The book of Deuteronomy sets a vivid and unmistakable backdrop and clear picture of obedience to a Holy, powerful and Righteous God, and it clearly shows a physical portrait of what happens when God’s people deliberately disobey a Holy, mighty and Righteous God. It’s an often over-looked display of the reverence we should approach God with.
In Deuteronomy 11:26, God speaks to Israel about a blessing and a curse saying: “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse.” The blessing spoken of is in regards to serving God wholeheartedly. If Israel keeps their covenant with God and obeys Yahweh, they will be a blessed nation. No one will be able to subdue them. They will have unimaginable success and access to God’s leading, His power, His protection and His provision; If they disobey God and break their covenant with Him, they will experience complete abandonment of all of the above benefits of serving God –they will be cursed, defeated, powerless, downtrodden, vulnerable and exposed.
Prior to Deuteronomy 11:26 we see this statement of: “a blessing and a curse” played out in real-time. God had just delivered Israel from Egyptian oppression by parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21), and this led to their promised Exodus. That’s 400 years of bondage broken with mere drops of water –another display of God’s power and His judgement towards those who refuse to obey God. Yet, later on in Numbers 14:32-33 when God promises to bring them into the promised land, they forget God’s faithfulness and God curses them with wilderness wandering for 40 years.
Such a vivid picture painted above is true for our modern-day lives and how we approach modern worship towards God today, also. God is a Holy God, whether He is the God of the establishment of Israel and the establishment of their covenant or the God of the New Testament who sent His son to die on a cross to administer grace to undeserving people. His love, His blessing, His mercy, His wrath, His judgement and His authority know no bounds. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
We should be very careful in our Christian lives to never separate the authoritative-wrath and punishing characteristics of God towards covenant-breakers in the Old Testament with the loving, shepherding, grace-driven Jesus of the New Testament and this modern age. Both are clear pictures of God’s attributes and His characteristics of Trinitarian Oneness. One is a display of God the judge, the Creator and the law-giver, as God the Father; The other as Jesus, the Son of God, as redeemer and grace-administrator. Still, both play different and important roles in different chapters of God’s overarching plan for mankind’s redemption, yet both are ever-present aspects of His Oneness and His nature towards His people and His response to disobedience, and the consequences that follow.
Deuteronomy 11:26, alerts the reader of two seriously different outcomes. The only One true God and Creator of everything demands our reverent worship and obedience, and if He receives our obedience His response to us is incredible unimaginable blessing and protection; If God doesn’t receive our worship, in which He demands, and obedience doesn’t follow, He will surely curse us to the ends of the earth, and the curse may be temporary on earth until we seek absolution or it may be eternally, lest we never repent of our wrong-doing in this life and send ourselves on a one-way trip to hell by the refusal of repenting to a Holy, Righteous and Just God, in which all authority on Heaven and on Earth belongs to (Matthew 28:18).