible outcomes in various facets of life.

The underlying dynamics of reproach and redemption in Deuteronomy 28 can be interpreted from the Charismatic Christian perspective as an intricate spiritual process, facilitated by divine intervention and guidance.

The New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible articulates this in Deuteronomy 28:2 saying, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God”.

The verse encapsulates how active obedience invites God’s blessings, implying a connection to the Charismatic belief in the transformative power of God’s Spirit. Therefore, the reproach is not a mere punishment, but a beckoning towards redemption, repentance, and ultimate reunion with the Divine.

Deuteronomy Chapter 28’s Relevance in Contemporary Christian Faith and Theology

In the lens of Charismatic Christianity, Deuteronomy 28 functions as a fundamental blueprint defining God’s covenant relationship with his people and emphasizes the principles of blessings and curses associated with obedience and disobedience respectively.

The chapter concurrently communicates God’s mercy and justice, themes that, when extrapolated, shed light on the workings of divine grace and moral accountability.

Much akin to the Old Testament Israelites, contemporary Christians are forecasted to experience prosperity and enrichment in all aspects of life due to obedience to God’s Word (Deuteronomy 28:1-14, NKJV).

More specifically, Deuteronomy 28 delineates the concept of “cause and effect” in our relationship with God; our choices and actions, whether defying or aligning with God’s law, generate certain outcomes.

This principle is mirrored in New Testament teachings such as the Apostle Paul’s warning, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7, NKJV).

It is no surprise then that Christian theology today continues to emphasize personal free will and moral responsibility, along with God’s sovereignty.

  • Blessings as an Outcome of Obedience: A life marked by devotion to God and his commandments tends to attract abundant blessings (Deuteronomy 28:1-14, NKJV). This belief encourages the Christian practice of living out the Gospel in everyday life.
  • Curses as Consequence of Disobedience: Disobeying God’s commandments, on the other hand, leads to undesirable repercussions, as evident in the curses outlined in Deuteronomy 28:15-68, NKJV. This serves as a sober reminder of the costs of disobedience.

Lastly, Deuteronomy 28 has implications for our understanding of God’s Covenant Faithfulness. Regardless of human disobedience, God’s redemptive plan never ceases to be in motion.

This echoes the message of New Testament passages like Romans 5:8 where we are reminded, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NKJV).

This theological concept offers hope and gives assurance of God’s unchanging nature – that He is a covenant-keeping God, not limited to any specific time or space.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our exploration of Deuteronomy 28 unveils profound spiritual, moral, social, and economic principles that still ring true in our lives today.

This chapter offers us vivid snapshots of blessings, obedience, and curses, serving as a prophetic analysis of Israel’s historical journey while simultaneously addressing the contemporary believer’s journey.

Israel’s past and our individual spiritual journeys are profoundly connected to obedience or disobedience. Explicit in Deuteronomy 28 (NKJV) is the powerful principle that obedience to God invites blessings, while disobedience incurs divine chastisement, arguably an enduring divine ordinance.

Deuteronomy 28 teaches us the importance of living according to God’s divine ordinances, a primary tenet in our Christian faith.

In its entirety, Deuteronomy 28 does more than chronicle the past; it constitutes a lucid mirror that reflects the present, impelling believers to circumspectly tread the path of righteousness under God’s divine guidance. It prompts us to continually examine our lives in the light of God’s Word, ensuring every action aligns with His commandments.

Whether you’re a new believer or a seasoned Christian, revisiting this passage can reveal new insights on your spiritual path and deepen your relationship with God. May we endeavor to stayon the path of obedience, inviting blessings and divine favor.

Remember, as Deuteronomy 28:2 (NKJV) notes, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

Seek His wisdom daily, adhere to His commands, and let obedience be your rudder steering you through life’s tumultuous sea—an approach Deuteronomy 28 implores every believer to espouse. As you delve deeper into God’s Word, may the Holy Spirit illuminate its practical applications in your daily walk with God.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.