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Deuteronomy 28

Talks for Growing Christians

The Blessings and Cursings of the Covenant

Deuteronomy 28

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Lesson Number 28

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Blessings follow obedience to God’s Word.
  2. Cursings follow disobedience to God’s Word.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t put yourself under the Law!

Questions

  1. Explain the covenant renewal ceremony which was laid out in Deuteronomy 27.
  2. Was the Mosaic Covenant conditional or unconditional?
  3. Are the physical blessings mentioned here guaranteed for the Christian who follows God’s Word?
  4. Why is the list of curses almost 4 times as long as the blessings?
  5. Give two logical problems for Christians who love to apply the blessings of the Law to themselves today.

Answers

  1. When the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land, the blessings and the cursings of the Mosaic Covenant were read and ratified. Half of Israel would stand on the slopes of Mount Gerizim to approve the blessings and half of Israel would stand on the slopes of Mount Ebal to approve the curses.
  2. It was conditional. Note the “if” in Deuteronomy 28:1.
  3. No. Christians in the New Testament are not guaranteed the physical blessings of the Old Testament Mosaic Covenant such as good health and financial prosperity for obedience to the Word, but we are guaranteed every spiritual blessing that God has to offer if we love the Lord and keep His commandments. See John 15 and Ephesians 1.
  4. To emphasize the seriousness of breaking the covenant.
  5. 1) The blessings of the Law were not given to Christians and are not guaranteed in the New Testament for Christians. 2) What about the cursings of the Law if you don’t obey the Word? These Christians love to claim the blessings of the Law, but not the cursings. You can’t have it both ways!

Discuss/Consider

  1. Imagine yourself as one of the Children of Israel. Which would you find more motivating personally? To hear the encouragement of the blessings or the deterrents of the cursings?
  2. Read the curses of coming exile and destruction of the nation in Deuteronomy 28:58-68. Discuss how these predictions were fulfilled to the detail. We have a God who keeps His word – in blessings and cursings.

Challenge


Key Verses

  • “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.” Deuteronomy 28:1-2
  • “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.” Deuteronomy 28:15

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