“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
As stated in the law, Deuteronomy 6:4-9 was to be recited by all Jews both morning and evening, for it contains God’s basic plan for passing on the message of God from generation to generation.
The primary teaching is contained in verse 4. There is only one God, indivisible, although in three persons. His divine uniqueness precludes the worship of any other deity. The response to this message is that we should love that God with our entire being. Jesus Christ recognized this as the first and greatest commandment (Mark 12:30), teaching that obedience to it fulfilled one’s duty to the entire law.
The message was so important that God even gave the mechanics for passing it on. In verse 6, we see that “these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Each person, particularly parents (v. 7), needed a heart commitment to God’s commandments, statutes, and judgments (vv. 1-2).
Next, they had to commit themselves to raising up a godly heritage. “Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children” (v. 7). This teaching was to be first of all oral teaching. They were also to dress in such a way that it reflected their commitment to the law of God (v. 8), and they were to place visual reminders of the law of God all around their homes so that the children were constantly reminded of the things of God (v. 9).
Christians need to discover the truth of this passage. We must not merely assume the godly teaching of our children but also actively cultivate it. At stake is not only the personal walk of our children but also the eternal message of God. JDM