Blessings, abundance and significance come as you are obedient to God. Suffering, disease, isolation, poverty and insignificance come from disobedience.
Take some firstfruits from the land for the priest to set down before the altar of the Lord to say that their father was a wandering Aramean in Egypt where they were mistreated with hard labor. The Lord heard their cry, saw their oppression and brought them out of Egypt with signs and wonders into a land flowing with milk and honey while worshiping and rejoicing. They paid the tithe in the third year to the Levite, alien, fatherless and widow so they could eat and be satisfied. They gave the sacred portion to the Levite, alien, fatherless and widow according to God’s commands with all their heart and soul. They declared that the Lord was their God and would walk in His ways as His holy people and treasured possession to be set in praise, fame and honor high above all nations (Deut. 26:1-19). Give to the needy to show your deliverance from sin and intimacy with God.
Moses and the elders commanded the people to keep all God’s commands, write the law on large stones, build an altar with uncut stones and offer burnt and peace offering to the Lord. Moses and the Levites told Israel to listen in silence as they became God’s people to obey His commands. Simeon, Levi, Judah, Isaachar, Joseph and Benjamin stood on Mount Gerizim to bless the people (Deut. 27:1-12). Listen and trust in God's work, not the flesh, in order to obey His word.
Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali stood on Mount Ebal to pronounce curses. The Levites recited the following curses: a craftsman who cast an idol or carved an image secretly, one who dishonored his father or mother, moved neighbor’s boundary mark, led blind astray on the road, withheld justice from the alien, fatherless or widow, slept with his father’s wife, sister or mother-in-law, had sexual relations with any animal, killed his neighbor secretly, accepted bribe to kill an innocent person and did not upheld the words of this law by carrying them out (Deut. 27:13-26). Recite curses verbally concerning secrecy and deception regarding idols, sexual sin, private property and personal relationships with the needy.
By fully obeying God’s commands, He would set them high above all nations with blessings everywhere. The Lord defeated enemies that rose up against them, send a blessing on their barns and work, and established them as His holy people if they kept His commands. Then people of the earth saw that they were called by His name and feared them. God granted abundant prosperity in their crops and opened the heaven to bring rain. They lent to many nations but borrowed from none, became the head and not the tail and were at the top and never the bottom as they followed God’s commands instead of other gods (Deut. 28:1-14). Obey God to experience blessings, abundance and significance.
By not obeying the Lord, curses overtook them everywhere until they were ruined with a wasting disease, scorching heat and drought. Their enemies defeated them and were afflicted with boils, tumors, sores, madness, blindness and confused mind causing failure everywhere. Pledged a woman but another man married her, build a house but not live in it and planted a vineyard but not enjoy its fruit. They sowed much seed but harvested little when locusts devoured it. Their children went into captivity, lived among aliens who became the head and served enemies. Israel lived in dire poverty with an iron yoke on their neck. The Lord brought a disrespectful nation against them whose language they did not understand. By not revering God’s awesome name, He sent fearful plagues, harsh disasters and severe illnesses that they dreaded in Egypt causing much death. The Lord scattered them to worship other gods. They were anxious and weary being filled with despair and dread (Deut. 29:1-68). Disobey God to experience suffering, disease, isolation, poverty and insignificance.
Their eyes saw the trials and miraculous signs God did to Pharaoh in Egypt. He led them for forty years in the desert without bread and insufficient clothes so they would know that the Lord was God. They defeated Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan and gave their land as an inheritance to the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh. Following the covenant caused them to prosper in everything they did. The detestable images and idols of wood, stone, silver and gold warned them about a root producing bitter poison in worshiping the nations’ gods. Moses said it was unsafe to hear the covenant and go their own way. It brought disaster on the land, no forgiveness, wrath and all the curses written in the book, which blotted their name out from under heaven. Generations to come and foreigners from distant lands asked why the Lord did this when they saw the diseases and burning waste of salt and sulfur so nothing could be planted like Sodom and Gomorrah. The secret things belonged to God and the things revealed belonged to them and their children forever so they could follow the words of the law (Deut. 29:1-29). Obey God to experience forgiveness and profound influence in the sphere He appoints for you.
When blessings and curses came, they returned and obeyed God with all their heart and soul. He restored their fortunes, showed compassion and gathered them from all the nations where they were scattered. They became more prosperous and numerous than their fathers. The Lord circumcised them and their descendants’ hearts to love God with all their heart and soul in order to live. The Lord put all these curses on their enemies who hated and persecuted them so they could prosper in their work. The word God commanded was not difficult or beyond their reach, but in their mouth and heart so they could observe it. He set before them life and prosperity or death and destruction depending if they loved God and obeyed His voice to live long in the land. Moses called heaven and earth as witnesses. He set before them life and death, blessings and curses. If they chose life in the Lord, they and their children lived (Deut. 30:1-20). Love God by listening to His voice for life, blessings and increased disciples.
Are you motivated to obey God with all your heart and soul after reflecting on the blessings of obedience?