In the book of Deuteronomy, there are 72 verses between Deuteronomy 27-28 that deal with curses for disobedience and 14 verses that speak of blessing. Whenever I read or listen to these passages, I’m so overwhelmed by the horror of the curses that I’m thankful when I get to Deuteronomy 29. Often I think, why are there more curses than blessings? Why aren’t there more blessings? Doesn’t this fit the stereotype of God as the vengeful God of the Old Testament? 

Today as I read through these chapters of Deuteronomy, I had similar thoughts. As I usually do. However, I noticed something today in Deuteronomy 29. 

Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them:

Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God” (emphasis added).

Deuteronomy 29:2-6 (NIV)

In verse 4, Moses says the Lord didn’t give the people eyes to see or ears to hear. This doesn’t mean the Lord prevented the people from seeing or hearing. Instead, it means the Lord allowed their hearts to be hardened. In verses 3,5-6, we see examples of what the Lord has done and why he did it: “I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” However, despite everything God did for the Israelites and everything they saw, they still didn’t get it. 

In Deuteronomy 29:19, we get this insight.

When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry (emphasis added).

Deuteronomy 29:19 (NIV)

This “oath” is the covenant between the Lord and the Israelites. Here in Deuteronomy 29, we read about it being renewed. It’s here in verse 19 where we see why there are 72 verses covering curses for disobedience and only 14 verses covering blessings for obedience. 

I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way.

Deuteronomy 29:19b (NIV)

No matter what God did for the Israelites, they still didn’t get it. They still didn’t understand who God was. They did what they wanted to do when they wanted to do it and thought God would always bless them no matter what they did. People today are no different. 

One way it’s evident that we’re no different from the Israelites is how we “remember” Scripture. Consider these three verses.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

All three of these verses are conditional: If you want perfect peace, then keep your mind on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3) and resist the devil after submitting (humbling) yourself before God (James 4:7). Those conditions are right there within the verses. Yet, we forget what we have to do. 1 Peter 5:6 tells us what to do before casting our cares on the Lord.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)

We have to humble ourselves and then cast our cares on the Lord. I only mentioned three verses that come to mind since these are ones people often refer to without considering their role in God fulfilling his promises, but there are more. 

The reason why there seem to be more curses than blessings isn’t that God is more vengeful in the Old Testament or any other nonsense like that. It’s because people only hear what they want to hear and do what they want to do, and then, after doing that, they expect to be blessed. Therefore, when we read all those curses, we should feel like I do. Overwhelmed and worn out by the horrors contained within. 

Although Christians aren’t under the law, we know the truth behind all the blessings and curses.

You will be blessed and have a better life when you do what God wants. You won’t have a better life if you don’t do what God wants.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.