New Living Translation (NLT)
|At The Entrance To The Temple Mount, Gustav Bauernfiend|
Blessings for Obedience
1 “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.
New Living Translation (NLT)Curses for Disobedience
15 “But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:
These verses, and the ones that follow them, are the essence of the Palestinian Covenant that God made with Israel. In this covenant, God has reaffirmed the promise that He made regarding the land which He would give to His people. That part is unconditional. But there is a conditional aspect to the covenant. That's what these verses are referring to. The "grace" aspect. The aspect where the Israelites write their own story, so to speak... or create their own (figurative) hell. Either obey and be blessed, or disobey and be cursed and scattered.
Sadly, the Israelites were, and are, only human. They mess up just like the rest of us do. They didn't keep God's commands, and so far, God has not set them high above all nations. Instead, Israel was, and continues to be, disobedient to God. They've been living the curses for thousands of years.
The good news is the unconditional aspects of the covenant. Israel will, eventually, turn back to God and keep His commands, at which point God will gather them from all over the world where they have been scattered, and will establish them in them where He promised their forefathers. In that day, nothing will thwart God's promise.
Now that I've summarized what my study Bible explains at length, I have some questions. Maybe someone can help me out. A lot of God's commands include sacrifices and such. As I understand it, the Jewish people have been trying to breed and raise a perfect red heifer for a long time, and thought they had one back in 2002, but it was disqualified for some imperfection or other. But...
This covenant and the commands were made prior to the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God. Doesn't He supersede the heifer? Why must there still be an animal sacrifice?