Deuteronomy 26: Contract Negotiations

Well, I think with Deuteronomy 26, we are rounding third and headin’ for home (it’s a brown-eyed handsome mayyyaaaan! [it’s hard to write like John Fogerty sings {that’s right, it’s baseball season! Go A’s!}]).

I think . . . THINK that this is now the end of the law section of the book. The clue was Moses sounding suspiciously like a contract negotiator who is mediating the terms of agreement between two sides.

“Today you have obtained the Lord’s agreement . . .”

“Today the Lord has obtained your agreement . . .”


So, just what are the terms that each side is agreeing on?

'Contracts' photo (c) 2009, NobMouse - license:

The LORD’s Agreement:

  • Be your God
  • You walk in his ways
  • Keep his statutes, commands, and ordinances
  • Obey him

Does that seem weird to anyone else? Maybe I just don’t understand contracts. Let’s look at the next one and I’ll tell you what I mean.

Israel’s Agreement:

  • Be his treasured people
  • Keep his commandments
  • For him to set you high above all nations that he has made (which is enough for a whole other post on its own!)
  • For you to be a people holy to the LORD your God

So Israel obtains God’s agreement. He will be their God. Got it. That makes sense.

But the next part is stuff that Israel is doing. They will be obedient to him. How is that part of God’s agreement?

And God obtains their agreement; the things they are committing to do. They will be his treasured people. But he will do stuff for them.

So, is this like God saying, “I agree to be your God, and I agree that you will obey me. Correct?”

And Israel says, “We agree to be your people. And we agree that you will set us high above all nations. Correct?”

Is that what’s going on?

Some Questions:

What are the implications of God and Israel’s relationship being “contractual?”

How does this relate to them getting married back in Exodus?

Does the fact that each side is requires the other side to do something tell us anything about the nature of this relationship?

Feel free to tackle any of these questions in the comment section. Or go ahead and add a few of your own.


One response

  1. What amazes me here is that God agrees to all of this knowing that they can’t keep their side of it. And so He sets up way out for them and keeps their side of the contract Himself. Which tells us something about Him and them and all of us.

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