Deuteronomy 28* The blessings for obedience. (1-14) The curses fordisobedience. (15-44) Their ruin, if disobedient. (45-68)1-14 This chapter is a very large exposition of two words, theblessing and the curse. They are real things and have realeffects. The blessings are here put before the curses. God isslow to anger, but swift to show mercy. It is his delight tobless. It is better that we should be drawn to what is good by achild-like hope of God's favour, than that we be frightened toit by a slavish fear of his wrath. The blessing is promised,upon condition that they diligently hearken to the voice of God.Let them keep up religion, the form and power of it, in theirfamilies and nation, then the providence of God would prosperall their outward concerns. 15-44 If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only comeshort of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under thecurse, which includes all misery, as the blessing all happiness.Observe the justice of this curse. It is not a curse causeless,or for some light cause. The extent and power of this curse.Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows; wherever heis, it rests upon him. Whatever he has is under a curse. All hisenjoyments are made bitter; he cannot take any true comfort inthem, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them. Manyjudgments are here stated, which would be the fruits of thecurse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews,for their apostacy and disobedience. We may observe thefulfilling of these threatenings in their present state. Tocomplete their misery, it is threatened that by these troublesthey should be bereaved of all comfort and hope, and left toutter despair. Those who walk by sight, and not by faith, are indanger of losing reason itself, when every thing about themlooks frightful. 45-68 If God inflicts vengeance, what miseries his curse canbring upon mankind, even in this present world! Yet these arebut the beginning of sorrows to those under the curse of God.What then will be the misery of that world where their wormdieth not, and their fire is not quenched! Observe what is heresaid of the wrath of God, which should come and remain upon theIsraelites for their sins. It is amazing to think that a peopleso long the favourites of Heaven, should be so cast off; and yetthat a people so scattered in all nations should be keptdistinct, and not mixed with others. If they would not serve Godwith cheerfulness, they should be compelled to serve theirenemies. We may justly expect from God, that if we do not fearhis fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one wayor other God will be feared. The destruction threatened isdescribed. They have, indeed, been plucked from off the land,ver. #63|. Not only by the Babylonish captivity, and whenJerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; but afterwards, when theywere forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem. They should have norest; no rest of body, ver. 65, but be continually on theremove, either in hope of gain, or fear of persecution. No restof the mind, which is much worse. They have been banished fromcity to city, from country to country; recalled, and banishedagain. These events, compared with the favour shown to Israel inancient times, and with the prophecies about them, should notonly excite astonishment, but turn unto us for a testimony,assuring us of the truth of Scripture. And when the otherprophecies of their conversion to Christ shall come to pass, thewhole will be a sign and a wonder to all the nations of theearth, and the forerunner of a general spread of truechristianity. The fulfilling of these prophecies upon the Jewishnation, delivered more than three thousand years ago, shows thatMoses spake by the Spirit of God; who not only foresees the ruinof sinners, but warns of it, that they may prevent it by a trueand timely repentance, or else be left without excuse. And letus be thankful that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse ofthe law, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his ownperson all that punishment which our sins merit, and which wemust otherwise have endured for ever. To this Refuge andsalvation let sinners flee; therein let believers rejoice, andserve their reconciled God with gladness of heart, for theabundance of his spiritual blessings.
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