This generation is learning about the laws that God gave Moses. Remember, this generation was not at Mt. Sinai, this is the next generation. (Have you taught these to your children?) Here is the version we tend to know:
BUT read them carefully, don’t skip the fine print. For example:
9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
After the 10 commandments, Moses was then given the Book of the Law which is an additional 613 examples of laws that fall into these 10 categories. However, if we look at all the laws including the 10 commandments we see it really says 2 things. LOVE God, LOVE People. Look at them again:
Jesus says it best (always):
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Deuteronomy 6 is one of the most important parts of the Old Testament (Torah) for Jewish people. This passage is called The Shema or The Great Commandment.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
This is what it looks like in Hebrew writing. (It’s beautiful)
וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽך
וְהָי֞וּ הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם עַל־לְבָבֶֽךָ
וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖ בָּ֑ם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖ וּבְקוּמֶֽךָ
וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְא֖וֹת עַל־יָדֶ֑ךָ וְהָי֥וּ לְטֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין עֵינֶֽיךָ
וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזוּזֹ֥ת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ
Read chapter 6 carefully. Circle the words “so that”. Also, notice that Moses is given an example of how we should give our testimony to others. It is not about what WE did, but what God did FOR us.
(if you need Extra-credit homework: research how Jews today take the Shema “literally”: what is a phylactery and a mezuzah?) 😁
Chapter 7: Instructions. Noitce how the Lord works first, then us. HE does the hard part: HE will drive out the nations. HE will deliver them to you. HE will bring them into the land. Now what are they supposed to do. The easy part:
- destroy them totally
- do not make any treaties
- do not intermarry with them
- destroy their worship centers for false gods (Asherah poles)
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
I wonder if Moses is thinking “why are they not taking notes? They are not going to remember all this”
He continues with the promises:
12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will…