Reflection on Deuteronomy 11:7-17

“Your eyes have seen all the greet works of the Lord, that he hath done, That you may keep all his commandments, which I command you this day, and may go in, and possess the land, to which you are entering, And may live in it a long time: which the Lord promised by oath to your fathers, and to their seed, a land which floweth with milk and honey.For the land, which thou goest to possess, is not like the land of Egypt, from whence thou camest out, where, when the seed is sown, waters are brought in to water it after the manner of gardens. But it is a land of hills and plains, expecting rain from heaven. And the Lord thy God doth always visit it, and his eyes are on it from the beginning of the year unto the end thereof. If then you obey my commandments, which I command you this day, that you love the Lord your God, and serve him with all your heart, and with all your soul: He will give to your land the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your corn, and your wine, and your oil, And your hay out of the fields to feed your cattle, and that you may eat and be filled. Beware lest perhaps your heart be deceived, and you depart from the Lord, and serve strange gods, and adore them: And the Lord being angry shut up heaven, that the rain come not down, nor the earth yield her fruit, and you perish quickly from the excellent land, which the Lord will give you.” (Deuteronomy 11:7-17)

Literal Sense: The Lord warned His people as they entered the promised land they were to be careful to obey all of His commands.  If they obeyed Him then they would live in the land and prosper, but if they disobeyed Him then they would not prosper and would not dwell in the land.  The people of Israel, according to the flesh, have not obeyed God’s commands as a nation and therefore are not truly possessors of the promised land, the modern nation of Israel notwithstanding.

Allegorical Sense: Though Israel did not keep God’s commands as they lived in the promised land, Jesus, the true Israel, kept God’s commands and inherited the promised land, not only the temporal land but also the spiritual promised land, eternal life, for all those who obey His commands.

Moral Sense:  As children of God, we must be careful to obey God’s commands now that we have been purchased out of slavery to sin.  If we go back to our former ways then we will not inherit the promised land, eternal life.  If we are faithful and keep God’s commands then He will bless us and reward us with the promised land.

Anagogical Sense: If we remain faithful to God’s commands then we will fully possess the promised land and will never again be tempted to go back to our former ways.  Once we have seen God in the beatific vision we will no longer be capable of going back to our former ways as one who has enjoyed the finest wine could never be enticed to prefer sour wine.

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