memory and the law
a reflection on deuteronomy 4
Why is the law given? Is it satisfactory to say that it was simply a means of setting Israel apart from other Ancient Near East (ANE) peoples? Does this “set apart” position excuse or justify the violence enacted by and against Israel’s enemies? Questions surrounding the purpose of the Law are vast, complex, and often have great implications for interpreting Scripture.
I’ve been looking to the book of Deuteronomy—the “Second Law”—for answers.
Reflecting on what I’ve read, I believe that Deuteronomy speaks to a deeper purpose of the Law that goes beyond adhering to a set of rules. The reason for the law is not simply to convey the consequences for disobedience but to reveal the person, character, and intentions of God.
Let me explain: