Reading through the Bible together
How do we view all these curses in this chapter? (There are no blessings listed in this chapter, just curses; the blessings come in the next chapter.) Is God vindictive, petulant, and harsh? Isn’t He a God of love?
God really seems to be saying that these curses are what naturally happen when people disconnect from the only life source—God Himself. On the other side, if His people do follow His laws, then they will be blessed with His favor, with fruitfulness, with food, and with fellowship.
To make sure it was very clear to the people, God put half the nation on one mountain and the other half of the nation on another mountain. He had His Levites down in the valley read off the curses, and the people on one mountain would shout, “Amen!” Then when the blessings were read, the people on the other mountain would shout, “Amen!” The consequences were made clear to them very dramatically.
To say it in another way, living disorderly lives in God’s orderly universe brings upon people dire consequences. God is not watching for us to make a misstep so He can curse us. Perhaps Hosea’s description of God’s response to Israel’s misbehaving ways says it all, “How can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go.” (Hosea 11:8, NLT)
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