reciprocal and imitative love .:4:.

I. WHAT THE LORD REQUIRES: A call for loving relationship (DT 10:12-13)

    “Hear, O Israel,” Moses insists.  Frequently used as a startling call of attention, this combination of command with audience marks the paramount moments of Deuteronomy.[7]   Through this invocative formula, Moses demands that the people turn their ears to what he is about to say.  In modern usage, perhaps, “Pay attention, people!  What follows is going to be of great importance!”
    With their attention, Moses now encourages them to think and respond passionately.  He begins the speech in verse 12 by positing a profoundly simple inquiry, but one that is essential to the very existence and purpose of Israel.  He asks, “O, Israel.  What does the Lord require of you?”   The answer to the question, of course, will be significant.  Moses has just concluded a grand recollection of the way God has acted in Israel’s history and recounted the laws God had given them.  Now, Moses asks, why has God done all of this?  Why has God chosen us?  Why has God given us these commandments?
    Moses doesn’t give the reader/listener long to reflect.  The answer, it seems, is too important.  It is an answer based not on Israel’s debt to God or even on earning God’s favor.  God does not expect Israel to pay him back for what he has done.  What God requires from Israel is a reciprocation of his love for them.  It is a reminder of the great Shema in 6:3-9.  Israel’s chief aim is to love God and display his love via their actions.  We learn from Moses five proper responses intensified by a compacted arrangement:[8]

  1. to fear the LORD your God
  2. to walk in his ways
  3. to love him
  4. to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
  5. and to observe all of his commands and decrees

~prior posts~
reciprocal and imitative love .:1:.
reciprocal and imitative love .:2:.
reciprocal and imitative love .:3:.


  1.   Deut 4:1; 5:1; 6:3-4; 9:1; 10:12; 20:3.  McConville suggests that “the opening words, ‘So now Israel’, as in 4:1, mark a turning from historical reminiscence to command.” McConville, 199
  2.   McConville offers: “This clustering has the marks of a recollection and summation.  The elements in v. 12b are grouped closely, whereas they were more widely spread in ch. 6.” Ibid., 199

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