Deu 6:4-9: Love YHVH alone + treasure His words + keep them before you
a) Deu 6:4-5, YHVH alone is God, love Him wholly;
b) Deu 6:6, These words shall be in your heart;
c) Deu 6:7-9, Teach them + talk of them + bind them + write them.
Deu 11:13-20, Love YHVH alone + treasure His words + keep them before you
a) Deu 11:13, Love YHVH and serve Him wholly;
b) Deu 11:18a, Lay up His words in your heart;
c) Deu 11:18b-20, Bind them + teach them + talk of them + write them.
This is our first clue that Deu chapters 6-11 form a chiastic structure with a single theme! The beginning and end of this section reveals something interesting:
“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are going over to possess.” Deu 6:1
“These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth.” Deu 12:1
“The LORD is God, the LORD alone is God! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deu 6:4-5
Chapters 6-11 explains The Commandment (as the purpose of this speech is to “explain this torah,” Deu 1:5). The Commandment, is in fact the 1st Commandment of the 10: YHVH alone is God, and we shall have no other gods before Him. When Moses gave Israel The Commandment of Deu 6:5, he wasn’t giving them a new commandment to add on to the 10; he was explaining how to keep the 1st Commandment of the 10! All of chapters 6-11 explain what keeping the 1st Commandment means!
We keep it, by knowing that God loves us, and that our love for Him is in response to His love for us! By relationship, in other words, not religion, obligation, or rote! It is by remembering all the good things and mighty acts He has done! It is by knowing that because He loves us, He has given us His commandments to keep, so that benefit, blessing, good, peace, prosperity, health, and every good thing necessary for life will increase to us. It is by knowing that the way we express to God our love for Him, is by obeying His commandments! Christians too? Well, only if you consider yourself His people! Only if you love God and want to express your love for Him in the way that means love to Him (Joh 14:15)! Only if you want blessing to increase to you and your children in this life!
For further study: Outline chapters 6-11 according to God’s paragraph divisions (the Hebrew Bible in English has them marked), and write a paragraph using your topic sentences explaining what keeping the 1st Commandment means. As you outline, please note the phrases and ideas that are constantly repeated, and note any “thats” which reveal why we are to keep God’s commandments. Also outline chapter 12 according to God’s paragraph divisions. Look to see if there is a common theme: perhaps an explanation of the 2nd Commandment? More on that tomorrow!
“Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deu 11:18
God has never wanted the commandments to stay on two tablets of stone, but from the beginning, He has wanted His Word in our hearts. His Word is a Seed (Mar 4:14), the Promised Seed, the Messiah (Joh 1:14), for it is only from a heart transformed by Messiah, by God’s love, which loves the LORD God in return, can transformed actions (hand) and thoughts (between the eyes) proceed.
True obedience flows from a heart transformed by His love, transformed by His Word, transformed by the indwelling of Messiah, and it is not only natural, but a joy to love Him back through obedience, not because we are trying to earn inclusion, acceptance, approval, righteousness, or salvation. But because we are grateful that He loves us, has saved us, and made us His own!