The Curses For Disobedience

One New Year’s Eve at London’s Garrick Club, British dramatist Frederick Lonsdale was asked by Symour Hicks to reconcile himself with a fellow member. The two had quarreled in the past and never restored their friendship. “You must,” Hicks said to Lonsdale. &quo … More


Moses reminds Israel that they are not naive concerning idolatry (vv. 16-18).They had seen it in Egypt and then had fallen into idolatry along the way to the promised land. Because of this they should watch out for this sin when they entered the promised land and faced new temptations. Judgement would come not only on the one who introduced idolatry but also on the whole nation because they allowed themselves to be swept away by the false worship.

Moses cautioned that the day the Israelites chose to turn from God, a root would be planted that would produce bitterness (v. 18). When we decide to do what we know is wrong, we plant an evil seed that begins to grow out of control, yielding a crop of sorrow and pain. However we can prevent these seeds of sin from taking root. When we do something wrong we need to confess it to God and others immediately (I Jn. 1:9). If the seed never finds fertile soil, its bitter fruit will never ripen.

God will destroy them and their land, and all of this destruction will be evident to the surrounding nations who will witness their fall. (vv. 24-28) The land that was once referred to as “flowing with milk and honey” was to become barren because the anger of the Lord was kindled against them (v. 27). There are some secrets that God has chosen not to reveal to us (v. 29). Although He has not told us everything there is to know about obeying Him, He has told us enough. Therefore disobedience comes from an act of the will and not an act of knowledge.


Just as the obedience or disobedience of that Israelite generation had a great effect on those not yet born so will this be true of me today.

Deuteronomy 29:16-29 (English Standard Version)

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