This generation is learning about the laws that God gave Moses. Bur Moses begins with hearing them, learning them and following them! He did not give these to their ancestors but to them, who are alive here today. (If you were not with us in Exodus, click here for the first read). We tend to glaze over them in their abbreviated version like this:
as if we are picking off a to-do list. Listen, it is Friday, take some time tonight to turn off the Facebook to look for the funny memes about the virus, turn off the news… and read the 10 commandments and truly understand what God is saying and pray that God show you where you need to begin to turn towards him more. Trust me, He will show you the one you are needing to work on the most in your life. IF you read one and do not truly understand what it is saying…don’t be prideful and ignore it: research it or ask in comments, and I will research it for you.
Deuteronomy 6 is one of the most important parts of the Old Testament (Torah) for Jewish people. This passage is called The Shema or The Great Commandment.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This is what it looks like in Hebrew writing.
וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽך
וְהָי֞וּ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם עַל־לְבָבֶֽךָ
וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ
וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְא֖וֹת עַל־יָדֶ֑ךָ וְהָי֥וּ לְטֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵינֶֽיךָ
וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזוּזֹ֥ת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ
Have you ever said, “I have something on my heart” that I want to talk to you about? I have, and basically, I was saying I have a consuming thought that if I don’t share with you I will burst! These commandments should be ON YOUR HEART. I could write about the Shema for hours but I am going to leave it here so that you have time to re-read the commandments and the Shema and sit still and see what God says to you.
(if you need Extra-credit homework: research how Jews today take the Shema “literally”: what is a phylactery and a mezuzah?) 😁
Chapter 7: Destroying the Canaanites will really be the work of the Lord. BUT when they take the land they are to destroy them totally. Do you remember the other day we talked about the word ‘haram’? (if you don’t, it’s ok it just means you are probably over 45 and can’t remember where you left your coffee either like me). Haram means to destroy completely (found on the Moab Stone “Mesha Stele”).
When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must
- destroy them totally.
- Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
- Do not intermarry with them.
- Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
- This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire.
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
I wonder if Moses is thinking “why are they not taking notes? They are not going to remember all this” JK!