Deuteronomy 28:1-2: What is this requiring?

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JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
Fellas,

I posted this earlier but didn't get any feedback so trying again under different thread name.

A little background, then to the question. I take the Mosaic Covenant as in substance belonging to the Covenant of Grace. I also take it as including an *administrative* repetition (NOT republication or renewal) of the CONTENT of the Covenant of Works. I can explain that more if helpful but don't want to clog up my question with explanation.

My question has to do with how to apply these things IN PARTICULAR to particular passages in Deuteronomy. Passages such as Deuteronomy 28:1-2 (as well as 4:1; 5:33; 6:25; 7:12; 8:1; 11:26-28; 28:13-15, etc). These passages seem to require OBEDIENCE as the CONDITION of (eternal) life and blessing. For example:

Deuteronomy 28:1-2: "Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you, and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God."

It seems there are at least two differing ways to interpret this. The passage is requiring:

1) Perfect LEGAL obedience. IE, if you obey the Law perfectly, you will inherit eternal life as well as all temporal blessings in this life. "ALL" here = each and every command; perfect obedience. The requirement is impossible, but it drives us to Christ, in and through Whose perfect obedience, imputed to us, we in turn inherit all these things.

2) Sincere GOSPEL obedience. The Hebrew word for "obey" here is actually "listen." Tying this with Galatians 3:2,5, (the hearing/"listening" of faith) and Isaiah 55:3 ("Listen, that you may life"), we understand this as saying basically, if you TRULY LISTEN (IE, believe), and prove the genuineness and reality of that gospel faith by keeping God's commands, you will inherit God's blessing. "ALL" here = a complete and universal (sincere, gospel) obedience.

Thoughts? On this passage? On the other passages? Are there traditional interpretations other than these primary two on this passage and the other passages like it?

Does anyone know of any helpful work that goes through these kinds of passages in Deuteronomy and really deals thoroughly with what they are saying/not saying? Thanks.

PPS, I know there is also a corporate element here, akin to Revelation 2-3, applying to entire churches corporately. My question has less to do with this corporate element and more to do with the individual. Thanks again.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Remember that the Mosaic Law is full of Gospel. Israel truly but imperfectly obeying it meant that people's hearts were as a nation as a whole reconciled to God in Christ.

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JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, I think this is an important and fairly common aspect of those passages in Deuteronomy. Obeying the Law was the *proof* of truly embracing the covenant from the heart.
 
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