Moses' tenth speech, Part 6, Blessings for obedience
Jun 19, 2013
Moses continues his speech in Deuteronomy 28:2, 3, by listing the blessings for obedience to the law,
2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you will obey the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country [sawday, “field”].
These blessings are like the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12. The main difference is that Moses dealt with the behavioral aspects of the law, while Jesus dealt with the heart and character of law-abiding people. The law of God was not written to restrict true freedom, but to restrict sinners from doing injustice to their neighbors. Jesus went beyond this and emphasized the condition of the heart.
When the laws of men reward (“bless”) evil, the righteous suffer oppression. When the laws of God reward (“bless”) that which is good, only those who desire to sin will feel restricted and unhappy. It is not difficult to see when nations are ruled by the laws of God or the laws of men. Inevitably, the results are seen in the city and in the country. Jesus said in Matthew 7:20, “you will know them by their fruits.”
We may, therefore, ask ourselves if our cities are safe, secure, clean places to live a blessed life. My observation is that modern cities are steadily becoming worse. They are increasingly violent, and this is why many escape to the suburbs, if they are able. When people move to a city, they usually look for the best schools and then buy or rent a house in that school district. Why? Because they know that there are many cursed neighborhoods, and they want to avoid them if possible.
The laws of men may seem right to the legislators, but too often they discover later that their laws did not meet their expectations. They are then forced to pass new laws to try to patch up the failed laws. Over time the laws become a huge set of patches that try to keep up with the lawlessness in the nation. They do not realize how evil is encouraged by man-made laws when they are inconsistent with the divine law. They have been told by the world—and even by many of their church leaders—that the divine law is cruel, obsolete, and evil.
And so the nations continue to slide into immorality, injustice, bribery, and slavery.
The laws of God also forbid sin in the country, or the “field.” Most farmers are unaware of the laws of God forbidding the mixture of seed, which is known today as genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). In biblical times, they did not have the technical terms to describe these things, and so we must know the intent of God and be led by the Spirit in order to apply the law correctly.
The spirit of the law says that anything which leads to death or disease is a violation of the mind of God. GMO’s are notorious for causing disease, as scientists are now discovering. As this becomes known, many countries are banning all GMO’s. The same is true about chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides, which pollute the earth, rivers, and water tables. Government regulators have set standards so that this pollution does not rise above a certain level; however, there is no safe level. All pollution leads to death, because living in such an environment shortens men’s lives and affects men’s health.
Rather than attacking the environmentalist movement for worshiping “Mother Earth” (Gaia), Christians ought to stop supporting the chemical giants that pollute and destroy the earth that God created. Christians ought to consider themselves to be stewards of the earth, rather than its exploiters. Unfortunately, the use of such pollutants increases profits both for farmers and for the chemical giants, and so the government’s laws reward evil.
If we were to understand the laws of God, farmers would know how to repent and turn to the ways of God. When farmers learn to mineralize the soil, rather than to treat it with harmful chemicals, the health of this nation will greatly improve, and the need for health care will drop dramatically.
Likewise, when we learn to utilize food that God has created and designed to promote health, rather than depend upon “medicines” (artificial drugs) that are promoted by the pharmaceutical companies, we will then stop polluting our own earth (bodies). God has built into nature the cure or prevention for every disease known to mankind. Modern medicine only treats symptoms and manages disease, and the system is designed to keep patients alive longer so that the pharmaceuticals may sell more of their products.
As we will see later, the curses of the law include disease and ill health. America spends more than any other nation on health care and yet Americans are among the most unhealthy people in the world. All we need to do is to look at the fruit of our laws. Do our laws promote health or disease? Are we being blessed or cursed?
Moses continues in Deuteronomy 28:4,
4 Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.
These are general statement which includes many topics that are too extensive to cover here. We may discuss how many diseases are hitting people at younger ages. We may discuss how chemical and other pollutants are damaging and mutating our DNA at much younger ages. We may even discuss intelligence and the failed educational system. Certainly, we may discuss the alarming trend toward infertility and sterility that has caused some scientists to predict that few people will be able to reproduce children normally within a few generations.
It is obvious that we are not seeing the blessings for obedience. This alone should make us see the need for national repentance. If God allows this to go on much longer, the destruction of mankind would be assured.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
The “basket” represents the fruit of the ground. The “kneading bowl” was used for dough and has to do with bread that nourishes and strengthens us. How are these things blessed? They are blessed when they fulfill their calling. The calling of food is to promote long and productive life by giving us health and strength.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
This is a Hebrew idiom that corresponds to the English expression, “come and go.” It speaks of daily life, where we are able to come and go securely and without fear. God’s blessing is seen when our movement is not restricted by evil men or by government road blocks. For this reason, Psalm 121:7, 8 says,
7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. 8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and for ever.
Moses continues in Deuteronomy 28:7,
7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way and shall flee before you seven ways.
America never lost a war prior to 1948. After 1948 America has never won a war, other than minor conflicts such as Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989). The Korean War never really ended. The Vietnam war was lost. While President Bush declared victory over Iraq in 2003, he failed to mention that the so-called “War on Terror” is a perpetual war that will never end in victory as long as America refuses to repent.
When a nation recognizes the Creator’s rights and obeys His law, God defends the nation. But Leviticus 26:40 and 41 makes it clear that when Israel broke their word and acted with hostility against God, God also became their enemy. The prophet also mentioned this in Isaiah 63:10,
10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore, He turned Himself to become their enemy, He fought against them.
Again, the prophet foretells how God will yet take up arms against Jerusalem to destroy that city on account of its rebellion against God (Christ). Isaiah 29:1-3 says,
1 Woe, O Ariel, Ariel the city where David once camped! Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule. 2 And I will bring distress to Ariel… 3 And I will camp against you, encircling you, and I will set up siege works against you, and I will raise up battle towers against you.
Ariel is a poetic name for Jerusalem. This name has a double meaning. It was supposed to the “lion of God” (from ariy, “lion”); but when they rebelled against God, God treated it like “God’s hearth” (from arieyl, “hearth-altar”), where the people would be sacrificed as a burnt offering on the altar of God.
The rebellious people of Jerusalem are said to be God’s enemies, the enemies of Christ, and for this reason, God said that He will make war on Jerusalem, raising up other nations as His army. While this was partially fulfilled in 586 B.C. and again in 70 A.D., as Jesus prophesied in Matthew 22:7, Isaiah’s description sounds more like a nuclear strike than a normal invasion. In that scene, Ariel’s “enemies” are its own inhabitants—not the army that God has raised up against the city. God is said to be on the side of those who fight against Ariel-Jerusalem.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem are the cause of the city’s destruction and are therefore the real enemies of the city. Hence, the prophet says in Isaiah 29:5,
5 But the multitude of your [Ariel’s] enemies shall become like fine dust, and the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; and it shall happen instantly, suddenly. 6 From the Lord of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, with whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.
Men have misunderstood this, because they do not know the law. They think that the Jews are immune to such judgment even though they have rejected both the Father and the Son. But they are the ones today who have occupied Jerusalem, and their rebellion against God and hostility against Christ has made them the enemies of the city itself. The result of this, Isaiah says, is that God will turn Jerusalem into an altar of burnt offering, using nuclear weapons to destroy the city.
Then will be fulfilled the prophecy in Jeremiah 19:11, which says that the city will be destroyed in such a way that it will never again be rebuilt or repaired. In this way, Paul says, Jerusalem—“the bondwoman”—will be cast out (Galatians 4:30), so that the true inheritors may rule the Kingdom in the Age to come.
It is important to understand the law of God, so that we know the meaning of Isaiah’s prophecies concerning the earthly Jerusalem. These principles also affect America and all nations, for there is no impartiality with God. When we expel Christ from His rightful place as King of kings, our hostility toward Him brings hostility in return, for this is the curse of the law. Such hostility does not end until repentance occurs (Leviticus 26:40-42).
Moses then tells us that national prosperity will be given to the nation that is blessed by God. Deuteronomy 28:8 says,
8 The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
Later, when Moses speaks of the curses of the law, we see the results of disobedience. There we find that the barns will not be blessed, for God will send drought and famine to the land. Most people think that rain is just a natural phenomenon that has no relationship to sin and rebellion in the land. But God makes it very clear that He is in control of the rain which determines production from the land.
9 The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you will keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and walk in His ways. 10 So 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 [or, respect you].
In times past the world had great respect for America on account of its blessings from God. But in recent years that respect has eroded and is maintained more and more by fear of its military and economic power. Nations used to love America, but fear is fast replacing love. For this reason, the so-called BRICS nations [Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa] are setting up an alternative system of world trade that has ceased to recognize and use the US dollar as the world currency. America has abused and misused its power in recent decades, and China has risen to the place where it can now challenge America’s economic supremacy.
This shows how America has moved from God’s blessing to God’s curse. We are no longer a “holy people” but people who are in open revolt against the “ways” (life-style) consistent with the character of God and the mind of Christ. But Moses continues by telling us more about the blessings of God for obedience:
11 And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the offspring of your body and in the offspring of your beast and in the produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
America used to be the greatest creditor nation in the world. Now it is the greatest debtor nation. This is another major sign that the blessing of God has passed from us and has been replaced by the curse of God.
13 And the Lord shall make you the head and not the tail, and you only shall be above, and you shall not be underneath, if you will listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully. 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Over the centuries, many nations—and even cities—have dominated world trade. There was Venice in the 1400’s to the 1600’s, Holland in the 1700’s, the British Empire in the 1800’s, and America in the 1900’s. The blessing is now being passed to China, not because of China’s righteous ways, but because of the unrighteousness of America’s ways.
In the midst of this, God is setting up His Kingdom. He is using China and its BRICS allies to replace the Babylonian commercial system in the West. Even as in ancient times, Babylon was conquered by the Medes and Persians from the East, so again God is using “Kings of the East” (Revelation 16:12) to overthrow Mystery Babylon.
Even as Cyrus of Persia did all that the Lord commanded him by funding the Kingdom in that day, so also will God use these Kings of the East (primarily China and Russia) to fund the Kingdom of God for the age to come. God’s purposes will be accomplished. When He pours out His Spirit upon the earth in a new way, the people will be convicted of sin. They will again recognize Jesus Christ as the King of kings and Lord of lords and seek to know His ways in order to live a Kingdom life-style.
This is the fifth part of a series titled "Moses' Tenth Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones