What does Deuteronomy 11:26-28 really mean?

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 is about the importance of making intentional and conscious choices between obeying God’s commandments to receive blessings or turning away from them to face consequences.

26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:”
27 a blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today,
28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.


Setting the Scene for Deuteronomy 11:26-28

In Deuteronomy chapter 11, Moses is addressing the Israelites as they stand on the plains of Moab, preparing to enter the Promised Land. The scene is set against the backdrop of the vast wilderness, with the Jordan River flowing nearby and the mountains of Canaan visible in the distance. The Israelites have been wandering in the desert for forty years, and now they are on the cusp of fulfilling God’s promise to their ancestors.

As Moses speaks, the Israelites listen intently, their faces reflecting a mixture of anticipation and apprehension. They have witnessed the miracles of God throughout their journey, from the parting of the Red Sea to the manna that fell from heaven. Now, as they prepare to enter the land flowing with milk and honey, Moses implores them to obey the commandments of the Lord so that they may prosper in the land.

Among the crowd are men, women, and children of all ages, from the elders who remember the slavery in Egypt to the youngest who have grown up in the wilderness. They have come together as a community, bound by their shared history and faith in God. As they stand on the threshold of a new chapter in their journey, they cling to Moses’ words as a guiding light in the darkness of the unknown.

What is Deuteronomy 11:26-28 about?

This verse highlights a powerful truth about the choices we make in our lives and the subsequent outcomes we experience. It serves as a reminder that our actions have consequences, and that we have the power to shape our own destinies through obedience or disobedience. We align ourselves with principles and values that lead to blessings, fulfillment, and success by choosing to follow the path of obedience. On the other hand, choosing disobedience can lead to negative consequences, challenges, and setbacks in our lives.

Reflect on the situations in your life where you have chosen to be obedient or disobedient. What were the results of those choices? Were you met with blessings and positive outcomes when you followed the path of obedience, or did you face consequences and difficulties when you went against what you knew to be right? This verse encourages us to pause and consider the implications of our decisions, urging us to strive for obedience in order to invite blessings and positivity into our lives. Consider incorporating more obedience into your daily choices and actions to cultivate a life filled with blessings and fulfillment.

Understanding what Deuteronomy 11:26-28 really means

In Deuteronomy 11:26-28, we find Moses delivering his final instructions to the Israelites as they stand on the brink of entering the Promised Land. These verses serve as a pivotal moment, where a clear choice is presented before the people—a choice between a blessing and a curse. The weight of this decision lies heavily on the concept of free will, highlighting the importance of personal agency in matters of faith. It underscores the idea that faith is not merely about following a set of rules but about actively choosing to align one’s life with God’s will.

The first part of the verse states, “The blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God,” indicating the conditional nature of God’s blessings. Obedience to God’s commands is intricately linked to receiving His blessings, as outlined in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, where a plethora of blessings is promised to those who walk in obedience. Conversely, the second part warns, “The curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God,” underscoring the dire consequences of turning away from God’s instructions. Deuteronomy 28:15-68 vividly portrays the curses that befall those who choose to disobey.

These verses resonate throughout the Bible, echoing in passages like Joshua 24:15, where Joshua urges the people to choose whom they will serve, emphasizing the theme of choice and commitment to God. In Matthew 7:13-14, the imagery of entering through the narrow gate illustrates the concept of selecting the path of righteousness. Galatians 6:7-8 further reinforces the principle of sowing and reaping, connecting the consequences of our actions to the blessings and curses we may experience.

The relevance of Deuteronomy 11:26-28 extends to our lives today, emphasizing personal responsibility in our spiritual journey. Our choices reflect our commitment to God’s commandments and shape the course of our lives. The blessings and curses outlined in the passage find parallels in the ethical and moral decisions we make daily, urging us to consider the consequences of our actions and the alignment of our choices with God’s will.

Consider the urgency in the phrase “setting before you today,” prompting us to reflect on the immediacy of our choices and the need for decisive action. The stark contrast between “a blessing and a curse” serves as a stark reminder of the dual outcomes based on obedience or disobedience. Emphasizing the importance of obedience, “obey the commands of the Lord your God” calls us to practical application, living out God’s commandments in our daily lives.

As we ponder on these timeless truths, let us reflect on our own choices and their alignment with God’s will. May we seek guidance and wisdom in making righteous decisions, knowing that our actions have consequences. Let us choose the path of blessings by walking in obedience to God’s commands, trusting in His faithfulness to lead us in the way everlasting.

What does it mean to choose between blessings and curses?

Choosing between blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 means deciding to follow God’s commandments and live a righteous life or turning away from His ways and choosing a path of disobedience. One can receive blessings and favor from God by obeying His teachings and living according to His will. This choice involves the commitment to uphold God’s laws and principles, leading to a life filled with spiritual rewards and divine protection.

On the other hand, opting for disobedience and straying from God’s commands can result in curses and negative consequences. Rejecting God’s wisdom and living a lifestyle contrary to His instructions can lead to hardships, troubles, and spiritual separation from Him. The choice between blessings and curses is essentially a decision to align one’s life with God’s plan or to go against it, knowing that the consequences of such choices have significant implications for one’s spiritual well-being. Living in obedience to God and understanding that our decisions have spiritual consequences underscores the importance of the choice between blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 11:26-28. It highlights the principle that following God’s ways brings blessings and favor, while straying from His path leads to curses and hardships. One can experience God’s abundant grace and goodness in every aspect of life by choosing blessings through obedience and faithfulness to Him.


Think about the decisions you make at work or with your family. Every choice can either build or break something important. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 is just like that—God offers you a path to blessings or curses, life or death. It’s time to choose wisely. Will you align your actions with His will and embrace blessings today?