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God Deserves Love, Obedience, and Holy Fear

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).

Apply the Word

Moses exhorted the people: “You are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (10:19). Since the United States is a nation of immigrants, the likelihood is high that recent immigrants live somewhere in your city or community. Have you considered reaching out to them? This can be a practical way to love the Lord by befriending others and sharing His love and the gospel.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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