Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word!
Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word!
Father, most gracious, most glorious God of heaven and earth, we seek your presence and ask for your assistance this and each day to do your will. Grant, gracious God, that we would be comforted within your loving watch-care and restored from our sinful depth into your kind and generous light. We know that to know you is the most blessed kindness of life and you are known in your word. May we be ever-mindful to read, study, mark and inwardly digest your word this day and every day that follows. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 The Importance of Daily Sustaining Grace
4 “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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
We’re taking a break from Haggai today to focus our attention on how important it is to have practice the daily habit of feeding our souls. Deuteronomy 6:4 is called the “Shema” because in Hebrew it begins, “Shema Israel Yahweh elohenu Yahweh ahad.” Shema comes from the first word in the verse—it means “hear”. The Israelites were to practice the habit of “hearing”
God’s truths, one of which is who God is. He is one. Of course, in the New Testament, it is revealed that God is one but He is also three. It’s as correct to say that God is one in three as it is to say He is three in one. God is a Trinity, three persons who make up the God-head.
From our passage today, the Israelites also knew God by His character revealed through his law. Here in Dt. 6:5 we are told to love God with all of who we are, at the heart of this command as with all of God’s commands is His character. God commands His people to imitate Him, because His way is perfect, His character isn’t self-serving, it’s creation providing (Ps. 104)!
Then the Israelites were told to teach God’s laws, God’s covenant, to their children. Have God’s word written on the doorposts, so that when they leave the house they read them. We cannot be God’s people without His word! This week and in the weeks to follow where it seems likely we won’t be able to congregate together as a body of Christ, it is so important for us all to maintain these disciplines, to feed our souls with the Word of God. Jesus said we have to eat his body and drink his blood, He wasn’t referring to the Lord’s Supper in John 6, He was talking about receiving Him in faith. Making Him a part of us, so that He grows within us to change us into sanctified sinners!
Jesus is at work restoring the image of God in His people now. The Dutch theologian, looking at you Marshall! Herman Bavinck wrote, Man “is a creature who, right from the beginning was created after God’s image and likeness, and this Divine origin and Divine kinship he can never erase or destroy. Even though he has, because of sin, lost the glorious attributes of knowledge, righteousness, and holiness which lay contained in that image of God, nevertheless there are still present in him ‘small remains’ of the endowments granted him at creation; and these are enough not merely to constitute him guilty but also to testify of his former grandeur and to remind him continually of his Divine calling and heavenly destiny.”
God’s image in us reminding us of God’s grandeur and grace in imparting it to us in a small degree is why some days when you pray, when you read, when you meditate on God’s word is so, so special. God’s presence, God’s sweet communion with you, and your family, reminds you all of your Divine origin and Divine kinship, because you are made in His image. Feed that daily.
May the Lord bless you and keep you;
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.