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February 21, 2024 - Deuteronomy 28-30

Such blessings for the people of Israel if they obey the Lord:  “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” (28:12).  But such destruction if they disobey:  “Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed . . . because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God” (28:61-62).  Promises and warnings and, therefore, Moses commands the people, “Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do” (29:9).

 

Alas, the people will prove to be disobedient and they will fall under the curse of the Lord.  But that discipline is not the end of the story:  “And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you” (30:1-3).  How dreadfully they turn from the God who has favored them so but, one day, they will return with all their heart and soul, and the Lord will forgive them and have mercy on them and will restore them.  We can never get enough of this story, of how gracious and merciful and longsuffering is our God toward Israel and toward us!

 

Guide me, O my great Redeemer,

pilgrim through this barren land;

I am weak, but you are mighty;

hold me with your powerful hand.

Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,

feed me now and evermore,

feed me now and evermore.   --William Williams (1745)

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