Read This Week’s Passage: Deuteronomy 10:12–22

Remembering Is for the Heart

In the overall covenant structure of Deuteronomy, chapters 6–11 focus on relationship, heart, and life. As a result of choosing to focus on God’s grace and mercy, the change of heart brings a change in the whole life. This passage summarizes the overall aim of the covenant and sets the stage for the laws that follow, which are arranged in the consecutive pattern of the Ten Words. In light of Deuteronomy 10, the laws are clearly not the means of salvation, but are case laws and examples of what it looks like to live a life with a circumcised heart.

The heart is central here, because only with the heart can one truly serve God. And yet our hearts are naturally stiff and stubborn, even stony. They need to be circumcised to be able to follow God (Deut. 10:16). It seems that part of the circumcision process is learning to understand who God really is, to focus on His mighty and awesome power, and to understand His love. When we know God’s heart, our hearts are drawn into a faith relationship with Him, and we naturally begin the process of living well. As a result, we also have love for others. When we understand that God has rescued us from slavery and that we were the strangers and foreigners as well, we are then inspired to reach out in love to other strangers and foreigners. God’s love for us grows a responsive chord in our own hearts and overflows into love for others that would not have been there before. It is easy to forget from whence we have come, but God wants us to remember.