why does the [God of the] Bible COMMAND us to love God?
Greetings, dear Sab... and peace to you! I would like to respond, if I may, and ask that you try to "listen" and "hear" what I am going to share with you. I am going to be candid, but please know that I mean NO offense. I truly do not wish you or anyone else to misread my tone or intent because I am only going to share what it TRUE... and if you listen... you will know what I mean.
You asked why the Bible (and/or the God of the Bible) commands us to love God. First, dear one, the problem lies with the word "us." Here's the account you quoted:
"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that [Jesus] had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?' 'The most important one,' answered [Jesus], “is this: ‘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 mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.'"
Who, may I ask... is "us"? WHO is commanded to "love God" here? Is it the entire world, including the nations? Or is it Israel? Who asked my Lord the question? Someone of the nations... or someone of Israel? And to whom was the scripture (from Deut.) quoted? Egypt? Assyria? Greece? Or... Israel?
Given those questions, I have to ask: why do... and others... assume that what is written in the Bible is to YOU? Why do you assume that those addressed are OTHER than Israel? It is not, dear one... with the exception of those who GO WITH Israel.
With that said, you should be able to answer your next question:
Why does such a command even need to exist in the first place?
Because Israel kept FORGETTING that truth... that One was their God... that they should love Him... and they should love their neigbor as theirselves... which was the PLEDGE they agreed to... the COVENANT they entered into... at Sinai! The Bible... particularly the scriptures... and all kinds of other writings are chock FULL with examples of their "forgetfulness"... and the repeated efforts of the Most Holy One of Israel to REMIND them.
What an odd thing to demand of your subjects (creations).
It was not a demand: it was the TERMS of a two-party agreement... between God and Israel... mediated by Moses. Which Israel (and those who went with her) was supposed to "inculcate" in themselves... and in their children. Which they kept "forgetting" to do. In default of the covenant. Which default God kept overlooking and forgiving them for... and still does. Because even still... ALL Israel will be saved. Just not all of them will be a "[holy] nation of kings and priests." Most will be subjects of the kingdom in which that "nation" rules... and thus, ruled over BY such ones, including people of the nations... to their great chagrin.
Didn't have to be that way, though. Doesn't still, for some of "us" (Israel).
I hope this helps you "see" what this is all about a little better, dear Sab. And if you actually ARE Israel... well, then, "us" is totally applicable to you and your household... and perhaps now you can better understand the reminder.
Again, peace to you!
A slave of Christ,