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.
Humans are made in the image of God — in some ways we reflect Him. Yet, God tells us: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Essentially God is telling us that He is not evil and is not the author of evil. He says to us, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:7) While the thoughts of the human being are evil, the thoughts of our God are good.
God promises, “My Word will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I send it.” (Isaiah 55:11) He says, “My salvation is close at hand and My righteousness will soon be revealed.” (Isaiah 56:1) God reaches out to us, saying: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to Me; hear Me, that your soul may live.” (Isaiah 55:1-3) “My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed.” (Isaiah 54:10)
“This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from Me,” says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17)
After comparing flesh to grass which “withers” and to flowers which “fail,” Peter writes that “the Word endures forever.” Unlike flesh — which is subject to death and decay — the Word of God stands eternally.
Recall that “man does not live by bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8: 3)
The psalmist asks God, “How can a young man keep his way pure?” And answers his own question, “By keeping Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 9) He says to God, “I treasure Your Word in my heart so I may not sin against You… I do not forget Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 11, 16) “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119: 105)
The psalmist recognizes that God “gives [him] hope through [His Word].” (Psalm 119:49) God’s Word “is [his] comfort in affliction; [God’s] promise gives [him] life.” (Psalm 119: 50)
The psalmist declares, “I put my hope in Your Word.” (Psalm 119: 81) “Lord, Your Word is forever; it is firmly fixed in heaven.” (Psalm 119: 89)
“For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.”
The Word of God tells us that “the Word of God is living and effective!” Why is the Word of God alive? Because “the Word is God.” (John 1: 1) Through the Word of God, “all things are created.” (John 1: 3) “Apart from Him [the Word] not one thing is created.” (John 1: 3)
“Life is in Him [the Word], and that life is the light of men.” (John 1: 4)
The Word of God is life; it is “the light of men.” The Word of God gives us life and light.
The Word of God is “sharper than any double-edged sword.” The Word creates our life in Christ. “It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.”
“Inquire of the Lord while He is present, call upon Him while He is close at hand.”
God says, “Come to Me and listen to My Words, hear Me, and you shall have life: I will make a covenant with you, to love you faithfully as I loved David.” (Isaiah 55:3)
God reminds, “So shall the Word which comes from My mouth prevail; it shall not return to Me fruitless without accomplishing My purpose or succeeding in the task I give it. You shall indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace.” (Isaiah 55:11-12)
Zechariah sings, “Praise to the God of Israel! For He has turned to His people, saved them and set them free, and has raised up a deliverer of victorious power from the house of His servant David. So He promised: age after age He proclaimed by the lips of His holy prophets, that He would deliver us from our enemies, out of the hands of all who hate us; that He would deal mercifully with our fathers, calling to mind His solemn covenant. Such was the oath He swore to our father Abraham, to rescue us from enemy hands, and grant us, free from fear, to worship Him with a holy worship, with uprightness of heart, in His presence, our whole life long.” (Luke 1:68-75)
Therefore, seek God while He may be found. Listen to His Word, for it does not fail in the task He has assigned.
Paul exhorts us to “let the Word of Christ dwell richly within.”
This is my story; this is my song! God reveals Himself primarily through His Word rather than through emotional experiences at our local church meeting. Before anyone protests, I am not saying that God is not in our church meetings or revivals or weekend retreats; I am saying that if you are looking for God, open your Bible.
The real God is found in these pages, which He writes on our hearts every day as we read and study His very Words.
Which is better? To hear the actual words of your best friend or to go to a meeting to hear someone else’s words about your best friend? The answer is obvious, writes Paul. He tells us to let the Word of Christ live inside of us with the riches of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all wisdom.
How is it that we teach others? Teach others to open God’s Word; to allow God’s Word to permeate the mind and soul. In this way, we will each know what is the will of God