Learning within family is to be done at every opportunity in their daily life – sleeping, waking, walking, resting.
1 “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
After wandering around in the wilderness for years, experiencing the miracles of God, things like water out of a rock, fire and clouds guiding them, the earth swallowing people, and fire consuming sin-filled people, they’re here. Ready and poised to cross the Jordan and begin occupying their promised land. Moses, compelled to reiterate the law, prepares the people to cross. This is where we find the Shema, which means “hear” in Hebrew.
Moses tells the people they’re to follow the ‘rules’ laid down by God. If they’re committed to abiding by them, and every effort to educate their family, the things promised would be theirs. God knows his creation, and we see this in the way he tries to get this people to not be forgetful. Not willing to let the people try to figure it out on their own, God tells them how to do it! It’s really not hard. They’re told to love God with everything they are – with every aspect of their existence.
Loving God is to be their first concern and learning by hearing ensures the blessings promised will be realized. Learning within family is to be done at every opportunity in their daily life – sleeping, waking, walking, resting. The ultimate goal of this education is echoed in verse six. “These words that I command you today shall be on your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:6). God wanted the process of learning to love to be so absorbed and embedded in their hearts so that it would be lived out fully. What a wonderful example for us! We can be just as diligent in our love for God as well as teaching this love to our families! Listen to the Shema in this video as a call to teach others to love the Lord today.
By Rich Obrecht