Blessing and cursing side by side is common in the Scriptures. It is the picture of Salvation and Judgment. It is the picture of Passover – God’s angel passed over the Israelites to fall upon the Egyptians. Verse 40+ takes us to John the Baptist’s message. It is good to return to God our Father in Heaven!
On the surface this reading takes us through a very black and white set of instructions from the Lord.
IF <obedience> THEN <blessing> ELSE IF <disobedience> THEN <curse> END
We see this pattern (it’s a clear logic statement) throughout God’s Word.
In Deuteronomy ch 11, the Lord outlines this logic very clearly, and we hear of Mount Gerizim (set for blessing) and Mount Ebal (set for cursing).
Then in Deut ch 27 and 28, we see Moses and the priests acting this out, like a play on a very large scale. Six tribes standing on Mount Gerizim, and six on Mount Ebal. From Gerizim were blessings, you can imagine them like war-cries, resounding across the valley. From Ebal were curses, of a similar volume no doubt, more forboding in their intent.
The question that always pops into my mind then is, “Can we take hold of this binary truth in our lives today?”
Jesus came to bring blessing to His people. But He also came as a sword, as Matthew 10 and Luke 12 tell us, “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Jesus is the reality of blessing and curse. His obedience made it possible for the disobedient to be blessed.
He’s the checkov’s gun, the joker and jack and flush all in one, on whom the entire fate of the world rests and pivots.
Because Jesus divides. He makes it clear, without Him there is only curse (Luke 13 v28, Matt 13 v42). He divides the line between blessing and curses, takes the arbitration away from our own fitful obedience and dominant disobedience, and takes the wrath of judgement for disobedience upon Himself.
He became a curse for us (Gal 3 v13). So that we could have blessing (Gal 3 v14).
I think we can take on the truth of obedience and blessing, disobedience and cursing. We have to. But as with everything we’re reading through in the OT, it’s with the knowledge that Jesus deepened and flexed out the understanding that was given to Moses.
So looking deeper, taking Leviticus as this wonderful painting of Jesus, forshadowing His work, the binary instruction then becomes:
IF <Jesus> THEN <blessing> ELSE <curse> END