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©Laura Haverkamp

Chapter 28:1-14 (ESV)

Posted on April 08, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 28:1-14 (ESV) - “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. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 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. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

“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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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, 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.

Question to consider: For what purpose did the LORD call Israel to be holy and blessed above all other nations?

In the instructions from yesterday’s passage, Israel was to affirm the Law of God and say, “Amen,” that they understood that blessings would come to those who kept the covenantal commands and curses upon those who violated them. In this chapter, Moses went on to define what these blessings and curses looked like.

The blessings covered every aspect of life, family and well-being in order to make Israel a sign to the nations that there is only one God so that they should fear Him. As it says in Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

Outside of having Israel wipe out the nations that inhabited the land God was giving them, they were called to be separate from the other nations and holy unto the LORD. Unlike the other nations, Israel was not called to expand its territory even though they worshiped the God who owned the cattle on a thousand hills. Anyone who attacked Israel had to contend with the LORD.

There was so much potential for blessing had Israel only been able to keep the Law of God. This blessing was not just for Israel, but the promise of God to Abraham was that he would be a blessing to all nations. However, this promise to Abraham would not be fulfilled by the nation of Israel, for they were never able to obey the commandments of the LORD.

The only son of man to be able to keep the entirety of the Law was the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Thus, God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled through Him, for Christ offers His righteousness to all who will receive it by faith regardless of where they were born or their station in life.

Those who say God has a special plan for the descendants of Israel today still think that people can obtain righteousness on their own through the Law. God’s plan for Israel is the same plan He has had for the nations all along— to receive the righteousness that comes from faith in Christ.

Another error that gets promoted by people today is that these promises of earthly prosperity can be claimed by the church. They’ll quote the phrase, “the LORD will make you the head and not the tail,” and say that if we keep all of God’s commandments, He will bless us exactly as Moses described in this passage. However, this is not what Christ promised us. Christ said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

Looking for earthly wealth actually cheapens this promise of Christ for a heavenly reward. Peter told those who were being persecuted in his day that they would be receiving an “...inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:4) Christ promises to be with us in the midst of our suffering and give us His peace, but we look forward to what is eternal. 

As a church, we can bless and serve one another and bear each other’s burdens, but we are to be a light to a world full of darkness so we should expect persecution from a world that loves darkness. Our suffering is not without significance though. The LORD uses it to call people to repentance and faith in Christ, and in this we can shout, “Alleluia and Amen!”


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for providing our daily necessities in the midst of a world that wants to see us fail. May we use the gifts and abilities You have given us to serve our brothers and sisters in Christ and bear one another’s burdens. Please use our time in this life to bring You glory and others to the knowledge of Christ. Amen.