Blessings for Obedience
And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:1-2
The promise of God in Deuteronomy 28:1-2 offers many powerful insights that we can learn from when we listen with our hearts and open ourselves to applying the wisdom of its mighty blessing to our lives with obedience. The following commentary by David Guzik is a lead to deeper understanding. L.Willows
Blessings on obedience, Commentary by David Guzik Blue Letter Bible / David Guzik Study Guide
1. (Deu 28:1-2) Overtaken by blessing.
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
a. If you diligently obey the voice of the LORD: The word “if” looms large. In this chapter, Moses exhorted the nation with choice. The covenant God made with Israel contained three major features: The law, the sacrifice, and the choice.
i. The idea behind the choice is that God was determined to reveal Himself to the world through Israel. He would do this either by making them so blessed that the world would know only God could have blessed them so; or by making them so cursed that only God could have cursed them and cause them to still survive. The choice was up to Israel.
In our own lives, we are subject to the same ‘reveal’ of God. We, both as individuals and collectives find times and seasons of apparent fullness and lack, opportunity and trial- that it can seem that we are very blessed or not at all. Somehow, there seems to be a choice that is up to us, something or someone is ‘knocking at the door’ with a message and a reason for our survival. Our Creator wishes to make Himself known to us.
ii. As a literary form, this chapter is similar to ancient treaties between a king and his people; this is God the King, making a covenant with His people, Israel.
iii. “In the ancient Near East it was customary for legal treaties to conclude with passages containing blessings upon those who observed the enactments, and curses upon those who did not.” (Harrrison)
All of God’s Promises (legal treaties) which were a covenant with His people ended with a blessing. We often do not realize or understand that there is an unspoken ‘opposite’ action for not obeying the treaties. What are the results of disobedience to the laws (commands in the old and new testament) of God? How do we try to avoid facing the truth of our status in spiritual obedience. Do we try to build status elsewhere?
b. That the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth: Therefore, if Israel would obey the LORD, He would set them high above all nations of the earth, and the blessings would be so powerful that they would come upon you and overtake you. They wouldn’t be able to escape the blessings.
The message inherent in The Promise of God is that when we obey His command to put Him first (to set Him high, above all other things in our lives and treasure Him as our first cause, our Creator) then the blessings in our lives will become so powerful that they will overtake us. We will not be able to escape them! The imagery of having blessings run after us and overtake us with their joyful power is wonderous! L.Willows