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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Bible Commentary

Deuteronomy 6

Verses 1-25

Chapter 6

So in chapter six:

NOW these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that you might do them in the land whither you go to possess it: That you may fear the LORD thy God, and to keep all of his statutes and commandments, which I command you. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of your fathers has promised thee, in the land that flows with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel ( Deuteronomy 6:1-4 ):

This is called the great Shema, the great commandment.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD ( Deuteronomy 6:4 ):

Or "Jehovah our God is one Jehovah".

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might ( Deuteronomy 6:5 ).

Now when the lawyer came to Jesus and said, "Which is the greatest commandment?" Jesus quoted this, the Shema.

The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy might ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ).

It is interesting that Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy more than, I think, any other book in the Old Testament. He was very familiar with this book of Deuteronomy. He used His passages when Satan was tempting Him and he quoted often from the book of Deuteronomy.

Now this Shema it is almost for the Jew his Magna Carta. I mean it's just whenever they would get together they would start to chant this. In their worship and feast services they would chant this, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one LORD:"( Deuteronomy 6:4 ). And I mean they really just chant it over and over and over again.

But it is interesting, in the Hebrew, there is a word for "one" which means a compound unity and another word for "one" which is an absolute unity. Now, we might say that we are one body gathered together here in Christ but we would use the word for a compound unit because there's a lot of bodies here, but we comprise a oneness in Jesus. So, there is one body in Christ that is made up of many parts, the compound unity. That Hebrew word for one, the compound unity, is "achad". Now there is another Hebrew word for one which means an absolute one, indivisible one. That word is "echad".

Now as we look at this Shema, the very heart of the whole Jewish faith and religious system, "The Lord our God is one LORD". If the word one Lord, the word "one" there is "echad", you can have absolutely no argument for the trinity at all. An absolute indivisible one and no place for the trinity. If the word "achad" is used for "one", you have then a compound unity. Very interesting because you know that the word "achad" is used. "The Lord our God is one LORD" the compound unity. The Father, Son, Holy Spirit, one Lord, one God, yet the compound unity, the three persons of the one God. It's right there in their very Shema, their chant, the foundation of their whole religious system is this verse, this scripture. And yet within it there is the idea of the compound unity of God, "The Lord our God is one LORD".

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, soul, and might. Now, these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart [first of all]: [secondly] you shall teach them diligently to your children, now you're to talk about them when you're sitting in your houses, and when you're walking along the path, and when you're lying down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they might be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and upon your gates. And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land that he sware unto your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you the great and goodly cities, which you did not build the houses, but you're full of good things, which you did not fill, and wells that you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant; when you have eaten and are full: Beware lest you forget the LORD, that brought you out of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, [or reverence Him] and serve him, and shall swear by his name ( Deuteronomy 6:5-13 ).

Now, God wanted them to have His Word and the thought of God just permeating their very life and their lifestyles. I like it. I think that we need to have more talking about God. Now when you lie down at night, now usually they of course just had one room the whole family would lie down in one room, just talk about God. When the lights are out and it's dark just start talking about God and the law of God and the commandments of the Lord. When you wake up in the morning, start talking about the Lord. When you're walking with your children along the path, talk to them about God. When you're sitting down at the table, let your conversation be about God. Let it be just so much a part, let it be not just a part, let it be the totality of your life; just the Word of God and the things of God.

Bind them on your wrist, put them in the frontlets and so they had little leather pouches and they'd the commandments in these pouches and they tie them on their foreheads; these little boxes with the law of God tied there between their eyes. They'd wrap them on their wrist, they'd have the little masseuse on the door and in the masseuse a little copy of the law on the doorposts; they would just tack it up there. And they do today in the orthodox homes. They'd go in and out of the house. They'd kiss their fingers and touch the little masseuse the law of God. It's signifying the love for the law of God.

I think that's great. I love it. Write them on your dashboards. You know, just surround yourself with the Word of God, the commandments and the statutes of the Lord. Let it become just that vital part of your life you're living. You know, it's an interesting thing in Malachi it says, "and they that love the Lord spake often of him. And God kept a book of remembrances"( Malachi 3:16 ).

You know the neat thing about it whenever you get together with your friends you start talking about the Lord, the Lord always eavesdrops. He loves to hear what you're saying about Him. "And God keeps a book of remembrances and they shall be accounted as his precious jewels in those days. "They that love the Lord spake often of Him." Oh, that we would just talk about Jesus. When we lie down at night, when we get up in the morning, when we're walking in the path, when we're going places and we just surround ourselves with the awareness and conscienceness of Him.

Now he warns them not to forget.

Not to go after the other gods, the gods of the people around about you: (For the LORD God [again a warning] is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him at Massah ( Deuteronomy 6:14-16 ).

When Satan said, "Hey, command this stone to be made bread." Oh no, he said, "Jump off the temple here." And we'll get to the place in a little while "man shall not live by bread alone," that comes. But when he said, "Jump off the temple because it's written he'll give his angels charge over thee, keep thee in all thy ways, to bear thee up lest at any time you dash your foot up against a stone." And Jesus said, "It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Jesus is quoting here Proverbs the sixth chapter. He knew it.

Thou shall not tempt the LORD thy God. But you shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he has command you do. And you shall do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it might be well with you, that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers. To cast out the enemies from before you. And when you son ask you in time to come, saying, What are the meaning of the testimonies, and these statutes, and these judgments, which the LORD God has commanded you? Then you shall say unto your son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt: and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: And the LORD showed us signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and all of his household, before our eyes: And he brought us out from there, that he might give us this land [and so forth] ( Deuteronomy 6:16-23 ).

It's interesting to me that God was always seeking to strike questions in the mind of a child in order that the child might learn. So many things that were deliberately designed to create curiosity and questions in the minds of the children. God has put that curiosity into the heart of a child; and as a parent, use it. Take time to explain to your children when they ask their questions. Don't just brush them off and say, "I don't have time." Sit down and answer their questions. God has given them the questioning art in order that they might learn. Take advantage of it and teach them the ways of the Lord.

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/deuteronomy-6.html. 2014.