Vitamin C brings many health benefits. Research reveals a growing list, including strengthening the immune system; protecting against cardiovascular problems, cancer, strokes, and eye diseases; and preventing skin aging. The best results seem to come from a dosage of 500 milligrams per day for adults.
Given the benefits, making sure we get enough vitamin C is common sense. In the same way, righteous living in obedience to the covenant should have been common sense for Israel. The benefits were obvious, “for your own good.” As contrasted with the people’s frequent rebelliousness and stubborn sinfulness, as seen in yesterday’s reading, God deserves a response of love, obedience, and holy fear (10:12–13; 11:1). These are all interwoven. To love means to obey. To fear the Lord means to keep His commands. Obedience and fear are an expression of love and worship.
Why does God deserve this response (10:14–22)? He is sovereign over heaven and earth. He is mighty and just. He defends the powerless and the outsider. Against all reason, He chose and loved Israel and performed wonders on her behalf (11:2–7).
The phrase, “circumcise your hearts,” indicates that chosenness as the people of God is first and foremost an inward reality (10:16). Pointing out that they are now as “numerous as the stars in the sky” alludes to God’s promise to Abraham (see Gen. 15:1–6). He is faithful!
To respond to God on this basis meant to keep the covenant. Keeping the covenant would give Israel strength, peace, prosperity, and blessing (11:26–29). With so much at stake, worshiping the Lord in the right ways should be at the center of personal, family, and community life (11:18–21).