Day 60.1

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)

The Shema is the title of a prayer that the Jews say as part of their morning and evening prayers. It consists of the verses above along with Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41. (It is called the “shema” because this is the first Hebrew word in the prayer, meaning “hear.”) When you read these verses you see cannot help but come away with a strong sense of the importance of keeping the law of God, something that we tend to be lax about. It is true that Christ has fulfilled the requirements of the law in the sense of keeping it perfectly to be counted righteous. But that does not negate the importance of the law. It was not just a test that has now been passed. It is showing how we are to live in the Kingdom of God. It is the foundation of a godly, ethical, and glorious society. This kingdom extends to our children and children’s children. This generational continuance is its core. Those raised and trained in the law of God are to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth. They are to be a priestly nation, interceding on behalf of the nations of the world, and demonstrating the glory and goodness of God. What I love about the first set of verses contained in this larger prayer is the method for impressing God’s Word upon our children. It is the closest thing we have to a “how-to” formula. As such, we ought to take advantage. “You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.” When you rise in the morning, go to bed each night, while at the dinner table, and as you help you child navigate life. This is something that we can do.

Below is the whole shema prayer.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV)

“And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you. “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:13-21)

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord your God.”

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