How to Damage Your Whole Family

In Deuteronomy 28, it strikes me how many of the blessings for obedience, and curses for disobedience directly affect families. Disobedience to the law of God is the heart of harm in a family. Families are the first temporal losers in rejecting God's commandments. Moses starts with the blessings of obedience in 28:1-14. Then he spends the bulk of the chapter on the curses.

“Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

“Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

These are pictures of home life. Having children, working the land, preparing food, going in and our of your house. The Lord blesses these things in the families of the people who obey Him.

In verse 15, Moses itemizes the curses that fall upon nations and families which disobey the Lord. He speaks of home life, “your basket and your kneading bowl,” the fruit of your body.”

He speaks of the damage to marriages, and even the building of a house for your family, and the planting of olive trees and grapevines. These are symbols of the long term blessings on a family. Olive trees and grape vines take a long time to cultivate and they bear fruit, for many years. He speaks of the assets of a family being destroyed, in oxen and donkeys being slaughtered before your eyes on your own land.

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