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From Eternity Past

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    Blessings Conditional

    Still the great leader was filled with fear that the people would depart from God. In a sublime and thrilling address he set before them the blessings that would be theirs on condition of obedience, and the curses that would follow upon transgression:EP 330.2

    “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,” “blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field,” in “the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle... . Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store... . The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face... . The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto.”EP 330.3

    “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not ... observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee,” “and thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.” “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unto the other... . 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: and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: in the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! And at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning!”EP 330.4

    By the Spirit of Inspiration, looking far down the ages, Moses pictured the terrible scenes of Israel's final overthrow as a nation and the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Rome. The horrible sufferings of the people during the siege of Jerusalem under Titus centuries later were vividly portrayed: “He shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land... . Thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters ... in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee.” “The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, ... and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.”EP 331.1

    Moses closed with these impressive words: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey His voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto Him: for He is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19, 20.EP 331.2

    The more deeply to impress these truths upon all minds, the great leader embodied them in sacred verse. The people were to commit to memory this poetic history and teach it to their children and children's children, that it might never be forgotten.EP 332.1

    When their children should ask in time to come, “What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God hath commanded you?” then the parents were to repeat the history of God's gracious dealings with them—how the Lord had wrought for their deliverance that they might obey His law: “The Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He hath commanded us.”EP 332.2

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