Return from the exile and conversion (Deut 30:1-30:14)

“When all these things have happened to you, the blessings and the curses that I have set before you, Yahweh will be with you. If you call them to mind among all the nations where Yahweh your God has driven you, and you then return to Yahweh your God, you and your children obey his voice with all your heart and with all your soul, just as I am commanding you today. Then Yahweh your God will restore your fortunes. Yahweh your God will have compassion on you. He will gather you again from all the peoples among whom Yahweh your God has scattered you. Even if you are exiled to the ends of the world, from there Yahweh your God will gather you. From there he will bring you back. Yahweh your God will bring you into the land that your ancestors possessed. You will possess it again. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors.”

This assumes that there was an exile to different countries. However, they are to return to their Promise Land. Yahweh has the power to scatter you and then to gather you back. If you obey the commandments of Yahweh, he will gather you back to possess the land of your ancestors.

“Moreover, Yahweh your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, so that you will love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live. Yahweh your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on the adversaries who took advantage of you. Then you shall again obey Yahweh, observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today. Yahweh your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all your undertakings, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your soil. For Yahweh will again take delight in prospering you, just as he delighted in prospering your ancestors. When you obey Yahweh your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, you are turning to Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

You must love Yahweh with all your heart and all your soul so that you might live. This is not a legalistic approach to Yahweh. Circumcision of the heart seems to be more important than the legal physical circumcision. Yahweh delights in making you prosperous. However, you must obey his commandments and decrees with your whole heart and soul.

“Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us, so that we may hear it and observe it?’ No, the word is very near to you. It is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe.”

These are not impractical laws, but something everyone can follow. These words are very near you, within you. They are not that hard. They are not in heaven or some faraway place in the sea. These words are in your mouth and your heart. In a certain sense they resemble the ‘natural law’ of the scholastics. The use of ‘the word’ or the Greek logos will become very important after its use in John’s gospel. This logos was applied to Jesus, who is the word of God, just as the commandments of Moses are the word of God. Here it applies to the word of God that was written by Moses, the Mosaic law that is available to you.