“You must have no idols; you must never worship carved images, obelisks, or shaped stones, for I am the Lord your God. You must obey my Sabbath laws of rest, and reverence my Tabernacle, for I am the Lord. If you obey all my commandments, I will give you regular rains, and the land will yield bumper crops, and trees will be loaded with fruit long after the normal time. And grapes will still be ripening when sowing time comes again. You shall eat your fill, and live safely in the land, for I will give you peace, and you will go to sleep without fear.
“I have commanded you today to love the Lord your God and to follow His paths and to keep His laws, so that you will live and become a great nation, …so that the Lord your God will bless you…” (Deut 30:16; Jer 6:16, TLB). “Blow the ram’s horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people—the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room.
“May the Lord bless you and protect you. …Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in My name, I Myself will bless them” (Num 6:24-27, NLT). Was this promise open-ended, unrestricted, and unqualified? “The Lord you God will be merciful only if you listen to His voice and keep all his commands…, doing what pleases Him” (Deut 13:18, NLT). Examples follow: “…Never accept bribes. …[They] blind the eyes of the wisest and corrupt their decisions. Justice must prevail.
“I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. …I will confirm my covenant with [Isaac], and his descendants as an everlasting covenant” (Gen 17:7, 19, NLT). “…Now that you belong to Christ, you are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God’s promises to him belong to us” (Gal 3:29, NLT/TLB). “…I told them: ‘Obey Me and I will be your God, and you will be my people…’” (Jer 7:23, NLT).
“In the 2nd year of their coming… [to] Jerusalem, ...began Zerubbabel…, Jeshua…, and…the priests and Levites… to set forward the work of the house of the Lord. …[But when] the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, … many priests, Levities and chief of the fathers… that had seen the first house… wept… (Ezra 3:8-13, NLT). …[But] the Lord sent [this] message through… Haggai…. …Say this to Zerubbabel, Jeshua…, and to the remnant of God’s people… in the land: ‘…Be strong; …get to work, for I am with you…. My Spirit remains among you….