But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.(Deuteronomy 28:15-19)
The Covenant God made with Israel through Moses is not like the Covenant He made with Abraham. Remember that the Abrahamic covenant was ratified when Abram split sacrifices and laid them out in halves with a path between them, which God himself walked through the pieces in this form… a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. This meant that the covenant was with God and Himself, Abraham and his seed being the unconditional beneficiary.
But Moses “sprinkled the blood on the people of Israel”, hence it was a conditional covenant with sanctions for obedience and disobedience. If Israel remained faithful to God, she would remain in the land, and be greatly blessed of the LORD.”All of these blessings will come upon you and overtake you…”.
The first 14 words of Deuteronomy 28 are a picture of the beautiful life according to God. You will marry, grow old together, build a house, fill it with children who bless you,they marry, and you have grandchildren. There is love, success in business, favor, family, health, joy, peace of mind and everything else that makes life good, as you worship the LORD together.
But should Israel defect…she would be expelled from the Land, hated by all people, scattered and driven into exile, to the very ends of the earth.
Under the curse of the Law, you may have children but you don’t get to enjoy them.
Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.(Deuteronomy 28:41)
The utter futility of living under the curse of the law is frightening. Everything you put your hand to falls apart, no matter how knowledgeable or skillful you are;
Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof. Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them. Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.(Deuteronomy 28:30-32)
A young couple marries hoping to grow old together. But the marriage falls apart, the business fails, others receive the profits, equipment breaks down and worse of all after the loss of marriage, there is alienation and estrangement of your children. He says they will be taken way from you (Physically? Morally? Spiritually?) and there won’t be a thing you can do about it.
Other nations shall rise up over you in your own land, and eventually God promised to exile Israel out of the Land as a chastisement for unbelief and idolatry. In the exile, wherever they would wander, the nations of the world would be astonished at the Jews, their suffering, their continuity of existence, their peculiar state of restless exile, “The wandering Jew” would become a byword;
Nations would bully the Jews, enslave them, rise up suddenly against them, their existence would be perilous, tenuous, the Psychological pressure would be immense.
Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: (Deuteronomy 28:47-50)
Nations would bully the Jews, enslave them, rise up suddenly against them, their existence would be perilous, tenuous, the psychological pressure would be immense. Life for the diaspora would indeed be as precarious as a “Fiddler on the Roof”, one would never know when the next pogram would break out, or they would have to be disrupted and to wander once again.
And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.( Deuteronomy 28:64-67)
This was the warning of the covenant, the sanctions which would come upon the nation should she consistently apostasizes from her God. The warning proved prophetic, for the sad history of the miracle nation since 70 Ad has borne the sad fact, that Israel has indeed languished under the curse of the Law of Moses.
The recent Holocaust of the Jewish people by the Nazis was by no means unique, for as Moses predicted ,Israel was taken out of her land, and scattered throughout the world, to the very ends of the earth. There have been small groups of Jews found in the remotest jungles of Africa, Asia, in India, and in China, Ethiopia and Rwanda, not to mention the millions who settled in Russia,the Ukraine, Turkey, and those who have endured a living death, entombed in the Muslim world.
The Law of the LORD is perfect and demands perfection of those under it. Thus, “Cursed is everyone who continues not in all things therein…”. A provision of the Mosaic covenant, was the temple, which was the ministry of mercy for the miracle nation , and where priests served in the name of God, offering constant sacrifice to atone for the transgressions of the people.
But the temple was destroyed in 70Ad, and the service of mercy for transgression ceased. But not before a New Covenant was offered to the miracle nation. Jeremiah,Ezekiel and Isaiah all predicted a New covenant for the House of Israel and Judah, an unconditional covenant which would supersede the Old covenant, and ratified by the blood of the Messiah, as a propitiation for the people.
Is there a way out for the miracle nation, from underneath the curse of the Law? Not as long as Israel remains estranged from God, inventing and evolving their own religion, as Jeremiah 2 predicted,
“My people have committed two evils, they have forsaken ME, the fountain of living water, and they have hewn out for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water”.
The Judaism of the Rabbis is a far cry from the Judaism of Moses, Elijah, and the prophets.
But Moses predicted, and so also the later prophets, that God would restore the captivity of Israel, and bring her back into the land, in the last days and completely resurrect her as a people, Spirit,Soul and body, at the end of the Age.
And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.(Deuteronomy 4:28-31)