In today's reading we continue with the prophetic picture of Israel in relationship to the land. Keep in mind that Israel owned the land because of God's covenant with Abraham; but she possessed and enjoyed it only if she obeyed God's covenant as a holy nation. Christians today have all the blessings in Christ they need because of His grace; but they enjoy those blessings only as they trust and obey Him. Of course, this principle of obedience is found in every dispensation, for God cannot bless those who rebel against Him.
The curses in chapter 28:13-19 parallel the blessings in verses 3-6. God warns the people that the same disease and pestilence they have seen among their enemies would visit them, including the plagues He sent to Egypt (verse 27). Their enemies would defeat them; they would be scattered like blind slaves across the face of the earth. Their rich land, flowing with milk and honey, would turn into a wilderness, and instead of Israel being the "first" nation of the earth, she would be "the tail" (verse 44).
The word "destroyed" in verse 45 does not mean completely wiped out, for God could not violate His covenant and destroy the nation of Israel. Rather, it means to be crushed, referring to the terrible trials and disciplines that would fall on Israel because of her disobedience. Verse 63 indicates that continued disobedience would result in Israel being plucked off the land and scattered among the nations--a perfect picture of the Jews today. What nation has suffered more than Israel?
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