The Commandment

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

A. The commandment

foundational in terms of:

obedience v. 2a

fear the Lord

keep his statutes and commands

If we are to succeed in doing this in a way that pleases God, one command above all others must be followed first. No matter how hard we try, no matter how successful we might be in satisfying the external standards of behavior required by God or man, if we fail the first command we will be unable to meet God’s total standard.

cultural preservation v. 2b

keeping the family together

spanning the generations

A Long Line Of Love, Michael Martin Murphey (1987)

I bought a beautiful diamond ring I offered it to the sweetest thing I know And she said she would take it We started making some wedding plans she looked at me and she took my hand And said are you sure we can make it I said my grand dad’s still in love with my grandma I said my dad still thinks my mom’s the sweetest thing he ever saw

I come from a long line of love When the times get hard we don’t give up Forever is in my heart and in my blood

You see I come from a long line of love

Years went by and we had a son now he thinks he found someone for him And they’re planning a wedding He called me up on the phone today just to see what I had to say to him Did I think he was ready? I said what his grandfather used to say to me It’s been handed down for ages it runs in our family

You come from a long line of love When the times get hard we don’t give up

Forever is in your heart and in your blood Son you come from a long line of love We come from a long line of love

compensating for missed opportunities

Grandchildren can provide an opportunity to pass along our godly heritage even if our kids missed it. It also gives those who came to faith later on in life to begin the process for the next generation.

blessing v. 3

temporal prosperity accompanies spiritual benefits

God rewards obedience

B. The commandment

Love God v. 5

fervently – nothing half-hearted

sincerely – no hypocrisy

totally – turning every bit of strength, every part of one’s being to that end

we must love him, [1.] With a sincere love; not in word and tongue only, saying we love him when our hearts are not with him, but inwardly, and in truth, solacing ourselves in him. [2.] With a strong love; the heart must be carried out towards him with great ardour and fervency of affection. Some have hence though that we should avoid saying (as we commonly express ourselves) that we will do this or that with all our heart, for we must not do any thing with all our heart but love God; and that this phrase, being here used concerning that sacred fire, should not be unhallowed. He that is our all must have our all, and none but he. [3.] With a superlative love; we must love God above any creature whatsoever, and love nothing besides him but what we love for him and in subordination to him. [4.] With an intelligent love; for so it is explained, Mar 12:33. To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, we must know him, and therefore love him as those that see good cause to love him. [5.] With an entire love; he is one, and therefore our hearts must be united in this love, and the whole stream of our affections must run towards him. O that this love of God may be shed abroad in our hearts! Matthew Henry

C. The implementation

Teaching our children and grandchildren:

1. from the Heart v. 6

The commandments, which provided the framework within which the Israelites could express their love of God, were to be upon your heart – that is, the people were to think on them and meditate about them, so that obedience would not be a matter of formal legalism, but a response based upon understanding. By reflecting on the commandments, they were reflecting on God’s words; and by understanding the path of life set down by the commandments, they would at the same time be discovering the way in which God’s love for them was given expression. Peter Craigie, NICOT

2. with the Lips v. 7

Having understood the commandments for themselves, the people were then responsible for their children: you shall repeat them to your children. The commandments were to be the subject of conversation both inside and outside the home, from the beginning of the day to the end of the day. Peter Craigie, NICOT

3. using the Hands v. 8a

Love for God and his laws is to be a rule of conduct – our hands are to be employed in ways that please him. Not only are we to use our own hands for the right things, we must teach our children and grandchildren how to do the same, using their hands in service to God. See Deut. 10:12

4. according to a biblical Vision v. 8b

Viewing the world through the lens of God’s principles as revealed in Scripture. We must first see the world in the categories God does with the interconnections he sees there. We must recognize God at work, seeing his fingerprints on current events and his creation. We must then instruct our children and grandchildren how to see the same.

5. as the character of the Home v. 9

Love for God is to guard the entrance to our homes. Parents have a responsibility to bring into the home what truly belongs there and keep out what would be harmful – love for God and a desire to please him by keeping his commands is the filter. Home should be both a haven from the world and a spiritual nursery where our children and grandchildren are first fed milk, then meat as they are taught to know and love God.

In summary, the commandments were to permeate every sphere of the life of man. Peter Craigie, NICOT

May the same be said of our homes and our children as Paul declared regarding Timothy: see 2 Tim 1:3-5; 3:14-15

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