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Chapter 28

ch. 28:1-14    ch. 28:14-68

 

Blessings For Obedience (ch. 28:1 - 14)

 

This chapter is all about God's blessings if Israel obey Him, and His curses upon them of they disobey.  Yet I see more to this chapter.  I see prophecy.  I see the blessings spoken of here as being prophetic of the days ahead when with the help of God, Israel will finally obey.  I also see the curses here culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. 

 

In verse 1 God tells Israel through Moses that if Israel obeys God He will set them high above all the nations of the world.  This has never happened.  I do believe it will happen at the end of this age, and that is due once again to God's promise to Abraham.  The verse says here that Israel will be set up above all nations, only if they obey.  They will obey at some future point, but with the help of the Lord who will give Israel a spirit of repentance as seen in the last few chapters of  Zechariah.

 

I will not comment on all blessings listed in this passage.

 

Verse 7 states that when nations come in one direction to attack Israel, they will flee in seven different directions.  I see this as a prophecy of the last day attack on Israel by the nations of the world.

 

Verse 10 states that all nations will come to realize that you are called and named by God Himself.  These nations will fear Israel.  Again, I see this as restored Israel at the end of this age. 

 

Curses For Disobedience (ch. 28:15 - 68)

 

You will note right away that the section with the curses is much bigger than the section with the blessings.  In our world of positive thinking, that might not be all that socially correct, but I don't think the Lord cares much about our social habits.  When you think of it, there has probably been more cursings in Israel's history than blessings.  That might account for more blessings here than curses.  

 

Again, I will not comment on each and every curse listed here.

 

I believe that 70 A.D. is a important date in Jewish history.  That is when the Roman army totally demolished Israel.  The army killed most Jews living in Jerusalem and sent the rest away throughout the known world.  The curses you see in this chapter culminated in the destruction of 70 A.D.. In verse  20 God says that these curses will end in sudden ruin, and that is what indeed took place in 70 A.D..

 

Verse 26 says that Jewish carcasses will be food for the birds of the air and beasts of the field.  This is a picture of the devastation seen after the Roman attack. 

 

Verse 32 states that Israel's sons and daughters will be given to another nation.  That is exactly what happened in 70 A.D..  Jews were disbursed throughout the known world to live in other nations that weren't there own. 

 

Verse 33 speaks of being cruelly oppressed.  That has been the plight of the Jews since 70 A.D..  Hitler's oppression of the Jews is an example, and I believe an example that began the end of Jewish oppression.  It's ironic to me that a few years after the murder of millions of Jews, Israel finally became a nation again, as if, God was winding down the oppression, before the final judgment of all nations at the end of this age.

 

Note in verse 46 that these curses will be an everlasting sign, a sign forever of their disobedience.  That tells me that Israel will never forget what they had gone through.  In the next life, on the new earth, Israel will remember these days of destruction but will be glad for the redemption that their God provided them.  How grateful they will one day be.

 

Note also verse 47.  In the days of Israel's prosperity, they will not gladly serve their God, and for this reason, these curses will come upon them.  This is not only the situation with Israel but also with Christians and the church.  It is an ever-present tendency to forsake the Lord when things are going well for us.  It's only when things turn bad that we turn back to Him.

 

Note in verses 53 to 5e the depth of despair that Israel finally gets to in their disobedience.  Fathers and mothers, especially mothers, will eat their children because of their great hunger.  Mothers will actually eat their afterbirth.  This is horrendous, but this is what actually happened in the siege on Jerusalem in 70 A.D..  That's how bad it actually got for the Jews.  This is all because Israel would not follow the commands of their God.  

 

"Glorious and awesome name the Lord your God" is found in verse 58.  I seldom, if ever, use the word "awesome" for anything or anyone, other than for God Himself.  He alone is "glorious and awesome".  Note the words "the Lord your God".  Another way to say this is, "Yahweh your Elohim".  Of all the so-called gods in the world, for Israel, "Yahweh" alone is their God, or, their "Elohim". 

 

Verse 61 speaks of the total destruction of Israel.  We must take this verse in total Biblical context.  Some say that this prophecy has come true, and that it has.  That being said, God will honour His promise to Abraham.  Israel will recover from this destruction as promised. 

 

In verse 63 God tells Israel that if they disobey, they will be uprooted from the promised land.  That took place when Babylon took most of Israel captive.  It took place to its full extent in 70 A.D. when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and spread the Jews throughout the known world.

 

In verses 64 and 65 God says that He will send the Jews to every nation of the world where they will worship other gods.  That clearly took place in 70 A.D..  From that time on Israelis could be found in most, if not all nations of the world, and they did worship other gods.  Jews took up the cultural and societal aspects to these nations, which in one sense of the word was worshipping other gods.

 

It is interesting to note that for the most part, when one civilization is defeated by another and they are spread throughout the world, they lose their identity.  They get absorbed by the nation they reside in, never to regain who they once were. That is not the case with the Jews.  No matter what nation they can be found in, a Jew is still a Jew, whether he is a practicing religious Jew or not.  This is for a reason.  God will bring the Jews, His people, back into prominence at the end of this age.  For this reason, they can't be a los civilization.

 

The rest of this chapter states  horrible things that will happen to the Jews, things that I believe found ultimate fulfillment under Hitler's persecution.  I've said this before, but I believe Hitler's persecution was the final punishment of Israelis before God allowed them to go back to the land God had promised them. 

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