This chapter talks about the consequences of the Israelites’ behaviour. The blessings that will come if they are obedient, and the progressively worse disasters that will befall them if they are not. Its pretty much the story of the next 10 or so books of the bible.
I like that the blessings are instant, and repentance is always within reach, but the curses come as a series of ever more serious consequences… slow to anger and quick to bless.
I still practically subscribe to this punishment and reward model in quite a literal way. Its probably superstitious, theological balderdash.
If I feel guilty about something I have done and have a setback, I think its God punishing me. I don’t think so much good things are a reward though. I get that more the other way around: I try do the right thing because I have been blessed. And when they happen unfairly, I say “why god why”. So every outcome is covered by my spiritualising. Is such a simple cause and effect real? Is god real? If the second question’s answer is “yes”, why not the first, eh?
Anyway from this prediction the sadness and glory of the Old Testament flows. They will have high highs of gods revelation and blessing, and low lows of his suffering for their ignorance of him.
They will take the promised land, make it great, watch it get corrupted, be thrown out of it and return. They are the chosen race – chosen to exemplify god’s character, and to provide the ancestry for god in human form. As an earthly imprint of the heavenly pattern they were always an imperfect copy, but the messiah did come through the line.