IV. WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE:
A reminder of God’s love in action (DEUT 10:20-22)
The final rhythmic set in Moses’ extrapolation of Deuteronomy 10:12-13 begins once again with a reminder of God’s grandeur. Only this time, in verse 20, rather than a description of God’s infinite nature, a call to respond to his limitless is issued. The call is a reminder of (in order) the first, fourth, fifth and second requirements Moses mentioned earlier in verses 12-13. Moses calls Israel to “fear the LORD your God,” to “serve him,” to “hold to him,” and to speak in agreement with God (similar to walking in agreement with him). All of this, assumedly by the context, hinged upon love. And again, Moses involves a reminder, to which they each could testify, of what the LORD has done for their nation. Moses notes especially the LORD’s actions on their behalf in Egypt and in the desert culminating in the fulfillment of the covenant among them.
Just as Genesis 2:24 encourages a man to be united to his wife- and just as Ruth 1:14 points out that Ruth held fast to Naomi- so these deuteronomic verses urge God’s people to cling to the LORD. By drawing close to God, Israel’s heart and actions are conformed more and more to his image. God loves Israel, as demonstrated in his incredible faithfulness to his covenant promises. As a result, it is only right that Israel reciprocate God’s love, by demonstrating behavior that is fitting to a loving relationship. Furthermore, in the process of holding fast to God and his commands, Israel is to imitate the love God has for others. Tigay adds:
Israel owes her very existence to God, who created her, redeemed her from Egypt, guided her safely through the wilderness, fights Israel’s wars, and will give Israel her land. God chose Israel for a special relationship with Him… This relationship is not conceived in chauvinistic terms. Moses points out that Israel’s election by God was no sign of merit… Rather God chose Israel because of His love for her ancestors. Election is indeed a privilege, but one granted so that Israel would learn God’s ways and follow them. Fulfilling this obligation is a precondition for Israel’s well-being.