And these words which I command to thee today, shall be in thine heart; and thou shalt tell those to thy sons, and thou shalt think upon them, sitting in thine house, and going in the way (and going on the way), lying down, and rising (up).
What are ‘these words’? Moses orates:
Thou shalt love thy Lord God of all thine heart, and of all thy soul, and of all thy strength. (Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.)
Hard to imagine that meditating on these words can make any difference in your life? Think again.
For the word of God is quick, and speedy in working, and more able to pierce than any twain-edged sword [two-edged sword], and stretcheth forth [till] to the parting of the soul and of the spirit, and of the jointures and marrows, and deemer of thoughts, and of intents of hearts. (Hebrews 4:12)
So Moses tells us to speak of loving God, to imagine loving God, to meditate on loving God, to teach loving God to our children and to our neighbors and even to those who we perceive as enemies.
As we think on ‘these words’, these words change us.
Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. (Deuteronomy 6: 4-6, HCSB)
Notice initially God is the Lord of a people, then He is the Lord of an individual. As individuals, we are part of the body of Christ and as such fit into a larger group of people, known collectively as ‘the people of God’ or as ‘the children of God.’ As individuals, each of us is a child of God. Paul calls us ‘sons’ and if sons, then heirs together with Christ. We are to keep in our hearts the key concepts expressed by Moses: God is One; and we are to love Him with all of our being and with all of our strength.
Moses calls for Israel to write these concepts on their door frames so each day the Word is visible to the eye and to the mind. He commands Israel to speak these truths with their children as they rise and as they go in and out.
At all times, the Word of God is to be within sight. As the Word is within our reach, we are prepared for any of the wiles of our adversary. Though he prowls about like a devouring lion, our armor — if intact — is able to withstand his assault. Keep the Word in your hearts, and so be ready for any situation no matter how dire. Love the Lord with all you are; and God is near.
“You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:4 ESV)
Hold fast to God.
Obey His voice.
Walk after Him.
Keep His commandments.
I notice there are no negatives in Moses’ exhortation. Each suggestion is a positive statement of action. My favorite is “hold fast to Him.”
God is the anchor in my life. He keeps me in place, so to speak. If I drift in one direction — one which does not please Him, He pulls me back to center. I rely on Him. I trust Him.
I am in awe — in holy fear — of Him, of course. He is all-powerful, all-knowing. Yet my fear is tempered by my knowledge that He is all-loving as well. His justice is true. His wrath is satisfied. I need not fear to the point of dread of Him. For, He is my anchor in all things.
His voice is in His Word. I keep His Word in my mind at all times. I refresh my soul, spirit, heart in His Word every day, several times a day. I walk after Him which implies He is in front of me, leading the way. If I go the wrong direction, again He is my anchor and I hold fast to Him. I trust He pulls me back to center.
Keeping His commandments — what are His commandments? To love Him above all else and to love Him completely, with my entire being. And, to love others as I love myself. Only through Him am I able to obey.
Serving Him — Never enough.