Love and Obedience – Deuteronomy 6:5

Love ties with Obedience

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Jesus taught that Deuteronomy 6:4-5 constituted the first, the greatest, and the most important commandment, and that by obeying it one would live (Matt 22:37-38; Mark 12:29-30; Luke 10:27) Kalland (1992).

The commandment ties love tightly together with the sense of obedience and loyalty. Obeying God is the first response in loving Him. During our lives most of us can confess to loving someone. A parent, a sibling, a friend or a partner. These horizontal relationships (human to human) are always synonymous with pleasing other. To seek their wishes and to respond to their requests. When we love others we automatically seek to do things for them and to remain loyal to them. Faithfulness is akin to love.

John 14:15 records Jesus teaching His disciples, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Later in the discourse, He said to them, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (vs.21).

John states obeying God’s commands are not burdensome. This does not mean that everything we do will be easy or even enjoyable, but if we truly love God, we will gladly do whatever He tells us to do, simply because He tells us too. Christ’s commitment to suffer the cross was by no means a pleasant experience. However, it was the deepest commitment to love of Father and love of His children that compelled Him to do so. No other force on earth could have kept Him there.

Nurturing a deep desire for God is the key. Shortly after Moses received this commandment many of the Israelites chose to follow a golden calf fashioned by their own hands. Their misguided hearts chose to follow what they perceived God to be. Humanity continually repeats this folly. When man forgets God the outcome is horrific (Caesar, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, PolPot).

Moses and the likes of Joshua chose God and His commandments. A love for God compelled them to adhere to God’s ways even when the going got tough. It was no easy walk, however, the alternative represented no God. Rather, misguided imitations that promised the earth and delivered damnation.

Loving God with all thy heart, thy soul and strength means loving Him with all of you. A burning desire for the vertical aspect of Love. God to Human. Obedience and faithfulness additionally bring us Joy.

I take joy in doing thy will oh God (Psalm 40:8)