Sh’ma Yisrael – Deuteronomy 6:1-12

1.These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your GOD directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your GOD as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the GOD of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our GOD, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your GOD with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
10 When the LORD your GOD brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:1-12)

As I read these scriptures and studies pertaining to Deuteronomy 6, it reminded me of the recent sermon messages taught these recent weeks about “Discipleship”. Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear (or Shema in Hebrew) O Israel (Sh’ma Yisrael: the first two words of a section of the Jewish Torah), The LORD our GOD, the LORD is one” is also referenced by CHRIST JESUS Himself in (Mark 12:29) as the first of the two “Greatest Commandments of GOD” when CHRIST said, “The most important one 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 strength.’”

As I read through Deuteronomy, it’s clear that this book, written by Moses, is one long lesson, or sermon, before he dies in Chapter 34 of this book. Deuteronomy Chapter 5 mentions the Ten Commandments give by GOD to Moses and us, His people. Then here in Chapter 6, Moses continues with the instructions from GOD, exhorting love for and fear of GOD by keeping GOD’S commandments and then finally – to make sure we pass on (or “teach”) to the future generations; with the main directive to never forget GOD and to always remain obedient to His commandments. This chapter teaches this and especially teaching the next generations. I interpret here as not just teaching our children (as the next generation), but those whom we are called to disciple as well. Moses continues to teach GOD’S love for us His children, and the importance that we teach our children, the next generation, and bring them up in GOD’S Commandments and laws. Deuteronomy 6 teaches us:

LOVE and FEAR GOD by keeping His Commandments.
By that…keeping His Commands (Deut 6:1-3)
Teaching and Bringing up our children (Deut 6:4-9)
And Never forgetting GOD as our GOD and the only GOD.

I say again, as I read through Deuteronomy 6, it brought to memory the messages and sermons our Pastors at New Hope Waikoloa has been teaching. It also reminded me of my recent travels to the Holy Land. While walking in our LORD’S footsteps through the land of Israel and especially, the streets of Jerusalem, I experienced and witnessed how important “family” is to GOD. It is especially important that His chosen people continuously raise their children under GOD’S laws and more so, the “Greatest Commandment” given here by Moses in Deuteronomy 6:4. CHRIST JESUS Himself repeats the same in Mark 12: “Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad” (Here O Israel, the LORD is our GOD; the LORD is one), basically commanding and teaching us that there is only one GOD.  As Moses teaches us here in these Scriptures and as I had witnessed so many people still living in the “old ways” within the old Holy Country, I am stirred up with a great desire to bring up our children as disciples. This is really important to me, to raise the future generations by teaching them God’s love and commandments.

Heavenly Father, thank you for Your word and the teachings of Your Son, our LORD JESUS CHRIST, His Disciples and the prophets before, all teaching from Your spoken word. I pray that You always guide us in the direction that Your word instructs us, to raise our children and the next generations that follow to always Love and Fear God and always follow Your commandments as our one and only God. “Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad” (Here O Israel, the LORD is our GOD; the LORD is one). In Jesus Name…Amen!