Reflection on Deuteronomy

I am reading Diane Ackerman, _The Human Age._ She looks at
our effect on the environment. She tells about projects now
being done that deal with some of these effects and give my
heart and mind hope. Her language is almost utopian; she
speaks of a world redeemed.

At Morning Prayer today some verses from Deuteronomy
7:12-16 struck me. It speaks of the covenant between God
and God’s people:
“If you heed these ordinances, by diligently observing
them, the LORD your God will maintain with you the covenant
loyalty that he swore to your ancestors; he will love you,
bless you, and multiply you; he will bless the fruit of your
womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine
and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the issue of
your flock, in the land that he swore to your ancestors to
give you. You shall be the most blessed of peoples, with
neither sterility nor barrenness among you or your
livestock. The LORD will turn away from you every illness;
all the dread diseases of Egypt that you experienced, he
will not inflict on you,”
This also sounds utopian.

God is the creator of all this. What if the guidelines of
the covenant serve to guide us on how best to live in the
created world? If some of what Ackerman tells us about were
to spread and to be fulfilled, we would be living more in
tune with the creation. then we might flourish, the fruit
of our soil might flourish, our cattle and us be well, and
all our illnesses be healed.

All we need do is fulfill the covenant today.

And maybe what we hear about in the Scriptures as
punishment for sin is just the necessary result of not
living according to the creation. That’s far too sweeping.
It can’t include some of the things the Scriptures say are
consequences of sin. It can, however, include a lot of
them. Acts do have consequences; we are suffering them
nowadays.

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