Loving the Lord your God
1These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress 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. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
10When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
13Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. 16Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors, 19thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the Lord said.
20In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
For a nation that had wandered 40 years in a parched desert, a land flowing with milk and honey sounded like paradise, it brought to mind rich crops, rushing streams, gentle rains, and lush fields filled with livestock. The Israelites could have had all that 40 years earlier. Moses was determined to help the people avoid making the same mistake by clearly explaining the conditions for entering.
Monotheism – belief in only one God – was a distinctive feature of Hebrew religion. Many ancient religions believed in many gods. This was very important insight for the nation of Israel because they were about to enter a land filled with people who believed in many gods.
The central theme of Deuteronomy – relate the the Word of God to our daily lives. We are to love God, think constantly about his commandments, teach his commandments to our children, and live each day by his guidelines in his Word. God emphasized the the importance of PARENTS teaching the Bible to their children, not church or Christian schools. Eternal truths are most effectively learned in a loving environment of a God-fearing home.
Jesus said that loving God with all of ourselves is the first and greatest commandment. This, combined with the command to love your neighbor, encompasses all the other Old Testament laws.
The key to teaching your children to love God is stated simply and clearly in these verses. If you want your children to follow God, you must make God a part of your everyday experiences.You must teach you children diligently to see God in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related.
What is promised here is a right relationship with God for all those who love him with all their heart. It speaks of a good relationship with God and the ultimate benefit of knowing him. It is not blanket protection against poverty, adversity, or suffering.