See, today I am setting before you a blessing and a curse:
I. GOD SUMMONS US TO DECISION.
1. His revelations lay the ground for it. "Light is come into the world" (John 3:19).
3. They shut men up to it. When light comes, decision is inevitable. We must settle what our attitude towards it will be. In decreeing not to choose, we in reality do choose.
II. THE DECISION TO WHICH GOD SUMMONS US TURNS ON A SINGLE POINT. The point is obedience. Will we obey or will we not (ver. 27)? It was so under the Law, and it is so under the gospel. What the gospel asks from us is" the obedience of faith" (Romans 16:26). This tests our disposition thoroughly. True faith carries with it the surrender of the will to God and Christ. It is the root and principle of all holy obedience. Men will not come to Christ; why? The reason is that they cannot bring themselves to yield up their wills to him as he requires. They "love the darkness rather than the light" (John 3:19-22). Refusal to decide for Christ is equivalent, for the time being, to deciding against him (Matthew 12:30).
III. THE DECISION TO WHICH GOD SUMMONS US INVOLVES THE ALTERNATIVE OF A BLESSING AND A CURSE. That was what it came to then, and it is the same still. Blessing or curse; life or death. Whether God is to be our God, blessing us, renewing our inward life, enriching us with his Spirit, bestowing on us grace here and glory hereafter; or whether we are to live beneath his frown, withering up under it in body and soul, and vanishing at last into outer darkness. It is an old question whether a man can voluntarily choose what is for his hurt. Possibly he cannot without first listening to the tempter who bids him believe that the course he pursues will not be for his hurt. But none the less is every sinner taking the path which ends in destruction (Matthew 7:13). His interest, did he but see it, or would he but believe it, is entirely in the line which God wishes him to follow. The terminus of the one road is death (Romans 6:21), of the other life everlasting (Romans 11:22). - J.O.
1. What is the blessing set before us? The blessing of him whose sins are forgiven, who lives in God's favour and dies in peace.
A blessing and a curse.
I. For, in other words, LIFE IS OVERSPREAD, PERMEATED, AND BOUND IN, BY GOD'S LAW. That law occupies every inch of its extent and every fibre of its organisation. Obey and be blessed, disobey and be accursed; here is the sharp alternative imprinted on every department of our being. Your body, your business, your appetites, your affections, your intellect, your memory, your judgment, your imagination, your household manners, your talk at the table and in the street, your practice of your profession or performance at your trade, your levity or sobriety, your temper and your tongue, your bargains and your salutations, your correspondence and your meditation, your action and your reveries, your hands, heart, and brain, all are penetrated and encircled by this law.
II. THIS LAW IS PERMANENT AND UNCHANGEABLE, AS ITS AUTHOR IS, BEING THE UNIFORM WILL OF AN UNCHANGEABLE MIND; not one thing for preachers and communicants, but for persons who never chose to confess themselves Christians another and easier thing; not strict for one seventh of your time and lax for six sevenths; not varying with situations and fluctuating with opportunities for concealment or degrees of temptation; not satisfied to be respected in the dwellings at one end of a city while it is despised in the warehouses and offices at the other end.
III. Again, THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS LAW which we are born and live under, in its two-fold working, whether as visiting penalties upon its violators or peace and strength upon its servants — ARE NOT TO BE PREVENTED THOUGH THEY SHOULD BE APPARENTLY OBSCURED OR POSTPONED. This truth requires something more than a theoretic admission. How many of us realise it — that every offence against the Divine Will is certain to bring on, at last, its penal pain ant: sorrow — even its delay aggravating its torment; that every faithful or religious act or feeling must yield its infallible return of joy — the very hindrance enhancing its richness and depth; that Gerizim is sure of the fulfilment of its promise, and Ebal sure of the execution of its warning?
1. Helps enough are given to enable us to realise it. Can we pretend the law is not made plain?
2. We let our short-sightedness be deceived by the slowness of its operation; and, because sentence against our evil works is not executed speedily, suffer our hearts to get set in us to do evil. But the majestic order of nature is not really so stable as the moral results of moral choice, from greatest to least.
IV. With every right-minded Christian it must be a very earnest and very constant prayer, THAT HE MAY GAIN LARGER AND LARGER APPREHENSIONS OF THE EXTENT AND THE SANCTITY OF THIS LAW — the law that puts him on a perpetual choosing between holiness and worldliness, at between blessing and cursing.
V. Another step in the doctrine is TO TRACE UP THIS COMMANDMENT TO ITS CONSCIOUS AND PERSONAL INFINITE SOURCE. The law has its seat in the heart of God. No rigid, unfeeling abstraction is it, but the living Will of a living Father. Choose the right and scorn the wrong; and there will be growing within you a sense of His Almighty Presence, without whom no right could be, and all would be wrong. But remember that moral obedience can never be religious till it has God for its object, God's Will for its guide, and communion with God for its daily inspiration.
VI. And thus we are led up by this order of our subject to discover, finally, THE POSITIVE GRANDEUR OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE DIVINE LAW. That grandeur is witnessed both by its nature and its effects.
1. In its nature. For obedience to the commandment is of itself a noble and valiant element in character. It is no paradox to affirm that the obedient mind is a commanding mind. The law that carries blessings in its right hand and curses in its left appeals to a deeper principle than selfishness. The blessings are not earthly advantages, but those spiritual gifts and honours, like confidence and holiness, love and faith, power and peace, which exclude all thought of self, and are kindred with the glory and purity of heaven. The curses are those elements of spiritual ruin — fear, hatred, passion, jealousy, despair, which impoverish the whole moral creation. The law does not reveal its encouragements and threatenings from Gerizim and Ebal, to make a rich or famous people, but a holy people.
2. So the effect is holiness of life. The commandment is holy, just, and good; and so must its fruit be.
(Bp. F. D. Huntington.)
(J. Parker, D. D.)
2. What is the curse? Just this, "The soul that sins shall die." "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things written," etc.
3. What is the way to escape the curse? By the death of Christ we are delivered from sin, redeemed from the curse, and by His obedience entitled to a blessing.
4. Which will you choose? Some people think they can make a compromise; that they need not be intensely Christian, as they are not, and will not be intensely worldly. If they do so, it is not really an alteration of their state, but a deception of themselves. You must take the sunshine or the shadow — the evil or the good — the "Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom"; or the withering sentence, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire."
(J. C. Cumming, D. D.)
LinksDeuteronomy 11:26 NIV
Deuteronomy 11:26 NLT
Deuteronomy 11:26 ESV
Deuteronomy 11:26 NASB
Deuteronomy 11:26 KJV
Deuteronomy 11:26 Bible Apps
Deuteronomy 11:26 Parallel
Deuteronomy 11:26 Biblia Paralela
Deuteronomy 11:26 Chinese Bible
Deuteronomy 11:26 French Bible
Deuteronomy 11:26 German Bible
Deuteronomy 11:26 Commentaries