“And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
In the final weeks before his death, Moses gathered the people of Israel together for a final look back at God’s miraculous provision for the nation and a restatement of the law. He repeated the Ten Commandments and reminded them of their supernatural origin (chapter 5). He charged them to remember the law and to pass it on to their children, for God Himself had entrusted it to them (chapter 6). He insisted that they utterly destroy the enemies of God in the land, for their holy and special status as the people of God would be in jeopardy if they didn’t (chapter 7). The longest section of the speech consisted of a command to remember their unique history: how God had supernaturally intervened for them on so many occasions (8:1-10:11).
Finally, Moses brought them to a time of commitment, charging them in our text to fear, obey, love, and serve the “LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Even the commandments were for their good (v. 13); they were not merely petty or malicious. In fact, throughout the lengthy lecture, Moses had several times adjured the people to love their Lord with their entire being (see 6:5; 7:9; 10:20; 11:1, 13, 22).
And why not? “Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (10:14). The God who placed His sovereign mark on Israel (v. 15) deserved their total devotion, obedience, and service.
Does not the Creator God, who has done so much more for us than He had done even for Israel, deserve our total devotion, obedience, and service? JDM