Parashat Ki Tavo 5781 B”H
The first part of Deuteronomy (Devarim) 28 is a favorite for many. And who wouldn’t like it?
Blessings will abound! Blessed will you be in the city, in the field, your children, your land and produce, your flock (verses 3-6). Your enemies will flee from you! (v.7) You will lend and not borrow, you will be the head and not the tail (v.12, 13).
What’s not to like?
Certainly all of us who claim to love Adonai resonate with these promises. Surely, we are established as His holy people (v.9) and surely we walk in His ways. Right?
Ok, now the pride meter might be rising.
“Everyone will be in awe of us.”
“We are His people, and we cannot fail.”
Uh oh. We may be getting on a slippery slope, my friends.
Blessings require us to LISTEN and to OBEY
These blessings are contingent upon consistent relationship with the Holy One of Israel. These blessings don’t just come because we have professed faith. These blessings require us to constantly LISTEN to what His Spirit is saying and obey what is written in His Word.
It is only natural for us to dwell on the things we like and try not to think about the stuff that we don’t. But we are not called to be natural, we are called to be spiritual.
Many believers know parts of Deuteronomy 28 very well – but if you check closely, those commonly cited passages are all found in the first 14 verses of the chapter.
I don’t hear anyone talking about the curses! And understandably so . . . they are overwhelming! Terrifying. But we must acknowledge the reality that there are REAL curses that DO afflict those who choose to disobey God.
There are 69 verses in Deuteronomy 28, not just 14. MOST of those verses describe the destruction that will come to those who turn from ADONAI’S instructions.
BUT THERE IS HOPE!
The curse of sin and death has been broken.
But if we do not understand what we have been saved from, we are missing half of that very blessing. Also, if we do not understand that sanctification is an ongoing process and that we either invite blessing or demise into our lives based on our choices (even after receiving salvation) we are prone to confusion and a less dynamic understanding of the relationship we hold as children of the Most High God.
THE CURSES ACTUALLY REVEAL HOW AMAZING LIVING UNDER BLESSING REALLY IS
You don’t have to live under any curse. You have the choice to follow the Savior, who chooses to bless us when we repent and reject a cursed life of sin and death.
The curses outlined in Deuteronomy 28:15ff are so horrific that it just makes me think of just how awesome the gift of salvation truly is. We have been saved from terror, a hopeless, despairing future and so freely given love, security, and peace – the shalom that surpasses all understanding. So many people fear “keeping Torah,” citing legalism and claiming irrelevance, but if only they would understand how Torah illuminates what pleases God and rather than bind us, it frees us to more fully understand the richness of our salvation!
So let’s commit ourselves to reading the entirety of the Bible, not just the parts we like.
Because even in those passages that seem so difficult or even dreadful to read . . . – even there in the depths, we can find the glimmer of the Gospel. He has given us hope and a future, so let’s learn and study the whole Word so we can step into our callings as ambassadors for His glorious Truth.