Verses 1-3 – This chapter presents the two paths of obedience and disobedience that God set before His people. The people of the Old Testament were warned over and over against worshiping idols. God was pretty plain about what idols were. Idolatry is making anything more important than God is. We sometimes call this an obsession when we focus so much on money, looks, success, in anything that takes God’s place. But there are still some who bow before statues, carved images or monuments. God hasn’t changed in how He deserves your entire honor or all the glory.
Verse 13 – God took the children of Israel out of bitter slavery and gave them freedom and dignity. We too are set free from our past when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord. We too are warned of returning to the old temptations that once held us in bondage.
Conditions and Results of Disobedience
Verses 14-17 – These curses match the five sets of blessings in verses 3-13. The curses increase in severity with a persistent refusal to repent. The Lord would turn against His people only after they turned against Him.
Verse 18 – God used sin’s consequences to draw them to repentance, not to get back at them. To a believer today, calamity is not always the result of wrong doing; we have to guard against accepting blame for every tragedy we encounter. This misplaced guilt is one of Satan’s favorite weapons against believer.
Verse 29 – This curse was fulfilled when the Syrian King Ben-Hadad besieged Samaria, the capital of northern Israel.
Verse 31 – This reference to sweet aromas, God was simply saying He wouldn’t accept their sacrifices any longer.
Verses 33-35 – These verses came true in 2 Kings 17 and 25. Israel persistently disobeyed and eventually were conquered and carried off to the lands of Assyria and Babylonia. The nation was held in captivity 70 years, making up for all the years that the Israelite’s did not observe the law of the Sabbath year (2 Chronicles 36:21).
The Promise of Restoration
Verses 40-45 – God shows them He is slow to anger (Exodus 34:6). Even after Israel chose to disobey and were scattered among their enemies, God would give them opportunity to repent. God’s purpose was not to destroy them, but to help them grow. When people think that God is always just waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us, shows they don’t know God’s character. Jeremiah 29:11, 12 very plainly tells us, God has a wonderful plan for our lives. The Bible says, “God’s goodness will cause men to repent.” He is the God of second and third, fourth, and ………… chances. He wants a relationship with us and His purpose for our lives is so amazing that we can’t imagine it all at once. He guides us through His spirit that can only come through accepting His Son.