Deuteronomy 11:26-28     See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse – the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today;  the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
It is interesting, from our historical perspective, to read this divinely-inspired instruction, given through Moses to the LORD’s Chosen People as they prepared to enter and settle in the Land promised to Abraham and all his descendants forever.  It is interesting because we have access to the history of everything that happened subsequently.

There was nothing complicated about the instruction itself: obedience will result in enjoying God’s blessing; disobedience will result in suffering God’s curse … which is exactly what happened!  Their enjoyment of the blessing led to complacency and indifference to God’s commands, which in turn led to suffering.  The suffering brought them to repentance and renewed vows of obedience, and therefore blessing, and so this  repetitive cycle continued for generation after generation!

What was clear was that this  ‘obedience-blessing-disobedience-curse’ formula just wasn’t working, so the LORD revealed his ultimate Solution through the Prophet Jeremiah: “‘The time is coming,’ declares the LORD , ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD .  ‘This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the LORD . ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD ,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the LORD . ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

As the Author of Hebrews reminds us, this ‘solution’ was based on God’s forgiving grace, which in turn is based on the Crucifixion of his own Son (Hebrews 8:6-13).  For us to really appreciate what Jesus has done for us we need to reflect deeply on Moses’ ancient instruction and its outcome: “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’  Clearly no-one is justified before God by the law, because, ‘The righteous will live by faith.’  The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, ‘The man who does these things will live by them.’  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’  He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Galatians 3:10-14).  “The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend, the agonies of Calvary; you the perfect Holy One, crushed your Son who drank the bitter cup reserved for me.  Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus, thank you; the Father’s wrath completely satisfied, Jesus, thank you; once your enemy, now seated at your table, Jesus, thank you” (Sovereign Grace).
– Bruce Christian