What’s on your mind? What do you think about and talk about with your children, family, and friends? Are your thoughts and words revolving around the word of God or around other things?
The Israelites (and by grafted-in extension all believers) were instructed to keep God’s word on their hearts and to teach it to their children continually. He instructed them to do this in two places in Deuteronomy – chapters 6 and 11. That probably means He thinks it is important. Deuteronomy 6:4 is known as the Shema – which means Hear. The very next verse is the command that Yeshua (Jesus) identified as the greatest commandment. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and 11:18-20 are the instructions for keeping them on your heart – memorize & meditate on them, and speak about them to your children all throughout the day.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (BSB) These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts. And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (BSB)
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, speaking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates,… Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (BSB)
Fast Forward About 3500 Years
In today’s vernacular we would say, when sitting on the couch, walking in the park, driving them to school or soccer practice, tucking them in at night. Basically all the time. Any moment is a teachable moment.
The word hear that starts the Shema doesn’t just mean hear as in “shh, did you hear something?” It is like the hear when you’ve told your child to clean their room and they are still playing video games an hour later and you say “did you HEAR me?” meaning that obedience was the expectation of the hearing not just the auditory stimulation.
When we think about a related New Testament scripture (Philippians 1:27), it is not just our verbal instruction, but how we live before God in front of our children (and others). Actions speak louder than words.
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ… Philippians 1:27 (NASB)
With respect to our own meditation, we can use these verses to remind us to meditate, think about, speak God’s word when we sit at home, drive to work, jog in the park, when we get up in the morning and when we lie down at night. All the time.
In order to be a good witness to anyone—our children, co-workers, neighbors, strangers we come in contact with—we need to have His Word hidden in our hearts (minds) so that we create the “muscle memory” of speaking His Word, so that is the first thing that pops out of our mouths.
How to Follow This Instruction
If you have kids in the home, speak more frequently with them about God’s word. Encourage them to read the bible on their own. Help them memorize verses. When my sister and I were growing up, at breakfast Mom would read us Bible stories and biographies of missionaries. Be creative with how you instill the Word of God and biblical principles in your children.
Whether you have children or not, dwell more on God’s word for yourself. When getting ready for work, quote scriptures to yourself (or out loud). Listen to something different on the radio in your car other than music or talk radio. Try playing the audio bible on your cell phone or listen to a good bible teaching.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
One Last Thing
I find it interesting that the Israelites were commanded to bind His words on their hand and forehead – some versions read between your eye, the same place the mark of the beast will be placed. Coincidental? Not coincidental.
Remember this when you are putting His Word in your hearts and minds; and tying them as reminders on your hands and binding them on your foreheads – these are the locations for the mark of the beast. Let’s make sure those spaces are already taken and there is no room for the mark.
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