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Scripture reading – Deuteronomy 6-7
Our chronological Scripture reading brings us to Deuteronomy 6-7, where we find Moses continuing his second oration before the congregation of Israel (which he began in Deuteronomy 5). After stating the Ten Commandments to the people (5:7-21), Moses charged them to keep the covenant by “[walking] in all the ways which the Lord [their] God [had] commanded [them]” (5:33).
A Sacred Duty: The Perpetual Responsibility to Instruct Sons and Daughters
The Reward for Obedience (Deuteronomy 6:1-3)
Israel was not only to obey “the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments” which the LORD had given Moses to teach the people (6:1), but they were to “fear the LORD” and teach their “son, and [their] son’s son, all the days of [their] life; and that [their] days may be prolonged” (6:2).
Take a moment and ponder not only the command but also the promise. There was a direct correlation between the quality and length of one’s life and whether or not they have faithfully obeyed the LORD’S commands, feared Him, and instructed their children and grandchildren in His statutes and commandments. One wonders about the number of potentially premature deaths of those who have lived apart from the Lord’s commandments.
Moses continued his appeal to the people and said, “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey” (6:3). Once again, prosperity was the reward for fearing and revering the LORD.
Principles for Obedience (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
Known as The Shema among Hebrew people, Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is prayed twice daily by many Jewish people for it summarizes the essence of Israel’s God and that nation’s unique relationship with Him.
Deuteronomy 6:4–5 – 4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 5And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
In the New Testament, when a lawyer asked Jesus, “36Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matthew 22:36). Jesus quoted “The Shema” and said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
The Means of Obedience (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
Without exception, each generation was to obey the commandments out of a heart of love and to communicate the commands, statutes, and laws of the LORD “diligently” to their children (6:7-9). The Word of God was to be persistently considered in every household. Its commands, statutes, and laws were the spiritual guide for every area of life and were to be taught when sitting down, walking, lying down at night, or rising at dawn. Even the entrance to one’s home was to be graced with the Law of God (6:9).
An Admonition (Deuteronomy 6:10-18)
Moses then warned the people not to forget the LORD amid their prosperity (6:10-11). They were reminded that “the LORD thy God is a jealous God” (6:15). Also, they were not to “tempt” or test the LORD by failing to obey Him (6:16). The LORD promised if the people would keep His commandments, He would prosper them (6:17). If they would do “right and good in the sight of the LORD,” it would be well with them (6:18).
A Directive for Parental Instructions (Deuteronomy 6:20-24)
Deuteronomy 6:20-23 returned to the privilege and responsibility the people had for instructing their children. Fathers and mothers were to remind their sons and daughters of all the LORD had done for them and to “do all these statutes, to fear the LORD” (6:24). Obey the LORD, and He promised to preserve them as a nation (6:24).
Deuteronomy 7 – Why did the LORD Choose Israel?
After challenging Israel to remember the providences and promises of the LORD, to obey His commandments, and teach them to their sons and daughters: Moses challenged Israel to utterly destroy the nations in the land He had promised them for an inheritance (Deuteronomy 7).
A Call for Separation (Deuteronomy 7:2-11)
The nation was to make no covenant of peace with the heathen, nor allow their sons and daughters to intermarry with them (7:2-4). Every idol and every place of idolatry was to be cut down (7:5).
Then Moses reminded the people that the LORD had chosen Israel to be a “holy people” (7:6). Israel was not chosen because the nation was significant in number nor a powerful people (7:7). God chose Israel because He “loved [them], and because He would keep the oath [covenant] which He had sworn unto [their] fathers [i.e., Abraham, Issac, and Jacob]” (7:8).
A Promise of Blessings for Obedience (Deuteronomy 7:12-26)
Deuteronomy 7 revealed much concerning the nature of God and His relationship with Israel. I look forward to considering those verses in a future devotion. But, for now, read the balance of chapter 7 and meditate on God’s grace, longsuffering, and holiness. After all, the LORD is “immutable,” and He has not changed!
Questions to consider:
1) What was Moses commanded to teach Israel? (Deuteronomy 6:1)
2) What did God promise if Israel kept His commandments and taught their children? (Deuteronomy 6:2-3)
3) How were parents to teach their children? (Deuteronomy 6:7)
4) Why were the sons and daughters of Israel forbidden to marry heathen spouses? (Deuteronomy 7:3-4)
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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