Today’s selection lays out some important principles that are carried forward in Christianity today. First is the notion of repentance. After you’ve received the curses described above, if you repent and return to obedience then you will be blessed again. Second, it is your choice. You can decide to follow the path of life or the path of death. Now, this passage is addressed to the People rather than to people. But the idea of free will to choses whether to be blessed or cursed remains in Christian theology. Finally, it is a question of heart and soul, not just outward action. The passage returns again and again to the idea of holding the law in your heart and soul. The actions are necessary, but as manifestation of where you heart is.
I hear Jesus’ teaching in Deuteronomy especially. The dual notion of obedience and faithfulness seems particularly familiar to me.
Today’s selection closes with the turnover to Joshua. I’ve written about this before. [Here and here] But I think this transition of leadership just has a very poignant touch. I can’t help but speculate that the authors remembered those who died while in Babylonian exile yearning to sing their songs of Zion once more.