Blessings Earthly and Spiritual: Deuteronomy 6:9-7:16

Deuteronomy 6:9‑7:16  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Deuteronomy 6:9-7:169And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. 10And it shall be, when the Lord thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, 11And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; 12Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 13Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15(For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. 17Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. 18And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, 19To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the Lord hath spoken. 20And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord our God hath commanded you? 21Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: 22And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: 23And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. 24And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. 25And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us. 1When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them: 3Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 5But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire. 6For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. 7The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; 10And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face. 11Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them. 12Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: 13And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 14Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee. 16And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee. (Deuteronomy 6:9‑7:16)
The children of Israel were also to write the Word of God upon their gates. The gates are figurative in Scripture of the place where we meet the world, such as in business and other contacts. This instruction to the Israelites would have a message for us to be careful in these things. How often a Christian’s testimony has been marred by some questionable business deal or some long-unpaid debt. In all our business dealings we should be thoroughly upright, saying what we mean and meaning what we say. Our word should be as good as our bond. Even children can learn this uprightness when very young, and strict truthfulness is the first lesson needed.
The Lord’s Blessings in Canaan
At this point the children of Israel were told of the good things that awaited them in Canaan, and that when they came in and possessed them they should not forget that it was the Lord who gave these blessings to them. How easily any of us forget the Lord when we have plenty of good things, though in reality it is then that we should be most thankful to Him. Israel’s enjoyment, and continuance in the good land the Lord gave them, was made dependent upon their obedience. For us salvation is secure through Christ’s finished work, but even now our enjoyment of our blessings is dependent upon obedience.
The parents in Israel were to be prepared to explain to their children all about what God had done for them, and the meaning of His commandments. Oh that each Christian parent were prepared to do this today, and, as it says here, to tell our children these things, realizing that it is for our own good, as well as theirs.
The Lord told the children of Israel that when they came into the land they were not to make any covenants or agreements with the people dwelling there, but to utterly destroy them. Nor were they to make any marriages with them, for they would then be led astray by the idolatrous wife or husband, who had no heart for the true God of Israel. Surely all this is a warning for us, who are so prone to make compromises with the world, and for Christian young people who contemplate marriage.
The Lord reminded His people that He did not set His love upon them because they were a great or mighty people, for they were exceedingly few in number, but it was just His sovereign choice in love. Just as a husband is jealous of his wife’s affections, so the Lord is of His people. A husband may fail to prove himself worthy of his wife’s confident love, but the Lord, who told Israel He was their Husband (Isaiah 54:55For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)), is always worthy. He has never failed in faithfulness to them.
Israel’s Blessings Earthly
We notice here that Israel’s promised blessings for obedience were all earthly blessings in their homes, fields, and flocks, as well as freedom from sickness. It is important to see that this is altogether different from the Christian’s blessings, for we are “blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” (Ephesians 1:33Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3)). It is, of course, true that God cares for our needs as we pass through this world, but prosperity and the increase of earthly possessions are not always signs of the Lord’s blessing with a Christian, as it was with an Israelite. Nor are we promised healing for our bodies today, for though God is able, and His power has not changed, He does not manifest it in the same way now. Nevertheless let us turn to the Lord first in every time of need.
Further Meditations
1. How were the children of Israel to deal with the people already dwelling in the land?
2. What is the difference between the Lord’s blessings and His mercies? What are some of the things we are guaranteed are ours forever in Christ?
3. If you’ve been meditating on God’s blessings for the Christian you will likely enjoy Seven Present Blessings Through the Death of Christ by H. H. Snell.