Moses began his speech to the Israelites by encouraging them to remember what God had done in their lifetime. Then, he moves on to the covenant agreement they have with God.
"And now, Israel, listen carefully to these decrees and regulations that I am about to teach you. Obey them so that you may live, so you may enter and occupy the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you. (Deuteronomy 4:1-2 NLT)
What were these decrees and regulations Moses was about to teach them? They were the terms of the covenant with God. A covenant is an agreement. A covenant forms a relationship. A covenant takes commitment. The terms of their covenant were the 10 Commandments. The application of these terms made up the Law. Moses taught them the terms of the covenant one last time and then encouraged them to pass them down from generation to generation.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 25 NIV84)
Notice what Moses is saying here. Loving the LORD our God is not about warm feelings or other positive emotions. Love for God is about obedience. When they obey the terms of the covenant (10 Commandments) and the application of these terms (the Law), they are showing love to God. They get on the same page with God. They don’t just get on the same page with God in their words and actions. They also do this with their hearts, their minds, and their souls. At the deepest recesses of their hidden selves, they fight the good fight to get on the same page with God. When they do, it is called righteousness.
Righteousness is a term that is being lost today. It goes against what we are taught in society as we are growing up. “That’s right for you, but that isn’t right for me” is a sentence we are taught to say and believe, but it is not what God teaches us. Throughout Scripture we are reminded that God defines right and wrong. We don’t get to choose what is right and what is wrong. We only get to choose whether we do right or wrong. In other words, we don’t define the covenant agreement/relationship/commitment with God. We only decide whether we will abide by its terms or not.
How about you? Do you love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength? Would God agree?