In this week’s Torah portion, Ekev, Moses says to the Israelites, in essence, heed the commandments and all will be well for you. Maybe so. However, though the Israelites heeded the commandments, they were never a monolithic bloc.
Elijah fought against Israelites worshipping Ba’al. Civil war broke out between David and Saul. After David died (and before David died) civil war broke out between his sons. In the sixth century BCE, there were factions that supported Egypt and factions that supported Babylon. In the second century BCE, there were factions supporting Hellenizing and factions supporting traditional beliefs. In the first century CE, there were factions supporting peace at all costs and there were factions supporting all-out war with Rome.
The political schemes of the great powers, Assyria, Babylon, the Greeks, the Persians, and the Romans interfered with Moses’ advice. But we are still here. Throughout the ages, many of us took Moses’ advice to heart, partially or completely. Despite adversities, many of us heeded commandments partially or completely; Moses’ statement is truthful: we heed the commandments, and all will be well for us.