More specifically, the question is, do the blessings of God outlined in the 28th chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, belong to us? Are you familiar with Deuteronomy 28? If not, we are going to start an exploration of this exciting topic in this first of a two part series on the subject of yes, blessing!
Let’s look at the promised blessings of God:
(3) “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed you shall be in the country.” (4) “Blessed shall be the offspring of your body…the increase of your heard and the young of your flock.” (5) “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.” (6) “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.” (7) “The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated….” (8) “The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns….” (9) “The Lord shall 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 (emphasis added).” (10) “So all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord….” (11) “And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity….” (12) “The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens….”
Exciting isn’t it. It’s easy to get excited with being blessed. To even the most casual observer it is obvious that the operative theme set forth in this set of Scriptures is blessing. But to the discerning, it is also obvious that two key questions remain to be answered: The first, that this is addressed to Israel as a nation, and the second, that these blessings are conditional. Don’t worry, we’ll deal with these issues in a moment.
Now to those of you who are familiar with this 28th Chapter of Deuteronomy, it is obvious to you that I have left out some key Scriptures. I ask for your patience⎯they are not forgotten. But first, let’s define the scope of what is being covered as “blessings” in this first part of this 28th chapter of Deuteronomy. Basically, it is nothing less than every area of life that is included here as blessing. Yes, all areas of life; physical, mental, emotional, of course spiritual, and yes, financial are all under the covering of blessing in Deuteronomy 28.
All of God’s Blessings Are Still In Effect
Yes, all these promises contained in this chapter really do belong to us, the believer. “But how can you say this,” you might be asking? The first verse in this 28th chapter answers this. Let’s read it:
(1) “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.”
So here’s what we know so far: Number one, we know that God never breaks His word, never. Secondly, we know (for this verse tells us) this promise is absolute and pertains to the nation Israel.
So Who Is Israel?
So who is this nation Israel? Is it strictly the nation Israel, that is, territorially and nationally? Or does it refer to someone or something else? The answer is, surprisingly, yes in both instances. Yes the promises of Deuteronomy belong to Israel, and yes, this Israel that is referred to must be none other than the post Messianic Israel, or more specifically, the portion of the Jewish nation that has accepted Christ as Savior and acknowledges Him as Messiah. But this Israel is also, at it’s core and epicenter, you! That’s right, the Israel that qualifies is none other than you, the born-again believer.
Scripture is very clear and proves it, and we will look at this proof in just a moment. But first, why is this so important?
The ultimate importance of the proving of who qualifies as this Israel being referred to in this first verse of this 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, is that it is delineating exactly who can receive these blessings⎯for it is only this Israel who qualifies.
So again, who is this Israel? Galatians 6:14-16 and Romans 9:6-8 answers this question resoundingly and unequivocally:
(14) But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
(15) For neither is circumcision any thing nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
(16) And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God (emphasis added).
And again, Romans 9:6-8:
(6) …For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel;
(7) neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but:
“Through Isaac your descendants will be named.”
(8) That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.
It’s All Or Nothing
Yes, you as a believer, are the only one who qualifies as this Israel spoken of in Deuteronomy 28, for you are the only one who could qualify for the blessings of God. For only a believer can qualify for keeping the whole Law⎯unbroken, and therefore qualify for receiving all the blessings spoken of in Deuteronomy 28! And unquestionably, nothing less than the keeping of the whole Law, unbroken, qualifies….
This is proven by the Word of God in verse 15 of this same 28th chapter of Deuteronomy we are studying:
(15) “But it shall come about, if you will not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.” Notice it says “…to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I charge you today….”
So who can qualify? And what about all these curses that are being spoken of? Sounds pretty bad. Well, ironically, these curses will ultimately outline the very blessings you are entitled to and are set free from. But again, if nothing but perfect obedience can qualify for the blessings, and imperfect obedience to the Law qualifies us for “these curses” (which we’ll discuss in detail later), then who can qualify for the blessings?
All Without Jesus Under the Curse
“For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them.””
For who can keep the Law? None! No, not one of us. Oh, but for our Jesus! And because of Him, we qualify!
The Blessings Are Ours!
Yes, because of our blessed Jesus, and the Work He did on the Cross,
we qualify for the blessings⎯all the blessings⎯every single one of the blessings, of Deuteronomy 28. Yes, we qualify for nothing less than every single last blessing for keeping the Law perfectly! Isn’t that the most wonderful news you ever heard? And just wait until you hear what you have been set free from….
“But how can this be? I’ve never been perfect. I’ve never kept the whole Law?”
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us⎯for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree””⎯
You see, we, those who belong to Jesus, and only those who belong to Jesus, that very same “Israel” spoken of here in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, have been redeemed…literally bought back⎯purchased back out of and away from the curse which we could not escape, by none other than the Blood of Jesus.
So where does that leave us, the believer, positionally? I’ll tell you where it leaves us, it leaves us in the position of entitlement to the inheritance of every blessing for keeping the Law. “But how can this be?”
I Corinthians 1:30 tells us how this can take place:
I Corinthians 1:30
(30) “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”
Yes, Jesus did for us what we could never do for ourselves, He “… became to us…righteousness…sanctification…redemption.” He became for us what we could not ever become ourselves by ourselves⎯perfection under the Law. But He was and is perfect under the Law⎯He never broke it, and this Scripture tells us that He became this for us. He takes our place, that’s what this Scripture is telling us. And because of this, you now qualify! You qualify for every single blessing of keeping the whole Law. You see, He became righteousness for us… that’s in our place! He became sanctification, where we could never have been sanctified. He became redemption, when without Him, we could have never been redeemed.
But now, because of Him, we are entitled to the fullness of the blessings of God, as outlined in Deuteronomy 28.
In Jesus Mighty Name
(click Part II of this article under "More..." below)