The Essence of the Decalogue is Love
Deuteronomy 6:1-5
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you…

Moses here applies the Decalogue to their present circumstances. He wishes them to enter Canaan in an obedient spirit. He knows that the well-being of the commonwealth depends upon it. To assist them in the understanding of the Law, he sums it up in one all-embracing principle of love. God as the supreme object is to receive the homage of the entire nature of man.

I. MOSES INSISTS ON THE UNITY AND ABSOLUTE CHARACTER OF GOD. This would distinguish Israel from the polytheists around them. "Jehovah our Mighty One is one Jehovah" - the uncaused, self-existent One in his absolute unity and strength. All perfection is thus briefly attributed to him.

II. GOD CAN BE THE OBJECT OF LOVE. His unity is not an unsocial thing. Within his being there are social qualities demanding, and from all eternity receiving, satisfaction. Hence we believe in what Jon. Edwards called a "social Trinity." Our social nature is the reflection of God, since we were made in his image. His unity does not imply that in the by-past eternity, before anything was made, he was alone. It was the fellowship of "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" - three Persons in the one Godhead. The Trinity makes God lovable, for it is the condition of the satisfaction from all eternity of his social qualities.

III. GOD DESERVES THE LOVE OF OUR WHOLE BEING. Heart, soul, and might are to be enlisted in this service. Our love to him should be intellectual and also emotional; it should be passionate and strong; an all-embracing energy of our nature. All our faculties are appealed to by the Divine nature.

1. Our understanding is enlisted by God as the Infinite Mind. All our intellectuality finds its counterpart and culmination in the infinite intellectual powers which God possesses and exercises. We rest upon his superior intellectual power.

2. Our affections are enlisted by God as the Fountain of affection. God is a Heart of unspeakable tenderness as well as a Mind of infinite grasp. And so he elicits the love of the heart as well as of the mind.

3. Our will is swayed into passionate devotion by God as the Infinite Will. If the spectacle of will in resistless benevolence commands the homage of our powers, then God entrances our whole will-power into passionate devotion.

4. Our strength is enlisted by God as the embodiment of vital energies and powers in their highest form. So that as a matter of fact, God fits into every fold of human nature and elicits its loving and adoring homage.

IV. LOVE MAKES LAWKEEPING DELIGHTFUL. The Law is not a pain to any who love the Lawgiver. Love is the essence of true loyalty. It makes service freedom. It is this which we must cultivate daily, and then life becomes delightful. - R.M.E.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:

WEB: Now this is the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances, which Yahweh your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it;

Obedience the End of Law
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