If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:
- Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
- Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.
- 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.
The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns, and in all that you undertake; he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you. The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them, and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I am commanding you today, either to the right or to the left, following other gods to serve them.
An image of divine dance
Here the language of blessing is rare and fascinating: "These blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God." The imagery is of blessings as a pursuing host, a great company of goodness that flows around us like the wind and falls upon us, overtaking us like the dawn overtakes the night, and suddenly, there is light!
The imagery is almost as if the default state of humans is to flee divine blessing: it is as if in our own selves we run away from the place of divine blessing; and yet, as we turn to obey our God, suddenly, and overwhelmingly, the blessings overtake us and fall upon us, and we are whole.
There is a divine principle here: obedience, fear of the Lord, refusal of idols... this is the path where blessings overtake us and fall like rain upon parched soil, bringing forth the harvest of righteousness!