Deuteronomy: A Community of Faith

Deuteronomy offers a comprehensive picture of the community of faith, the chosen people of Yahweh.  The book speaks of the divine election of the place for Yahweh’s name (12:5, 11; 14:23–24; 16:6–7; etc.), of Israel’s king (17:15), and of the Levitical priests (18:5; 21:5). However, Yahweh’s election of Israel to be his covenant people receives special attention. Deuteronomy 4:32–40 places Yahweh’s rescue of the nation of Israel within the framework of cosmic history, declaring this event to be unprecedented and unparalleled in human experience. Elsewhere Moses emphasizes that Yahweh’s election of Israel had nothing to do with physical or spiritual superiority (7:6–8; 9:1–23), but was an act of sheer grace, grounded in his love for the ancestors (4:32–38) and their descendants (7:6–8). In so doing the book of Deuteronomy presents the nation of Israel as an incredibly privileged people. As the objects of Yahweh’s gracious redemption and covenantal love, they are a holy people belonging to him (7:6; 14:2; 26:19; 28:9), his adopted children (14:1) and his treasured possession (7:6; 14:2; 26:18).

Although Yahweh had called the nation as a whole to covenant relationship with himself, the true community of faith consists of persons who love their God with their entire being and who demonstrate that love through ethical conduct characterized by righteousness (Deuteronomy 6:25; Deuteronomy 16:20), which includes the repudiation of all other gods and the compassionate pursuit of justice and righteousness toward others (Deuteronomy 10:16–20). The frequent alternation of singular and plural forms of direct address in the book suggests the existence of two Israels. Physical Israel consisted of the descendants of Abraham, while spiritual Israel only included those persons who, like Caleb and Joshua, demonstrated unqualified devotion to Yahweh by walking in his ways.


Matthew said…
So do you think there’s any parallel between the faithful within the “elect” nation of Israel and the “elect” people of the church today?🧐🤯 I don’t have an answer by the way, my scattered brain was sent down a rabbit trail, so I thought I’d drag y’all along. Missing our Wednesday night conversations I guess. ❤️