Devarim Four: Special Bond

“And now, O Israel, hearken to the statuses and to the judgments which I teach you to do, in order that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord, God of your forefathers, is giving you (Deuteronomy 4:1).” These laws are specific, and aren’t meant to be added to or taken away from, but rather just followed in their entirety. It is meant to be an honor that God gives the people these laws, and entrusts them with the responsibility of following them. “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the Lord our God is at all times that we call upon Him (Deuteronomy 4:7)?” God’s closeness with the people is what has given them the unique relationship that merits these laws.

“Beware, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which the Lord your God has forbidden you (Deuteronomy 4:23).” There is a great deal of emphasis on the ordinance against making a graven image, which is said to be the catalyst for corruption on the part of the people and is considered evil in the eyes of God. Now, we have a prophecy. “I call as witness against you this very day the heaven and the earth, that you will speedily and utterly perish from the land to which you cross the Jordan, to possess; you will not prolong your days upon it, but will be utterly destroyed. And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to which the Lord will lead you (Deuteronomy 4:26-27).” Even before entering the land, the people are being told that they will not possess it unconditionally, and will eventually lose it. However, they will never lose their relationship with God, because no other people will ever have this close bond with Him.

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