A verse in this portion is proclaimed just before the reading of the Torah: V’attem had’vekim – “You who hold fast to the Lord your God are all alive today” (Deut. 4:4).
How about religious people who suffer and die and irreligious people who survive? Doesn’t human experience disprove the verse?
One answer is that the verse is speaking about the nation. The nation is not always completely righteous, but there is enough “holding fast to the Lord” to explain our survival as a people.