Friday, September 22, 2006

A Deuteronomy 6 Family

Most parents are very familiar with this passage, the Shema, the central statement of the Jewish faith:

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.

You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

NASB, via Bible Gateway

(Immediately followed by my favorite Thanksgiving verses:

Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. )

But sometimes I fear we gloss over the reasoning behind it. Back up two verses.

Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

(Remind you of anything? Yep, the fifth commandment, to honor your father and mother, the first one with a promise: "that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you", which Moses had just repeated in Deuteronomy 5.)

God commanded Moses to teach the Israelites His words so that they would be passed on in such a way that future generations would understand the need to obey them. Because He wanted to bless them.

Back to Deuteronomy 6. What's the reason God wants us to teach our children about Him? The answer is in verse 24:
for our good always and for our survival, as it is today


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