My latest post has just been published over on Political Theology Today.
Within Deuteronomy, much of the focus is upon preparation for war in the land and the relationship with other nations is routinely presented in terms of conflict and opposition. Israel’s place as a nation among other nations will be established by driving out the nations currently inhabiting the land promised to it. Here, however, Israel’s place among the nations is framed differently. Israel’s renown among the nations will be secured, not by violent conquest and military might, but by dedicated observance of the principles of righteous life in close fellowship with God before the gaze of the peoples surrounding it.
In Moses’ message to Israel, he declares that its international reputation and influence would be established as it showcased the righteous, wise, and enlightening principles of the law of fellowship with YHWH, a God who was close to his people. The nations will be converted to the way of YHWH and his law as they see it manifested—incarnated—in the life of Israel. As Telford Work remarks, ‘Israel’s obedience is life-giving as well as life-keeping.’
Read the whole thing here.