Deuteronomy 6:5 – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Moses got his orders from God to teach His commands, rules, and laws to the Israelites. This was what the Lord wanted them to do, the rules that they had to live by. It was their duty to honor and respect God, to be careful not to make God angry, them and their families. Honor means that we realize something of the power and person of God. They were to love God with all that they had – with all their heart, soul, and strength. The heart, soul and strength together form every whole person. Therefore we must love God with everything that we are. There is only one God – Israel’s God; not Baal or Ashtoreth or others who people worship as idols, nature, or other forms. The Trinity means there is only one God who we must worship, who exists in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God’s love for His people, which means the Israelites and us, who are adopted through faith in Christ as sons and daughters of God, are at the heart of this covenant. It demands that we love the Lord in return. We must obey the Lord because we love Him. God wants a complete love from us. This love is appropriate because God loved us completely, He first loved us. When we love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and mind, we freely give everything else to the Lord. But if we give the Lord all the rest such as, money, time, effort, will, etc. without giving Him our love, everything else is a waste. Also, when we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we will find it easy to love our neighbor as ourselves.
What did God promise for obedience? Our lives will be good. Our nation will grow in numbers. We will live in a rich and fertile country, i.e., a country that flows with milk and honey, which is very good for agriculture. It will produce very good crops and be very good for animals as well. The Lord promised this country to our ancestors and the promise remains for us to this day.
This week, try this exercise – to keep God as the first love in your life.