We are looking at Deu chapters 6 through 11 because they teach us HOW to worship the Lord alone, and not have any other gods before Him; HOW to keep our hearts knit in love to His heart. There are several themes, words, passages, and ideas that keep repeating throughout these chapters. Repetition is a literary device that is common in Hebrew literature, and it is a tool that the Lord uses often in His Word in order to get His point across. If you begin looking for repeated ideas, you will see them all over in the Scriptures, especially in the Psalms, Proverbs, and the Prophets.
So I have learned that when I see words, phrases, and themes repeated in the parshas I am studying, that is my clue that the Lord is trying communicate something important, so I make a note of them. In these chapters, I noticed four instructions repeated over and over again:
LISTEN to the words and commandments of the Lord (Deu 6:3; 6:4-9; 7:12, 8:19-20, 9:1-3; 9:23; 11:13, 11:26-28);
PAY HEED to the words and commandments of the Lord (Deu 6:6; 6:10-15; 8:1; 8:11-18; 10:12-13; 10:20-21; 11:16-18);
OBSERVE the words and commandments of the Lord (Deu 6:1-3; 6:16-19; 7:11-12; 8:1; 8:6; 10:12-13; 10:20-21; 11:1; 11:8-9);
TEACH the words and commandments of the Lord to your children (Deu 6:7; 6:20-25; 11:19).
If you think about it, the word of the Lord can not have a life- giving impact on us unless we have heard it first. But then there are those who hear, and who immediately go away and forget what they have heard, so it is necessary not only to hear, but to pay heed, pay attention, to the words that we have heard. We know we have paid heed to the words of the Lord, if we are also doing them. If we are not also observing them, then we have not paid them heed. When we begin to observe the words of the Lord, then those words have sunk into our hearts and have become a part of our being. Then we are in a position to teach them to our children.
We have talked before about two kinds of parents who teach the word of the Lord to their children. The first parents apply the word of God in their own lives, and also teach them to their children; those parents end up with children who in turn, apply the word of God in their lives. The second kind of parents do not apply the word of God in their lives, but still try to teach them to their children. They discipline their children for being disrespectful to their siblings, but then the parents are disrespectful to each other during arguments, for example. They end up with children who disregard the word of the Lord in their lives. The Lord was very wise in telling us that we must be observers of His word before we can teach His word successfully to our children.
continued in ten commandments index of studies