What is the relationship between loving God and neighbor, and how can both Jesus and Paul say that loving our neighbor fulfills the law? (Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14) Isn't love for God even a higher priority? I think Moses helps us answer these questions in Deuteronomy 10:16–19, where he portrays a radical love of neighbor as the key test to measure whether we are loving God with all.
With an echo of the call to love God with all, Moses opens this unit in Deuteronomy 10 by calling Israel to maintain radical God-centeredness (Deuteronomy 10:12–13). Yahweh is always to be the blazing center in his people's solar system. He then notes that such wholehearted, life-encompassing allegiance to God was warranted from Israel because he created them and because he rescued them from Egyptian slavery (Deuteronomy 10:14–15). In light of these truths, Moses then applies the call to radical love for God into Israel’s every-day lives, and in the process, he reveals how far they were from God's ideal. I see five significant points regarding love for God in these verses.
1. Loving God with all is a heart issue (verse 16).
Moses first charges Israel to “circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn” (Deuteronomy 10:16). Israel was hardhearted, and hardhearted people cannot love God. Indeed, their hardness went deep, controlling the core of their very identities. As Moses said in the previous chapter, “You are a stubborn people. . . . From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD” (Deuteronomy 9:6–7). Until their hearts got fixed, love would not be evident.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]