Deuteronomy 10:12
"And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Tokens of MercyJ. Orr Deuteronomy 10:1-12
New ObedienceR.M. Edgar Deuteronomy 10:10-22
The Supreme RequirementJ. Orr Deuteronomy 10:12, 13
An Imperative DemandT. Davies.Deuteronomy 10:12-18
Educated Towards SpiritualityJ. Parker, D. D.Deuteronomy 10:12-18
Exhortation to Serve the LordE. Griffin, D. D.Deuteronomy 10:12-18
God's RequirementsJ. Cumming, D. D.Deuteronomy 10:12-18
The True Life of ManHomilistDeuteronomy 10:12-18
Knowledge of God the Parent of Obedient FaithD. Davies Deuteronomy 10:12-22

With this Moses began (Deuteronomy 6:4), and with this he ends. The sum of the Law, and the sum of all his exhortations. It all and always comes back to this (Ecclesiastes 12:13): "What doth the Lord require of thee?" etc. We have here:

1. The central requirement.

2. The all-embracing requirement.

3. The indispensable requirement; that for which nothing else can be accepted as a substitute.

4. The requirement of kindness - "for thy good."

5. A reasonable requirement. This love and obedience were due from Israel for God's mercies to them. As in the gospel, grace precedes, obedience follows. Saved by grace, we are to make such return as is possible by loving and fearing God, and diligently keeping his commands (Luke 7:47; Romans 6:13; Romans 7:6; Ephesians 2:8-11). - J.O.

What doth the Lord thy God require of thee.
The true life of man is the life of practical conformity to Divine claims. All is summed up and expressed here.


1. Fear of not acting worthily of the object of love.

2. Fear of offending the object of love.


1. God has "ways," that is methods of action —

(1)In material nature. Acquaintance with these is what is called "science."

(2)In moral mind. Acquaintance with these is the highest knowledge. Embodied in the life of Christ.

2. To walk in God's ways is —

(1)The only righteous walk.

(2)The only secure walk.

(3)The only elevating walk.


1. Perfect freedom.

2. Sunny cheerfulness.

3. Thorough completeness. All the powers fully employed.


That was the Divine intention from the very beginning. God does not disclose His purpose all at once, but out of consideration for our capacities and our opportunities and our necessities He leads us one step at a time, as the wise teacher leads the young scholar. What wise teacher thrusts a whole library upon the dawning mind of childhood? A picture, a toy, a tempting prize, a handful to be going on with, and all the rest covered by a genial smile: so the young scholar passes from page to page until the genius of the revelation seizes him, and life becomes a sacred Pentecost. This thought supplies a standard by which to measure progress. What are we? To what have we attained? Are we still among the beggarly elements? Do we still cry out for a kind of teaching that is infantile and that ought to be from our age altogether profitless? Or do we sigh to see the finer lines and hear the lower tones and enter into the mystery of silent worship — so highly strung in all holy sensibilities that even a word jars upon us and is out of place under circumstances so charged with the Divine presence? Still keeping by this same line of thought, notice how the promises were adapted to the mental condition of Israel. What promises could Israel understand? Only promises of the most substantial kind. Moses addresses himself to this necessity with infinite skill (Deuteronomy 10:22; Deuteronomy 11:11, 12). Still preserving the marvellous consistency of the whole economy, we cannot fail to notice how beautifully the sacrifices were adapted to the religious condition of the people. This explains the sacrifices indeed. What was the religious condition of the people? Hardly religious at all. It was an infantile condition; it was a condition in which appeal could only lie with effect along the line of vision. So God will institute a worship accordingly; He will say to Israel, Bring beasts in great numbers, and kill them upon the altar; take censers, put fire thereon; spare nothing of your herds and flocks and corn and wine; have a continual burnt offering, and add to the continual burnt offering other offerings great in number and in value. Israel must be kept busy; leisure will be destruction. There must be seven Sabbaths in the week, and seven of those seven must be specialised by fast or festival or sacred observance. Give Israel no time to rest. When he has brought one bullock, send him for another; when he has killed a ram, call for a thousand more; this will be instructive to him. We must weary him to a higher aspiration; to begin this aspiration would be to beat the air, or to speak an unknown language, or to propound a series of spiritual impossibilities. Men must be trained according to their capacity and their quality. The whole ceremonial system of Moses constitutes in itself — in its wisdom so rich, its marvellous adaptation to the character and temper of the times, — an unanswerable argument for the inspiration of the Bible. So far the line has been consistent from its beginning, what wonder, then, if it culminate in one splendid word? That word is introduced here and there. For example, in Deuteronomy 10:12, the word occurs; in Deuteronomy 11:1, it is repeated. What is that culminating word? How long it has been kept back! Now that it is set down we see it and acknowledge it; it comes at the right time, and is put in the right place: — "To love Him."

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Who obeys this command? A part of my hearers obey it in some degree. They esteem God above every other object. They consider His glory as their highest interest, and communion with Him as their supreme happiness. It is their greatest grief that their treacherous hearts are so prone to wander from Him. Their most fervent desires pant after Him. And when in a favoured hour they find Him whom their "soul loveth," they hold Him fast and will not let Him go. I have no reproaches for these. But are all such? Would to God all were. But there is no service without love. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Supreme love to God will certainly produce self-denial for His sake. It will habitually avoid everything which He has forbidden, and obey, not a part, but all He commands. Supreme love will seek communion with its object more than any worldly pleasure. It will pant after Him and after greater conformity to Him; it will seek His glory as the highest interest; it will renounce the world and idols and cultivate a heavenly mind. Unless we have that which will produce all these effects, we have no supreme love to God; and if we have no supreme love, we have no love at all; and if we have no love, as there is no neutral state, we are His enemies. It was God that made you what you are, and put you into a world which He had richly furnished for your use. Have you nothing to do with Him, or He with you? Do you imagine that He created you and raised you so much above the brutes, and put you into a world on which He had expended so much labour, that you might wander from Him in the regions of darkness? that you might seek your happiness out of Him, and live in rebellion against Him? that you might spend your life only in preparing to live in this transitory state? or that you might live only to eat and drink? As God is true, He sent you into His world for the same end that a master sends a servant 'into his vineyard — to labour for Him. He has sent you into the field abundantly furnished with powers and means to serve Him, and has strictly commanded you to use these talents in His service. Say not that He is too far above you to be apprehended. He has brought Himself down, and spread Himself out before you in His works and word, and it is only to unbelief that He is invisible. Having sent you into His vineyard, He looks after you to see whether you are faithful or not. Has He nothing to do with you? His eyes are upon you every moment — upon the very bottom of your heart. Did your Creator turn you loose into the world, to run wild in pursuit of your own imaginations, without law or restraint, intending to look no further after you, but to throw you out from His care? Woe to you if He had done this; though this, I fear, you have often wished. But He did no such thing. His intention was still to follow you with His care, as beloved creatures, whom His own hands had formed — to exercise government over you — to establish eternal communion with you — to lead your desires up to Him — to fill you with His own sublime happiness, and to make you a part of an harmonious, blessed, and glorious kingdom. To accomplish these ends He put you under law — a law admirably calculated to unite you to Him and to consummate your happiness. The unreasonable will complain of anything, and murmurs have filled the world because this law requires the heart. But were it otherwise — were God to relinquish His claims on the heart and compound for outward service only, would it be better then? Could they be happy here, could they be happy in heaven, without a holy heart? They had better never been born than be excused from loving God. Should God give up His law, still they are wretches to eternity without love to Him. The law enjoins nothing but what in the nature of things is essential to happiness. From this moment you must either renounce your Bible, or understand that God accounts you rebels for not loving and serving Him with all the heart and soul. He admits no excuse. Your plea that you cannot, is only pleading guilty. A heart that refuses to love the Creator and Redeemer of the world, is the very thing for which God condemns you — is the vilest rebel in the universe.

(E. Griffin, D. D.)

God's exactions, if we be Christians, are our own free-will offerings. What God demands is what thankful hearts should gladly give.

1. First of all "to fear" Him. Not to be terrified, that is the natural man's religion. Unless taught of God men look upon Him with alarm. Hence religion is a sepulchral and gloomy thing to them. To the Christian all is reverse. He has no alarm; he courts God's presence and feels that presence to be the inspiration of hope and joy.

2. Next "to walk in all His ways." All the ways proceed from one source and terminate in the same again. There are varieties of expression, but one religion. A way of righteousness, a way of truth, a way of peace, and a way of pleasantness.

3. Then "to love Him." If the fear enjoined were terror, it would be impossible to love. Love is the germ in the heart that blossoms and bursts into all the fragrant fruits demanded by God's holy law. The law, like the imperious taskmaster, says, "Give me fruit," and you cannot; but love softly, progressively, originates and develops all the fruits of the Spirit. The absence of this love is the absence of Christianity. This love, lost in the Fall, regained by the Cross, is the result of seeing God's love for us. The measure and extent is "all your hearts." Not cold, calculating preference; but warm, cordial attachment — attachment not blind and unintelligible, but with all the soul.

4. Also "to serve" Him, service in the sense of worship. The word liturgy strictly means service; here service means adore, pray, and praise; worship outwardly, publicly, and privately with all the heart. We learn the essence of all true acceptable worship before God. Not material glory, ritual splendour; but depth of sincerity, intensity of love, the supremacy of God in the heart.

5. What is the end of all this? First, God asks this, not for His benefit, but for our good. Is there no benefit in meeting together in the house of God, in unloading the thankful heart in praise? When you give the greatest glory, worship, and homage to God, the reaction of it is showers of blessings, mercies, and privileges upon yourselves. God requires this in His Word, in seasons of affliction and prosperity. He requires it that holy effects may be seen, and that men may feel that religion purifies. It is also good for the world. The best evidence that you are Christians is in what you feel, suffer, sacrifice, and do; not as servants obeying for reward, but as sons serving God out of affection.

(J. Cumming, D. D.)

Yea, and what does the Lord require of us?

1. Reverence — "But to fear the Lord thy God."

2. Obedience "To walk in all His ways." To go when He tells us, and to take the way He has prepared for us. Matthew Henry says, "It ought to be the care of every one of us to follow the Lord fully. We must, in a course of obedience to God's will, and service to His honour, follow Him universally, without dividing; uprightly, without dissembling; cheerfully, without disputing; and constantly, without declining: and this is following Him fully."

3. Love — "And to love Him." This exhortation comes in beautifully to prevent the possibility of reverence becoming a terror, and obedience servility.

4. Service — "And to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul." Conviction, principle, truth, sentiment, and emotion find their level in service, as the waters of the river do in the sea. Life, of every kind, is energy from within towards an outward object.

5. Diligence — "To keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good."

(T. Davies.)

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