Sermon Notes: Experiencing the God’s of Promises

Psalms‬ ‭119:12‭-‬16‬ ‭Blessed are You, Lord; Teach me Your statutes. [13] With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. [14] I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. [15] I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. [16] I shall delight in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

Background of Deuteronomy 6:1-8

Deuteronomy 6:1-8 is part of a series of discourses delivered by Moses to the Israelites in the plains of Moab, shortly before their entry into the Promised Land. These discourses are meant to remind and instruct the Israelites about the laws and commandments they are to follow as God’s chosen people. Deuteronomy, meaning “second law,” reiterates and expounds upon the laws given at Sinai.

This particular section, known as the Shema (from the first word in verse 4, “Hear”), is central to Jewish faith and daily prayer. It emphasizes the importance of loving and obeying God wholeheartedly and teaching these commandments diligently to future generations.

Verse by Verse Analysis of Deuteronomy 6:1-8

Verse 1:               

  • Text: “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the judgments—which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it.”
  • Reflection: This verse sets the stage for the instructions to follow. It emphasizes that the statutes and judgments are commanded by God and are essential for life in the Promised Land.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Exodus 20:2 – “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”

Verse 2:               

  • Text: “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.”
  • Reflection: The verse links obedience to God with the concept of fearing (revering) Him. It underscores that the commandments are not just for one generation but are to be kept through generations, implying a continuity of faith and obedience.
  • Cross-reference: Proverbs 3:1-2 – “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

Verse 3:               

  • Text: “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”
  • Reflection: This verse emphasizes the benefits of obedience — well-being and prosperity in the Promised Land. The “land flowing with milk and honey” symbolizes abundance and fulfillment of God’s promises.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Leviticus 26:3-5 – “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments and do them, then…you shall eat your bread to the full and dwell in your land securely.”

Verse 4:               

  • Text: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”
  • Reflection: Known as the Shema, this verse is a foundational declaration of the Jewish faith, affirming the monotheistic belief in one God. It serves as a call to attention for the significant commandment that follows.
  • Cross-reference: Mark 12:29 – Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord;”

Verse 5:               

  • Text: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
  • Reflection: This verse commands a total, all-encompassing love for God. It is not just about external obedience but involves the whole being — heart, soul, and strength.
  • Cross-reference: Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”

Verse 6:               

  • Text: “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.”
  • Reflection: The commandments are to be internalized, deeply rooted in the heart. This internalization is key to genuine obedience and relationship with God.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Proverbs 7:3 – “Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Verse 7:               

  • Text: “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.”
  • Reflection: This verse underscores the importance of educating children in God’s laws. The instruction is to be a constant part of daily life, indicating that teaching about God should permeate every aspect of living.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Ephesians 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Verse 8:               

  • Text: “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.”
  • Reflection: The verse uses metaphorical language to express the need for God’s commandments to be ever-present in daily actions (sign on the hand) and thoughts (frontals on the forehead). It emphasizes the integration of God’s law into all facets of life.
  • Cross-reference:
    • Exodus 13:9 – “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.”

Key Takeaways from Deuteronomy 6:1-8:

  • These verses form the core of Jewish religious instruction, emphasizing the importance of loving and obeying God wholeheartedly.
  • The passage connects obedience with the well-being and prosperity of the Israelites in the Promised Land.
  • The Shema (v. 4) serves as a central declaration of faith in one God.
  • The instructions highlight the necessity of internalizing God’s commandments and diligently teaching them to future generations, ensuring the continuity of faith and adherence to God’s laws.