Deuteronomy 6:1-9 Click on this link to read the passage. You may select your preferred version of the Bible after the link opens.

In the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses read the Ten Commandments to the people after he brought them down from the mountain where God gave them to Moses.

In chapter six Moses instructs parents to pass on the teachings and commandments of God to our children and our children’s children. Verses 4-9 are so powerful:

 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

How powerful and convicting are these words! I’m divided over how I should punctuate that last sentence… Perhaps it should read, “How powerful and convicting are these words?” At question is the spiritual temperature of Christian people today in a land that has been blessed to the point that God’s people have taken him for granted.

Re-read verse 4. Is God really first in our lives? We don’t have the option of setting God on a shelf along-side our wide-screen TVs, and our other personal treasures and beliefs. First means first, as in number one.

Re-read and consider verse 5. Where are our hearts and our souls? Where do we put our energy and our strength? Are we giving God our all, or is he getting snacks along the way – like the biscuits we throw to our dogs every now and then?

Verse 7 should be written on the heart of every Christian parent.     “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Is this happening in our Christian homes today? Do our children hear about God and Jesus at home, or do we expect our Sunday school teachers to do all the teaching on the Sundays we happen to show up? I am thankful that I have known a few strong Christian parents who took this verse seriously, and their children are a living testimony to the fact that they did. But unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the norm in many church-going families today. When was the last time you talked to your child about Jesus? How are you setting the example to put God first in everything? Have your children seen you reading your Bible today? Have they heard you pray? God holds parents accountable to instruct their children in matters of faith. If you love God with all your heart, you are teaching your children faithfully.

Father God, you have told us what you want us to know, but we haven’t always been willing to listen. Enable us to clean out our spiritual ears so that we may hear you. Help us to clean up our rusty dusty hearts so that we may love you fully. Never let us forget the price you had to pay just to get our attention, let alone to forgive us of all of our sins. Help us to draw nearer to you every day of our lives. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

© 2009 by Janice D. Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.