Today's devotion from Deuteronomy 6 and 7.
Moses wanted Israel to do more than simply be aware of God. He wanted them to intimately know God, and it integrate this knowledge into the fabric of their lives. It is in this spirit we find one of the most beautiful sections of the Mosaic writings.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9 we find the Shema, a Hebrew word that means "to hear/listen." What is it they are supposed to hear? Doctrinal truth regarding the nature of a Triune God. The Great Commandment to love God with heart, soul, and strength.
But it is more than the transmission of information that makes this section so powerful. It is how the people are to live these truths. They are to commit them to their hearts, commend them to their children, and keep them constantly on the forefront of their minds through conversation and reminder.
The words of Moses, generally, and the Great Commandment, specifically, are supposed to be central to every facet of their lives. Obviously Moses has been led to write what he has, but we're beginning to see a pattern emerging from the direction God is giving him: our faith is not just for ourselves.
Multiple times over the last few chapters we have seen the issue of instructing children in the basics of the faith is incredibly important. This is how we live long and prosper in the land. This is how we demonstrate our love for God. This is how we obey a command of God.
There is a difference between loving God and going to worship. There is a difference between them hearing me preach in a pulpit and hearing me share my affections for God. Quite frankly, I think we all make this mistake.
We may have loved ones that we are concerned about, but we try to get them to "go to church" instead of trying to get them to grasp our love of God. If we aren't careful, we can become so busy doing stuff that deals with God that we fail to actually be with God or be about God. I feel especially susceptible to this being a pastor.
This section always challenges me to ask myself what others hear from me. Do they hear about Republicans and Democrats? Hot-button subjects? Church business? Hobbies and interests? Or do they hear me declare my love for God?