Who's ready for recess?
I am SO ready for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land. They must have been wondering the whole time Moses was talking if they would ever get there. The anticipation had to be grueling. With every passing chapter since entering Deuteronomy, I’ve felt like a student looking out of the window of a classroom while the teacher continued to lecture...and lecture some more.
It’s so sunny and warm outside. The grass is green, and the sky is clear blue. The birds are singing, and the trees are showing off the graceful dance of its shiny new leaves. But, the teacher keeps on teaching. And, the students keep on listening, as the clock on the wall above his head ticks ever...so...slowly.
While we wait, we get more and more study notes for the upcoming test. Every test in this class is like a final exam. One fail and there’s no chance to recover. One fail means expulsion. So the teacher drills the lessons into the students’ heads one more time before letting them go out for recess. He wants to make sure they understand every crucial point. There will be no make-up test, no extra credit, so they must pay attention.
After yesterday’s lesson full of all the things that can get you expelled, today started off beautifully. The teacher announced that there would be a break in the usual schedule of curses and laws to reveal his softer side. We learned that he actually does like us. And if we meet all of his expectations, we’ll get to have a party at the end of the school year!
That’s how I felt while reading the beginning of chapter 28. The Lord must have known how badly I needed a respite from all the threats covered in my previous post. And, I was so hoping the blessings would finally transition us into the land of milk and honey, with the smooth sounds of a harp playing in the distance. But, no such luck. Those wonderful blessings are sandwiched between a couple of lengthy passages that are packed with doom.
I had so many thoughts concerning those passages that I found myself typing away even before getting out of bed this morning. But, after the day I had yesterday, I’d just like to focus on this small patch of positive reinforcement that Moses gave to the people. I’m just going to copy and paste it below for your reading pleasure. Let's just marinate on God’s goodness, one verse at a time, shall we?
Blessings for Obedience
1 “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.
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
9 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways.
10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.
12 The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them,
14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”
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