Continuing from Part 4…
HEAD OR TAIL
There is another important concept pointed out in the blessings and curses. It is about who has the sovereignty, or who rules over the other. Compare and contrast the following verses, asking who is the head (ruler) and who is the tail (ruled over) with blessings? Who is head and tail under curses?
“And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. 7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.”
Deuteronomy 28:1, 12-13
“1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:”
“12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:”
“Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: 5 Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. 6 For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.”
Leviticus 26:25, 32-39
“25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.”
“32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. 33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. 34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. 35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. 36 And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. 37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. 38 And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. 39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.”
Deuteronomy 28:36, 44, 48, 62-65
“36 The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.”
“44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.”
“48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”
“62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God. 63 And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:”
So, with blessings God would make His people the head, having the advantage over their enemies. Under curses that would be reversed, and their enemies would rule over them and scatter them among the heathen.
If you want to find a present truth, end-time application of the blessings and curses, here is one thought. For those of you who are more advanced in the interpretation and understanding of symbols and types in the Bible, you know that a mention of rain points to the Latter Rain at the end of the world. It is interesting that the law and covenant talks about rain.
Look at these verses:
“Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.”
“The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.”
“And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.”
Deuteronomy 28:23-24, 51 (corn, wine, oil)
“23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. 24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.”
“51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.”
To summarize, blessings would bring rain in its due season, but curses would mean drought or no rain. If I apply this spiritually, obedience to God’s law and covenant brings the latter rain power, but disobedience hinders or prevents the latter rain power. Just a hint: if God’s people ever find themselves in a condition of disobedience or rebellion, there are conditions that must be met in order to reverse the curses and again obtain the favor of God and the blessings of the latter rain. See Leviticus 26:40-41. I will discuss meeting those conditions in a later blog, when we look at the experience of Daniel in chapter 9 of the book of Daniel.
As I have said before, there are many more things to compare and contrast in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28-29. These have been just a few of the main points that have helped me to make sense of the long and somewhat complex history of Israel. These main points will be re-emphasized and discussed more in depth as I share the parts of Israel’s history where they become relevant.
Bible, King James Version
Quotes taken from the Ellen G. White Writings, Comprehensive Research Edition 2008 CD