Deuteronomy 5 is a restatement of the Ten Words, or Ten Commandments, given to the people of Israel as they were preparing to enter the promised land. Chapters 6-26 are an expansion and commentary on each of the Ten Words. Chapter 7 is part of the section dealing with the first Word, “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
The emphasis in this chapter is how the people should handle the gods of the nations already living in the land. “No other gods before me” means there can be absolutely no compromise, no rival claiming headship. All false heads are to be devoted to complete destruction. He warns that if Israel makes covenant or intermarries with them, they will be drawn away to worship other gods and will become like them; His anger will be kindled against the people and they will be caught up in their destruction.
Rather, they must destroy these things, they must be a consuming fire because they are a people Holy to Yahweh, a chosen treasured possession. This echoes back what He said about them at Sinai, that they would be to Him a treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. They are to be holy because they carry His name. Just as the High Priest wore a golden flower on his forehead with the words “Holy to Yahweh” engraved on it, the same words are now engraved on this kingdom of priests.
In verses 9 & 10, He gives His name in the same expansive way He did with Moses when He hid him in the rock and declared to him as He passed by, “Yahweh, Yahweh, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Because he has already rescued them from Egypt and put His name on them, they are to keep His commandments. As they abide in His word, they will enjoy His blessing. These blessings, and even the obedience, as Paul points out in Ephesians, are entirely a gift from God. Just as Israel was brought up out of Egypt, so now we are brought up out of death and made alive in Christ because of the great love with which He loved us.
Paul goes on to say that the Gentiles, who were far off, separated by circumcision from this kingdom of priests, have now been brought near by the blood of Christ. There is no longer any division or distinction between Jew and Gentile. All who are in Christ are members of His body. He has provided the circumcision of the cross, breaking down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility and creating in Himself, that is, in His body, one new man, a holy nation, the Church. And He, the Son of God the Father and greater Son of David, is building this living temple as a dwelling place for God the Spirit, laying Himself down as the cornerstone of its foundation.