Moses declares that each Israelite - including those yet to be born - has a special responsibility for upholding the covenant between the nation and God. The consequences of individual action could be deleterious for the entire community, resulting in destruction and exile. Still, repentance was always possible, and a return to God would lead to restoration.
God's ways and God's requirements were neither difficult nor mysterious; they were within everyone's capacity and readily accessible. The choice was simple and obvious: life and prosperity, or death and destruction. The Torah urges us to "choose life."
Moses announces that his life is drawing to a close, and he publicly blesses Joshua, his successor, with the words "be strong and resolute."
A written copy of the Torah is delivered by Moses to the priests and the elders who are commanded to read it publicly on Sukkot every seventh year. This Torah was placed in the Sanctuary next to the Ark of the Covenant.
The future course of Israelite history is outlined: the people would lapse into idolatry and God would punish them with conquest, exile and suffering. The essence of this lesson would be contained within a song/poem that Moses would now teach the nation. Committed to memory, the song would attest to the fact that the nation had been warned, well in advance, what the consequences of deviation from the Torah would mean.