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

Deuteronomy 6:9‑7:16  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
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 54:5), 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 1:3). 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.