Deuteronomy 28:15-29:1 …. Curses for disobedience

Yeah, nice way to start a blog post

I don’t know about all of you, but I do not like being told what to do. I am going to assume most of you are like me and you also do not like being told what to do. How many of you rebelled against the authority of your mother or father or both of your parents? My hand is raised high. I was relegated to my bedroom every weekend of the seventh grade. It was a big joke in homeroom when the teacher started our Monday round table by asking, “Janet, so tell us why you were grounded this past weekend?”

Heck, I was kicking in my mother’s womb when my dad would start telling my mother what to do. I just didn’t want to hear it.

So, imagine as adults, we think we know it all. We want to do it all our own way. We don’t want anyone telling us what to do. And then at times we remember, oh yeah, we have a Holy Heavenly Father who wants us to listen and obey.

Obey? How old are we? Will we ever get a break and get to be our own boss? Well no, not if we want to live peaceful lives.

Starting from page one

I have never read the Bible from page one through the end. I have always read it in parts and have always avoided the third, fourth and fifth books (Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) because they are hard reads. Alters, blood, animals, stoning, rules, regulations, repetition … Yikes. I cannot even imagine being Moses, who was the star of the show throughout these tough three books. He was tasked with the impossible … ensuring that people listened and obeyed God.

I am learning, however, that there is a solid point to reading the Bible from cover to cover because reading it this way really ties the whole book together as a full story. My cousin and I are reading the one-year chronological bible this year. And I can tell you, I was ready to be done with these three books as soon as I started them.

Can we just get to something more delightful, please?

Okay, so I did not get to my required reading on Monday (March 19) so the following day I knew I needed to catch up and I decided to read ahead to get finished with Deuteronomy and get the first page of the book of Joshua read. And there I came upon Deuteronomy 28:15-29:1, Curses for disobedience. Great subject line, especially if you are a rebel, renegade or maverick … cause you know we make our own rules.

I pasted this section below if you want to read it and I think all of you SHOULD read it for your own benefit. Moses was nearing the end of his life and he was summing up once again, for the hundredth time, all the Lord had told him for 40 years, with the instruction of delivering these commands to the Israelites. These were the same Israelites who needed forty years for a journey that could have taken 11 days, but disorder, chaos and basic human nature created a very long delay in crossing the Jordan River to the promised land.

This all kind of sounds like me. What should have taken me a year, has taken 20. How many of you are with me on this? I am surely not alone, because when you read this section of Deuteronomy, it is the spitting image of society as we see it every day.

Lost, confused, broken, diseased, drought, disaster, lack, oppression, dust, defeat, tumors, itches, madness, blindness, panic, infidelity, loss, slavery, bad water, bad crops, stolen property, inequity, death and on and on and on. Pretty scary.

Is anyone listening here? If not, you might want to start doing so, and you might want to read this section of Deuteronomy.

Imagine how many less people there were in the world when the Bible was written and as a society of yesterday and today, we are the pure vision of Cursed for Disobedience.

The silver lining is that God did say that we could come back and find blessings if we just start to obey. Moses says it to the people in Deuteronomy 30:1-10, A call to return to the Lord. I have added this section to the bottom of this blog post as well.

Bible based churches sometimes sugar coat

I love Bible based churches because the pastors focus on the positive, but folks, read this section and you will see that the lack of God in our society has created everything that we read in this section of Deuteronomy. It’s no joke, and you are not exempt.

You too were given the gift of life by God, the Creator and you too, as well as me, have someone to answer to, besides your parents, employers and spouses. If you do not answer to and obey God, you too will be experiencing Deuteronomy 29:15-30:1.

I relate to the Israelites. I too am stubborn. I am a full brained person, who at times makes half brained decisions, but because of my natural abilities, I do not always feel like I should have to listen to God. So, I know what you are all going through. But I am trying every day to release my inner rebel and obey more and more. It is an ego issue for sure.

An amazing message

It is not easy to release, but I am going to leave you with a beautiful message Joshua received by Moses just before Mosses passed. Joshua, one of just two faithful and courageous spies (there were 12 of them) of Israel sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan, was later tasked by God to get those stubborn Israelites crossed over the Jordan River to their promised land.

Moses said to Joshua in Joshua 1:9

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

These are the words I want to live by daily, but I will be honest and say I have yet to live up to the commandment given to Joshua on an everyday basis. But I will be honest and say I am trying hard and most days I do live by those words. And when I am living by those words is definitely when I am most happy.

How about you?

Have a blessed day and PLEASE keep reading this post or read these sections in your own Bibles. We serve an awesome God. Always ready to forgive and hold us up.

Deuteronomy 28:15-29:1 New Living Translation (NLT)

Curses for Disobedience

15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:

16 Your towns and your fields

will be cursed.

17 Your fruit baskets and breadboards

will be cursed.

18 Your children and your crops

will be cursed.

The offspring of your herds and flocks

will be cursed.

19 Wherever you go and whatever you do,

you will be cursed.

20 “The Lord himself will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and abandoning me. 21 The Lord will afflict you with diseases until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy. 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting diseases, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These disasters will pursue you until you die. 23 The skies above will be as unyielding as bronze, and the earth beneath will be as hard as iron. 24 The Lord will change the rain that falls on your land into powder, and dust will pour down from the sky until you are destroyed.

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven! You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the scavenging birds and wild animals, and no one will be there to chase them away.

27 “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, scurvy, and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness, blindness, and panic. 29 You will grope around in broad daylight like a blind person groping in the darkness, but you will not find your way. You will be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will come to save you.

30 “You will be engaged to a woman, but another man will sleep with her. You will build a house, but someone else will live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will never enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be butchered before your eyes, but you will not eat a single bite of the meat. Your donkey will be taken from you, never to be returned. Your sheep and goats will be given to your enemies, and no one will be there to help you. 32 You will watch as your sons and daughters are taken away as slaves. Your heart will break for them, but you won’t be able to help them. 33 A foreign nation you have never heard about will eat the crops you worked so hard to grow. You will suffer under constant oppression and harsh treatment. 34 You will go mad because of all the tragedy you see around you. 35 The Lord will cover your knees and legs with incurable boils. In fact, you will be covered from head to foot.

36 “The lord will exile you and your king to a nation unknown to you and your ancestors. There in exile you will worship gods of wood and stone! 37 You will become an object of horror, ridicule, and mockery among all the nations to which the Lord sends you.

38 “You will plant much but harvest little, for locusts will eat your crops. 39 You will plant vineyards and care for them, but you will not drink the wine or eat the grapes, for worms will destroy the vines. 40 You will grow olive trees throughout your land, but you will never use the olive oil, for the fruit will drop before it ripens. 41 You will have sons and daughters, but you will lose them, for they will be led away into captivity. 42 Swarms of insects will destroy your trees and crops.

43 “The foreigners living among you will become stronger and stronger, while you become weaker and weaker. 44 They will lend money to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail!

45 “If you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and to obey the commands and decrees he has given you, all these curses will pursue and overtake you until you are destroyed. 46 These horrors will serve as a sign and warning among you and your descendants forever. 47 If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, 48 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. You will be left hungry, thirsty, naked, and lacking in everything. The Lord will put an iron yoke on your neck, oppressing you harshly until he has destroyed you.

49 “The Lord will bring a distant nation against you from the end of the earth, and it will swoop down on you like a vulture. It is a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a fierce and heartless nation that shows no respect for the old and no pity for the young. 51 Its armies will devour your livestock and crops, and you will be destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, olive oil, calves, or lambs, and you will starve to death. 52 They will attack your cities until all the fortified walls in your land—the walls you trusted to protect you—are knocked down. They will attack all the towns in the land the Lord your God has given you.

53 “The siege and terrible distress of the enemy’s attack will be so severe that you will eat the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you. 54 The most tenderhearted man among you will have no compassion for his own brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving children. 55 He will refuse to share with them the flesh he is devouring—the flesh of one of his own children—because he has nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns. 56 The most tender and delicate woman among you—so delicate she would not so much as touch the ground with her foot—will be selfish toward the husband she loves and toward her own son or daughter. 57 She will hide from them the afterbirth and the new baby she has borne, so that she herself can secretly eat them. She will have nothing else to eat during the siege and terrible distress that your enemy will inflict on all your towns.

58 “If you refuse to obey all the words of instruction that are written in this book, and if you do not fear the glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will overwhelm you and your children with indescribable plagues. These plagues will be intense and without relief, making you miserable and unbearably sick. 60 He will afflict you with all the diseases of Egypt that you feared so much, and you will have no relief. 61 The Lord will afflict you with every sickness and plague there is, even those not mentioned in this Book of Instruction, until you are destroyed. 62 Though you become as numerous as the stars in the sky, few of you will be left because you would not listen to the Lord your God.

63 “Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you. You will be torn from the land you are about to enter and occupy. 64 For the Lord will scatter you among all the nations from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship foreign gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods made of wood and stone! 65 There among those nations you will find no peace or place to rest. And the Lord will cause your heart to tremble, your eyesight to fail, and your soul to despair. 66 Your life will constantly hang in the balance. You will live night and day in fear, unsure if you will survive. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were night!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’ For you will be terrified by the awful horrors you see around you. 68 Then the Lord will send you back to Egypt in ships, to a destination I promised you would never see again. There you will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will buy you.”

29 [a]These are the terms of the covenant the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites while they were in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Mount Sinai.[b]

Deuteronomy 30 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Call to Return to the Lord

30 “In the future, when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations to which the Lord your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions. 2 If at that time you and your children return to the Lord your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, 3 then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you. 4 Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth,[a] the Lord your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. 5 The Lord your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!

6 “The Lord your God will change your heart[b] and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! 7 The Lord your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate and persecute you. 8 Then you will again obey the Lord and keep all his commands that I am giving you today.

9 “The Lord your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the Lord will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors. 10 The Lord your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.