Two mountains.

As we near the end of the Torah (and Moses’ life) – we see something very interesting declared in Deut 27. The Israelites are divided up into 2 camps, and they are given some detailed instructions for when they finally enter this long-promised land that God has given to them. Half of the nation is instructed to climb to the top of Mount Gerizim – and the other half is to climb Mount Ebal. Those tribes on Mount Gerizim are to pronounce the Blessing – and those tribes on Mount Ebal shall pronounce the Curse.

What is going on here?

Well remember, everything that God is writing in the Law is meant to make clear the way of life which He set into motion in the garden. Mankind has yet to fully walk in that way – and so God is forced to provide a detailed description of what this life looks like. It is God’s full intention to create this group of ex-slaves into a nation which serves Him and lives the way He created life to be lived. This nation is right on the doorstep of their permanent home (after 40 years of wandering due to their disobedience). So God is taking another opportunity to give them a picture of the choices that lay before them.

So He splits the nation in two – has half of them pronounce choice #1 on Mount Gerizim – and the other half pronounce choice #2 on Mount Ebal. (The Levites stand in the middle and read a summary of these choices).

The main thing we can take from this is that the Blessing and the Curse are both already here. God is NOT sitting with a bag of gold in one hand and a club in another – waiting for the people to either make a mistake or deserve a blessing. The Blessing and the Curse are already on the earth due to the disobedience in the garden. It is by their choices that the Israelites will release one of the other upon their lives and their new home.

In Chapter 28 God then gives even more details about what these two lifestyles include. Notice He says “If you do such and such… then this will happen to you…” (Duet 28:1). God is telling them that if they make the follow choices in their daily lives – then it will unleash the following reactions into their lives. It isn’t that they have some supernatural power to create these things – just that their decisions will open up what is already there.

14 verses on Blessing… 53 verses on Curses… anyone want to guess which one God is trying to steer them away from?

After these instructions about the two mountains – they are reminded of what they have been through these 40 years. “I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out upon you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. “ – Deut 29:5. What a beautiful picture of God’s heart to bless and take care of His people! Even in the midst of their disobedience, He traveled through the dry desert right along with them – feeding them, and ensuring they had all that they needed (even causing their clothing and shoes to not wear out!). Over and over – during these first 5 books – we see this heart of God come out. How anyone can see the Lord as anything BUT a caring loving parent who desires good things for His children is totally beyond me.

As we wrap up the book of Deuteronomy (and the Law as a whole) – we prepare to enter a very interesting portion of the Israelites story – the History books. (If you like war and drama… this is the part for you!).

 

Be Fruitful & Multiply,

PK

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