The book of Deuteronomy is largely a restatement of the law that was given to God’s people, but now as they are ready to enter the promised land after their 40 years in the desert, they are hearing it again before their mission continues to drive out the inhabitants of the land.
Thus…when something gets said twice or summarized, it’s usually pretty important. In 6:4-7 we see a very famous summary:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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.
We see a few things here:
- There is one God, and you are one in God. Written in a world of many “gods” this is a powerful statement – there is only one true God. Also the word “you” in v5 is singular – the people of God are united in the one God.
- Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This phrase carries the meaning of “the whole person.” Israel was being called to love the one true God with their whole lives, let no part of your heart, soul, or mind be not serving God in loving worship. One God – your many lives lived as one all with everything you have for God’s purposes and glory.
- Teach with your life. As parents we are to pass on our 100% love for God to our kids – both in teaching with actual words of God in the Bible – but also in everyday life – when we’re sitting at home, walking (or driving now as the case may be), when resting…all the time. All of our time with our family – redeemed for one purpose – loving God. Fathers, we are called to lead the way here – Eph 6:4
Lest we think that these are only commands given to ancient Israel and no longer apply to us today…(1) He is still the same God. The God of the OT is not a different God from the NT. Why would we not continue to love him with everything we have? (2) Jesus famously sums this as the greatest commandment in Matt 22:36-38.
If we have repented of our sins, put our full faith and trust in Jesus for restoration and healing, and are persevering in our walk today – we are united in Jesus. We are part of the new covenant that the old covenant laid the foundation for – Jesus fulfilled it for us! How much more now shall we love God with all of our being? We live and work not for God’s acceptance and love, but because we are loved and accepted by God in Christ!