Deuteronomy 28: The Scariest Chapter In The Bible

14/54

That is a ratio. Can you guess what it is?

That is the number of pleasant verses in Deuteronomy 28 compared to the number of, shall we say, UNpleasant ones.

If you ever asked yourself while reading Deuteronomy, “Hmm, I know that there have been some warnings about not following the law, but is there anything that paints a horribly disturbing and vivid picture of the results of disobedience; including but not limited to disease, famine, slavery, and cannibalism?”

If so, you’re in luck my friend!

This chapter explains to us in excruciating detail what will happen if the Israelites fail to keep God’s commands.

Things get so bad . . . (how bad ARE THEY?) . . . Things get so bad that . . .

. . . Everything they do will result in curses, confusion, and rebuke. Sort of like a reverse Midas-touch (or an actual one if you get my meaning!)

. . . All manner of diseases will assault them until they are destroyed.

. . . Scorching heat and drought will somehow result in blight and mildew. You know things are bad when that is happening.

. . . Skies of bronze and ground of iron. Instead of bringing life, rain will bring destruction.

. . . They will become wild-animal food.

. . . Everything they try to do for themselves will end up benefitting someone else. Someone gets engaged and some other man ravishes his fiance. Someone plants a vineyard and then someone else eats all the grapes. You get the picture. Everything becomes futile.

. . . not only will they be exiled to another country, but will become objects of horror and ridicule, sort of like clowns that are trying to be scary but aren’t. (bad joke. Too soon?)

. . . they will be led by foreigners. FOREIGNERS!!!

. . . signs and wonders, a term used to describe God’s rescue from Egypt, will be turned against them.

. . . there will be a siege. And this siege will be so bad that it will cut off their food supply, causing a famine. And this famine will be so bad that the most decent, honorable, gentle, sensitive people among them will have to resort to eating their own children. 

And to top it all off, here is quite possibly the most disturbing line of the entire Bible so far:

And just as the Lord took delight in making you prosperous and numerous, so the Lord will take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction

I don’t really have any kind of framework for dealing with a verse like that. God delights in his own people’s destruction.

So I am just going to let that one hang and say no more.

What do you think when you read that verse or this chapter?

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6 responses

  1. I think there lies a vast gulf between what we term “good,” and God terms such. We haven’t the foggiest.

    The only paradigm that makes sense to me is that He delighted in that “destruction,” i.e. the purgation of the flesh, because it lead to something good: a return to Him.

    He didn’t wipe the Israelites out entirely, and start over with someone else, because He promised.

    That said, He is God, which means absolute sovereign. <–something we really don't understand today. As monarch of the universe He can as He wishes (within the confines of His nature).

    • Then that begs the question: Should we realign our standard of “good” to God’s? That becomes difficult when you use this chapter. How should we show people how “good” God is?

      • I don’t know that we can. His transcendence–His utter “otherness”–stands in the way. And all that pesky omnipotent/omniscient stuff, too. He knows things we do not, and cannot, know. I do know this: we dare not ascribe to Him human motives…

        Perhaps I am confusing holiness and goodness here? Yet, maybe they are one and the same? This gets deep, but suffice it to say that God as king, and adjudicator, has a perfect, divine right to judge His creation. We dare not ascribe any evil to His account for His exercise thereof.

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