Yahweh’s character is on full display in Deuteronomy 10. God loves first, and longs for our love in return (v. 15). We are not able to do anything on our own, but we can respond with love to the love Jesus pours into our hearts. We can choose to be in relationship with God, to let Him work on our hearts, to follow His voice, to serve Him with all our person, and to trust that He will work out our salvation and our sanctification. Love comes before obedience. Indeed, we cannot obey on our own. Even our good deeds are like filthy menstrual rags (Isa. 64:6) and need the cleansing of Jesus’ righteousness. There is no hope for us without God’s love.
God owns the universe, but He also comes close in our hearts. He is the great, mighty, and awesome God (v. 17). And yet He sets His heart in love on us. The heart is key to a closer relationship with God, and yet it starts with God’s heart. This is such a powerful picture of salvation by faith and prevenient grace (God’s grace which is at work to draw us to Him before we are even aware of it). Then God continues to do many awesome and amazing things for us in the plan of salvation. He multiplies blessings to us and leads us into better and better things with Him. God is also worthy of praise (v. 21), and we are to hold fast or cling to Him as honey does to our skin (v. 20). This is a reminder that as we focus on gratitude to God for what He has done, our relationship grows ever sweeter and more precious.
Ultimately, God is also a God of justice. He does not play favorites, and He does not take bribes. Although it may seem this way to our eyes blinded by sin, these are the lies of the devil to make us distrust God. Yahweh loves everyone equally and desires for each person to share eternity with Him. Especially for the people that humans tend to look down on, like the poor, the ones without a family or inheritance, and those who have to flee their native land (v. 18), God takes extra care to make sure they are provided for equally. And He calls on His followers to live out His desires for the vulnerable, to care for them as He would, and to see their inner soul as having infinite value, rather than the outward circumstances (see also Deut. 15:7–11). But even if we do not, God will ultimately execute justice on their behalf (Matt. 25:31–46).