Deuteronomy - Lesson 10

Call for Commitment Deuteronomy 6.4-19

The Shema is a call for whole-hearted, full-bodied commitment. This passage is a theological exposition and pastoral proclamation to impress on the minds of the people of Israel the special relationship they enjoyed with YHWH. The grace God showed them must be embraced with grateful and unreserved devotion to their redeemer and covenant Lord.

Daniel Block
Lesson 10
Watching Now
Call for Commitment Deuteronomy 6.4-19

Call for Commitment (6:4-19)

I. Form of the Shema (6:4)

II. Meaning of the Shema

A. Meaning of the Hebrew word ‘ehad

B. Locus of covenant commitment (6:5)

1. Psychological interpretation

2. Literary Interpretation

III. Afterlife of the Shema

IV. Dimensions of Covenant Commitment

  • The book of Deuteronomy contains the gospel message. Even though there are some laws mentioned, the essence of the book is prophetic preaching. Your presuppositions and principles for interpretation that you use will make a difference in how you view the meaning and significance of the book of Deuteronomy.

  • Deuteronomy is primarily a collection of sermons but its structure is covenantal. The structure of the covenant was commonly used in other cultures in the Ancient Near East during this time period. God tells the people of Israel that he is their God and the people say that they are God’s treasured possession. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same thing. They are used interchangeably)

  • God gave the Decalogue to Moses so they have authority as Scripture. The book of Deuteronomy as whole is also Scripture. It contains the speeches of Moses and narrative passages. It’s the lense through which we view the other books of the Pentateuch.

  • Moses begins by recalling events that happened during their wandering in the wilderness, then recent events as they have gotten closer to entering the promises land from the east. Moses is idealized in the Old and New Testaments and in the writings of historians. You get a different picture when you read his first address. It shows Moses as faithful but flawed.

  • The Law was given to the nation of Israel after they had been freed from Egypt as the way to respond to God’s grace. God gives them the boundaries for right and wrong and a process to restore relationship when it is broken.

  • With the privilege of salvation and covenant relationship comes the call for a righteous response, demonstrated in joyful obedience to the Savior and Lord. A covenant is a formally confirmed agreement between two or more parties that creates, formalizes, governs a relationship that does not exist naturally or a natural relationship that has disintegrated.

  • God’s people are a privileged people; they have been graciously redeemed, and set apart as his special treasure, his holy covenant people. God acts graciously to undeserving people and they respond joyfully with obedience. The is the end of the first speech of Moses, Deuteronomy 4:32-40.

  • The Decalogue is the bill of rights of the people of ancient Israel. It is the ten principles of covenant relationship. It creates a picture of covenant righteousness and provides a foundation for later revelation. The Decalogue contains the features of a typical covenant and conditional and unconditional laws. The addressee is the head of the household because they can be a threat to others.

  • When Moses recites the Decalogue in Deuteronomy 5, there are parts that are similar to the passage in Exodus, and there are some significant differences. He begins with getting the attention of the people of Israel and appealing for covenant fidelity, restates the Decalogue, then ends with a document clause, using covenant language.

  • The Shema is a call for whole-hearted, full-bodied commitment. This passage is a theological exposition and pastoral proclamation to impress on the minds of the people of Israel the special relationship they enjoyed with YHWH. The grace God showed them must be embraced with grateful and unreserved devotion to their redeemer and covenant Lord.

  • God chooses the covenant partner, sets the terms, declares the goal, identifies the sign and determines the consequences of disobedience of the covenant. After Moses explains the purpose of the Law, he explains to the children how the Law was given and that learning it and putting it into practice will bring them life.

  • Moses talks to the people of Israel as they are entering the land, about how they will respond to the external test of confronting and dispossessing the surrounding nations. He reminds them of their special status with God and the covenant that he offers them unconditionally. He challenges them with the theological, ethical and missional significance of the test.

  • How can you worship a God that asks the people of Israel to wipe out the Canaanites? The reason for Israel taking the land is so the people of Israel as a holy people will be preserved so the world will be preserved. God is fundamentally compassionate and gracious, he does what is right and God offers us grace and mercy.

  • When everything goes right, what do you do then? The message of this passage is, “don’t forget.” YHWH provided manna in the wilderness to feed the people of Israel. God was also teaching them in the wilderness that life comes from every word of the mouth of God, not just by eating physical food. Moses challenges the people to respond to prosperity by praising God, not by taking the credit themselves.

  • The enemies in the Promised Land are formidable. God promises to defeat them. Moses warns that people to acknowledge that God is responsible. Even though the Canaanites do not follow God, the reason God chose the people is not because they are morally superior to the Canaanites.

  • Israel’s covenant with YHWH is based entirely on his grace and they don’t deserve it. Moses interceded on behalf the of people of Israel to ask God to not judge them and God is described as, “changing his mind” and renewing his covenant with them.

  • “What does YHWH ask of you?” Moses answers this question, then gives a doxology to confirm it and an application to illustrate it. God wants you to have a soft heart toward him, to live in an attitude of trusting awe and to act in a way that honors the covenant that God has established with you.

  • Moses has given a profound theology of land. He gives the people of Israel instructions for what God wants them to do when they enter the land to confirm their covenant with God. This included using uncut stones and plastering them and writing the Torah on them and then praising God. The land is an integral part of the covenant. The people shout blessings on Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal.

  • As the people of Israel enter the land, God has instructions for them on how to live in relationship with him and worship him so that it may go well with them and their children. They are to reject the false worship practices of the surrounding nations and accept God’s invitation to come and worship him in the place and in the way he has designed for them.

  • The Levites represent a barometer on where the people of Israel are in their ethical religion. They are not given land as an inheritance so it is the responsibility of people in the other tribes to support them. Moses presents a theology of worship but doesn’t go into detail.

  • This is a warning to the people of Israel to not imitate the materialistic preoccupation and the brutal rituals associated with the worship practices of the surrounding nations when they worship YHWH. There are warnings against following false prophets, someone in your family or people in your community if they are promoting seditious religious practices. The apostle Paul uses similar language in the New Testament when warning people about following people who teach heresies.

  • In contrast to worship with the purpose of satisfying the gods, YHWH delights in fellowship with his people and for them to celebrate in his presence. YHWH encourages his people to eat in his presence and with other people. His guidelines about which foods are acceptable to eat set the people of Israel apart from other nations.

  • A main purpose of the national festivals was to keep alive the memory of God’s grace and maintain their faith in god and their covenant with him.

  • Moses describes the key offices and roles that keep the society going by providing political and spiritual structure. The primary concern is righteousness. The king is to be the embodiment of Torah righteousness. Moses outlines specific steps to achieve this and describes what it will look like.

  • Moses, in his role as prophet, is the commissioned envoy of righteousness to the people of Israel. Moses was a mediator between God and the people of Israel. He warned the people of Israel about false prophets and the danger of adopting the worship practices of the surrounding nations.

  • Moses provides a picture of covenant life and godliness in a way that you can apply it to every situation in life. It’s important to care for the poor and the resident alien and to show justice to them. The resident aliens were invited to participate in the feasts and covenant life.

  • The ideal for the people of Israel was a patricentric society but in often the reality was a patriarchal society. In a patricentric society, the male head of the clan will provide resources and security in a way that gives his family and the community opportunities to flourish. The vision for women in Deuteronomy is different than the world that is described in Israelite narratives.

  • Celebrating God’s goodness and grace in the Land. Bringing an offering from the firsfruits of the harvest is a time to remember how God has provided for the people of Israel in the past, both as individuals and as a community. There are lessons we can learn about worhship and living faithfully. This is the Deuteronomic creed.

  • Some people view the curses in Deuteronomy 28 as a stumbling block to accepting the Old Testament as Christian Scripture because they say it represents God as vengeful. However, this was a common way of writing covenants in the Ancient Near East, they follow a list of extraordinary blessings, they serve a pastoral function and there are similar curses articulated in the New Testament.

  • Deuteronomy 29 begins with Moses recounting how YHWH brought the people out of Egypt and gave them victory in the land east of the Jordan River. Then he describes the curses they will experience when they turn away from the Lord. Chapter 30 describes the eschatological restoration. Deuteronomy 29:29 refers to the mystery of divine grace. (The movie and book series that Dr. Block is referring to is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien. The prequel to this series is The Hobbit.)

  • This is the final altar call of Moses to the people of Israel to appeal to them to choose life by living in covenant relationship with YHWH. The revelation of YHWH given through Moses is to be memorized, recited and used as a guide for conduct. It is understandable and doable.

  • The Torah that Moses has been preaching was written down. This is the introduction to the song of Moses and contains the commissioning of Joshua, who will take over after Moses dies. Part of the book of Deuteronomy is the death narrative of Moses.

  • This passage is a poetic witness to the people of Israel of the faithfulness of YHWH and the faithlessness of Israel. Moses was told to teach it to the people of Israel so they could pass it on to their descendants. People could sing it throughout the day and it could be presented as a musical drama at national celebrations.

  • At the end of the sermons of Moses, he pronounces a benediction by saying something specific for each tribe. Deuteronomy 33 and Genesis 49 have some similarities and differences in the way the sons of Jacob and their descendants are blessed. The exordium and the coda frame the blessings by describing YHWH’s care and provision for the people of Israel as their king.

  • This is the last narrative story about Moses in the Old Testament. God tells him to go up on Mt. Nebo where he is able to see the land. Joshua takes over as the leader of the people. There is a eulogy for Moses at the end.  

The Gospel according to Moses. This is a collection of sermons of Moses as the people of Israel are poised to enter the promised land after being in the wilderness for 40 years. Deuteronomy is a special book, calling God’s people to celebrate his grace and demonstrate covenant love for him with action that glorifies his name. Until we recognize the gospel in this book, we will not read this book. (Note: Mt. Sinai and Mt. Horeb are referring to the same mountain. They are used interchangeably)

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Call for Commitment Deuteronomy 6.4-19

Lesson Transcript


[00:00:00] Well, we're moving now into Moses second Schama in this address. This is the Schama that we actually called the Schama. To this day, Orthodox Jews around the world, really Orthodox Jews that begin their day by reciting the. SCHAMA And they end their day by reciting the Schama. If there is such a thing as a Jewish creed or creedal statement, this is it. The. SCHAMA And my subheading here is a call for a wholehearted and full bodied commitment through to Runnymede. Six four, 1019. So let's see how this works. This is the beginning now of Moses preaching. He has recited the Decalogue and inserted his pastoral comments there, as we saw. But like a preacher today, after reciting the Scripture in the form of the Decalogue, he launches into a theological exposition of that text. But like lots of preachers, they have lots of points they want to make that they read in the text, but they never get beyond the first one or two. He gets stuck here. Most of this is about numbers one and two in the Decalogue. What we hear in six 4 to 1130. True. This is the rest of this address is exposition, theological exposition and Pastoral proclamation at its finest. This is anything but law. There are a few commands and injunctions along the way. But it is theology, it is proclamation, It is preaching. Moses primary goal is to impress on the people's minds the sheer privilege and grace of the special relationship they enjoy with Yahweh, the Lord God. He had announced that Grace in his citation of the opening line of the Decalogue by Grace. Yahweh had rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt. And by grace, he invited them to covenant relationship. It's all grace Now he We will learn that this grace may not be received casually.


[00:02:33] It must be embraced with great, full and unreserved devotion to their redeemer and their covenant. Lord, this large section divides into five major parts, the first two of which are signaled by the summons to Israel. Shamar Yisrael here. Oh Israel six four and then nine one. The third part begins with and now Israel. What does really your god require of you? 1012. Then the fourth is a series of concluding exhortations for the present generation of Israelites. 11 to to 30 to the limits of the present larger unit. What we're talking about now in this session and the next two or three are set by the Shamar at the front end. Six four and by the Schama at the back end. Nine one only. That's already into the next section. So look at 820 that this is how he concludes this part like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you so you shall perish because you wouldn't listen. Oh, listen. Israel. Hero. Israel. If you don't listen, your fate is like that of the nations. So that's. That's what we've got here. Between these two markers, Moses expounds on the essence of covenant relationship. He announces the grand theme in six four and then develops that theme from several different angles. And this is how I imagined this text or how I recognize it. It divides into three four main parts at the beginning as a heading to this whole thing is to draw enemies. 6429. That is the Shamar formerly. It's the declaration of the theme a call to Covenant Love. Then you've got the development of that theme in four parts. 610 to 25. And here you've got these become testing moments testing the covenant love. 610 to 20 5712, 26 and then 812 20 It's Moses does so much in threes.


[00:05:20] He divides. He keeps dividing stuff into threes. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. I mean, that sort of thing. It's all over Deuteronomy, the three business, you'd think he was Trinitarian in his theology. But the interesting thing about these parts is that they share some common features. Each one begins with a rhetorical presentation of the test of covenant commitment. So you've got in 10 to 25 the internal and external tests. Very briefly, then he picks it up and 1 to 27, 1 to 26. He reverses the order and gives us a full statement on the external test. And then in chapter eight, he gives us a full statement on the internal test. We'll see how this motif of testing works. Then you have an audience. Somebody in the audience is interrupting, is responding. And in the first case, the audience is from a from a child. What's the meaning of all these commands? The child asks. In the second case is a question How can I dispossess these nations? And in the third, the audience. I have achieved all of this myself. But he puts that transition into the words of somebody in the congregation who is saying this. It's fascinating rhetoric. If you look at how Moses is crafting his sermon and of course, in response he has the rhetorical answer, a catechetical answer to the child's question, a promise and a warning for the question and the audience, how can I dispossess them? And then a reminder and a warning in response to the I have achieved this by myself. So it's a very deliberately crafted sermon, three big parts, and each of the parts divides into three. And so we'll see how this works.


[00:07:28] Our task in this section is simply the top I call to covenant love. So we're going to talk about the Schama proper first, and then we'll talk about what the Schama represents and Israel's response to that. So let's talk about the proper form of the. SCHAMA right off the bat. Notice this is taken right out of the the Leningrad Codex. It's it's a page of there. But notice the. SCHAMA you probably can't read the Hebrew, but that's okay. But look what happens. This is the Schama. We work our way from right to left, which is the proper way of reading when we all get to heaven. What a day of rejoicing that'll be. We'll all read right to left. And here we go. So, Charmaine, Israel, your fellow New York, we had and of course, our Jewish friends would never say Yahweh. And to me, that's the sad thing. They say either shame the name or they say Adonai. Adeline But it's not Adonai. It's not your way. The God who has introduced himself by name. Yahoo is our God. So, Shimon, you throw Yahoo alone here? Yeah. We had the first letter here is big and the second letter here or the last letter of the last letter of the first word. And the last letter of the last word. Our virtual uppercase. Capitalized. We don't know what that the significance nobody's told us. But if you put these two letters together, the iron and the lid, and if you put them together a read, it's the word for witness. It's the word for witness. I don't know if that's the intent here. Some people are saying simply, look, this is a call to at this point you recite very carefully. God is watching how you pronounce these words.


[00:09:51] And of course, in Jewish tradition, you don't pronounce the word at all because you might mispronounce it. And that brings on you the curse. That's why apparently why they forgot it. They stopped using it. But here it is. Charmaine, Israel, Yahweh, Elcano, Yahweh, God, six little words. But how loaded they are with meaning. What does the Shamash say? Well, what does it say? It says Shama, which means here. Imperative. Listen up, Israel. That's the addressee. Evocative. Yahweh. That's the personal name of God alone. He knew that the covenant relationship reflected our God. It makes it really personal. Yeah. Away again. The personal name. A hard one. That's a literal translation. Yahweh, Our God. Yeah. One. This is ESV. It's not actually easily insert a verb in there. Those are the words. This is locution. Speech Act theory locution, the words we use elocution, the meaning we intend. Per locution. The meaning people make it say or hear it to say. Our concern is elocution. What's the purpose? Authorial intent is in the elocution. What is happening here? What does it mean? While there are lots of proposals and we can do this from our translation. Yahweh, our God, Yahweh is one. Moberly, McConnell, Christian Standard. The Lord Our God is one, Lord Avey is three RSV. And in the footnote, the Lord is our God. The Lord is one ness, and I've RSV, Yahweh is our God. Yahweh is one that is unique. This is a Jewish scholar, Cyrus Gordin, who argued that this is unique with a capital U. The unique one or the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Ibn Ezra Mnras V The New Jewish Publication Society in JP's BLOCK. Well, that's what I think it means. But that's a long conversation.


[00:12:27] Let's talk. What does it mean? Well, the first primary possibility is Yahoo! Is one. I mean, we know the Lord. Our God. That's clear. There's no problem here. Yahweh is our God. But that's the last part of this. That's the problem. Yahoo! Hard. Yahoo! One. Literally the first possibility. Yahoo! Is one. There is some evidence for this interpretation. First, the meaning of Hebrew. A hard one. It is the cardinal number. One, two, three, four, five. God. You start counting that way. And in 98% of the occurrences of this word, that's what it will mean. So that's the strongest argument for it. Yahweh is one, the Nash Papyrus. We we mentioned this already earlier, the Nash Papyrus. It's at the bottom of here. There's no point in me pointing it out where it is, but it is right at the bottom there. The Nash Papyrus actually changes the Hebrew to make it say Yahweh is one. Yardley a hard who. Yeah, we won. He. And when you have that syntactical construction, it has to mean Yahweh is one. It's all it can mean so that by the time this Nash Papyrus was doing this, they added the word. And now there's no ambiguity that clarifies it all. Yahoo is One Nation powers the Septuagint. And now I'm not a Greek scholar nor son of a Greek scholar. But as I read this, Kyrie also asks him on Curious Ice Eastern. The Lord is. One it is. That's the Greek. And now you understand the mash papyrus, which was produced about the same time, is agreed. That is how Jewish people were interpreting it at this time. The the Septuagint is produced by Jewish scribes for Jews in Alexandria who had lost the Hebrew language. So these are not Christians doing this.


[00:14:48] These are not genders. These are Jewish people. That's how they're interpreting it at that point. And then, of course, the New Testament when all else fails, quote, Jesus. Curious, are they also more curious, as I suggested? And he quotes the Septuagint. Precisely. The Lord is one in my view. When you say he is one, what does that mean? Well, as opposed to two or three. And so when I published my work, first of all on this in an essay in Jetzt, the title of my essay is How Many Is God? And when you're seeing one, you're talking about how many is he? Does he want or is he too or Z3 or whatever. And so this is why our Jewish friends to this day, this is a very key text to to denounce Christianity because our trinity makes God three. That's why they hang on to one here. But these texts, Septuagint is pre-Christian. That's that's the interesting thing here. So that raises question the second possibility. The Lord alone or could we say the one and only? I mean, now we're talking something a little bit different. This is a possibility, evidence for this interpretation, the meaning of Hebrew God. I just said 98% of the time it means one. But there are a half a dozen or eight times in which one absolutely doesn't work. And my Dr. FATA, my Tor mentor, my mentor always said, never discount the evidence of a single exception. Just because a word is used one way a thousand times doesn't mean that's what it means in a single place where it doesn't make sense. And I think that's what we got here. But as it turns out, we've got a half a dozen other verses we can talk about where a hard one doesn't mean one that's senseless.


[00:17:07] Did not A can the Son of Zero break faith in the matter of a devoted things? And wrath fell upon all the congregation of Israel, and he did not perish one for his iniquity. That makes no sense. But it's the same word. It has to be. Did he perish alone? No. He perished with his whole family. Or. And who is like, Yeah, we like air people. Israel are one nation on earth whom God went and redeemed as his people. One nation. There are lots of nations on earth. One nation. No, it's, I think, Unique nation. They are unique not because they're a nation. Their own the nation. They're unique because they are the only ones who were redeemed by the Lord. David said to all the assembly. Solomon, my son, who is one. God has chosen. No. Humor alone. God is. He is the single one out of several candidates. Whom God has chosen. It's not because he is a unity as opposed to the twins or triplets or whatever, and the work is great or but he stands alone. Who can oppose them? He does whatever he pleases. He stands one. Makes no sense. And Ivy here does it. Exactly right. He stands alone all by himself. He is unique in this case, the only one in the class. The only one did. He did not. He who made me in the womb make him and he one fashioned us in the womb? No, he alone fashioned us in the womb or song of songs. But my dove, my perfect one is one that makes no sense. No, she's special. That's the point. She's special. Unique. The only daughter of her mother. The favorite of the one who bore her. It's not that she has one daughter, nor she's the only daughter.


[00:19:30] And then Yahoo! You will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Yahoo day. And his name? The one name. One yard away. How many of which do we have? Well, that does actually become a theological problem for ancient Israelites. And we could talk about that, but not today. Bristow is a Jewish scholar formerly at. I mean, he's long dead now, but he was at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He writes, and I think he's right on a translation and affirming that a person known by our proper name your way is one is as meaning less of a deity as it would be of a human being. My name is Daniel. And I'm sure to my mother, I was the only Daniel in the world that mattered. But she would that common she wouldn't be saying be saying, well, you're not schizophrenic, you're not bipolar. You're not. I mean, how many people are we at once or internally coherent, which is what some argue this means? No, A discrete entity is not normally in danger of being taken for more than one or less than one. The assumption that the Hebrew word jihad means one in its every appearance is an example of the folly of literalness. The Semantic Folli Follie. The irony is people who push this notion of semantic folly watch out. They're the ones exactly who defend this. I don't get it. This folly, the assumption means one in every appearance is an example of folly, of literalness. This folly would appear obvious to every speaker of English were he to remember that only means one lea, and alone is all one. The endurance of this mistake in rendering is a tribute to the mischief that has been done to biblical meanings by the substitution of a common noun Lord rendered as a proper noun, the Lord for the ineffable name Yahweh, and also to an anachronistic assumption by theists of the biblical persuasion that Moses anticipated the Unitarian versus Trinitarian division.


[00:22:01] Apparently by the time that the New Testament was, I mean, the Septuagint was produced. There was debate in Jewish circles about how many years God. I mean, it's happened in Egypt. How many is gone? And so it was in the air. And that translation is responding to what's in the air. Does that make it the ultimate insult? Let's back to the second part. The Lord alone and now I see the Hebrew card is not definitive in favor of the first interpretation. It can be interpreted in another way and a half a dozen places where it is the syntax of the shamash. What does this Shamash say? Well, Yahweh. Ello. Hey, New York. Hard. That's very. You can. It's ambiguous. You can make it go one way or you can make it go another way. So you can use the syntax to argue for the first. But that's not the exclusive significance, which is why when we're interpreting context always makes is always so important. We need to ask, Well, if it could mean that and it could mean that. What does it mean? Who decides? The context. What? What's going on here? What have we got in this text? Well, you, Schmeiser, all your fellow Henry off of your head. The Lord is our God. The Lord, Whatever. Then come Diverse five. What is this? You show love your way, your God with all your heart and with all your being and with all your resources. What's the issue? The issue is a divided heart. And what's a divided heart where part of it is devoted to one God or one allegiance and the other part is devoted to another allegiance? That's the problem. You shall be all in for your way alone. Only your way.


[00:24:24] Nothing left over for another God. Your whole inner being. We'll talk about these words yet. You're a whole B person. And with all your resources devoted to God. That's commentary on the Sharma. Which, as far as I can tell, means only halfway. What does it mean to be a true Israelite, a true Israelite who is one who worships Yahweh alone? Nobody else. There's only one God that you may know that I am the way there is no other. We just heard that, didn't we, at the end of chapter four. There is no other. That is the point. As far as I can tell now, we have a comparable construction on Isaiah 3322 for one or two of you here that know Hebrew, but the text is for you have exactly the same structure. Yahweh. L o Hey New York. I'll play it hard for our judge is Ja White. Our lawgiver is ja we are king is ja ja way show for Thane, New York. Okay, New York way Malik New York way is hard. It's the same. Exactly the same construction. So you turn it around so that the subject of the English translation is the second part. Our king is Yahweh. You're identifying the one. And then in the end, he is the one who will save a soul. So here we have here or Israel. Yahweh is our God soul, Yahweh alone. So demonstrate love. Remember our translation of love. Demonstrate love for Yahweh, your God with your whole heart, with your entire being, and with all your resources. So that's immediate context. To me, that's the clincher. But we're not done yet. The broader context now look at verses 12 to 15. I am cutting out the lecture on this section so we can quickly go through this, you know, to save us time and we'll get right into chapter seven in in the next session.


[00:26:49] But let's look at verses 12 to 15 and you can see what's happening here. Let's pick it up then. When the Lord, your God brings you into the land that he promised to your ancestors, and you're enjoying houses full of good things that you didn't feel hewn cisterns, you didn't dig vineyards and olive trees that you didn't plant, and you eat and are satisfied. Then watch out, lest you forget Yahweh, your God, who brought you from the land out of the house of slavery. You shall fear only your way. Actually, it is your way. Only you shall fear him. Only you shall worship him all. Or by his name only you shall swear. You shall not follow any other gods, any of the gods of the peoples around you. For Yahweh, your God is in the midst of you an impassioned God. Otherwise, the anger of the way your God will be kindled against you. He'll wipe you out. You shall not put the Lord your God to a test. Daring your way to do something when you go on worship of the God. What's the context? The context is idolatry. The issue here is not how many is God? That would have been meaningless. This this. This leads me to the final and the contextual decision. Nobody in Israel was struggling with how many is God in Moses Day? Nobody was. It's not. How many is God? It is. Who is the God of Israel? And the answer is. Yeah. Way alone or only. Yeah. Our God is. Yeah, we. Yahoo! Alone or only Yahoo! Yeah. Yeah. So only Yahoo! Your God, you shall fear only him. You shall serve only by his name. You shall swear you shall not go after any other gods because he's an impassioned God and he'll treat you like he treats other nations if you go that way.


[00:28:59] And then the final argument, the historical context of the. SCHAMA As I said, nobody in that world in Israel or outside of Israel was was debating how many is God? That is a much later thing. But actually, I've got some New Testament evidence here, too. We mentioned Jesus quotation of the site of the Septuagint. Of course, he's going to call it the Septuagint. That's what the people are familiar with. He's using the Bible. But his point is not to make to answer the question how many is God? God is one. His point is what's the great command? That's the focus. That's the in-law. Q Don't make it say more than he is intending it to say. What's the great command? Yeah, you should love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with Him alone. Well, look, here you have the martyrs and Jesus answered. The most important is hero Israel, Yahweh, our God. Yahweh is one, that is one. And you shall love Yahweh, your God with all your heart and with all your soul. And with all your mind and with all your soul. Well, actually, that's an MLT translation. Did you see that? You shall love your way, your God with all your heart and with all your soul. And with all your mind and with all your strength. How many elements? Four. How many elements are there in the actual Sharma? Three. What's Jesus just done? He's added to the Scripture. No, He has fleshed out the meaning. We'll come back to this. If you translate it only on their heart, you miss 50% of its significance. We'll talk about that in a moment. But then, look, the second is this. You should love your neighbor as yourself. There's no greater command than these.


[00:30:56] But then look at this and describe said to him, You're right, teacher, but not also. Jesus was right. Again, it's always right. You have truly said that he is one that's the like the Greek grammar. But look at his commentary. He is not to. You don't know what he said, he says, and there is no other. Besides him. It's spot on. He hasn't exactly. Only Yahoo! Only your way. And here then the scribe. This guy called with the cynical questions and whatever else. He's the one who has it right. Or first Corinthians eight, eating food, sacrifice. We know an idol is nothing. There is no God but one. An idol is nothing. There is no God but one. It's not about how many is God. It's. It's Who is God? There's only one God or. It's not the only God there is, is only one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven and earth, and as indeed there are many gods and many laws, Yet for yet for us there is but one God. That's what the Shamar is about for us. IZRAEL Shamar, you throw your way low. Hey, New York, where card for us, there's only one God. His name is Yahweh. This isn't technically even a monotheistic statement. He is not here by saying that there are no other gods. That's not his point. He's saying if you're an Israelite. For you. There's only one. You cannot claim to be a member of the covenant community and have your devotion divided. Well, there's one Lord Jesus Christ. This is a remarkable text for the deaf as Jesus with your way and declares him to be the one and only God. Well, that's the Schama. But now let's look at the kind of covenant commitment.


[00:33:26] We're talking about the locus of covenant commitment. Six, four, five. So demonstrate love for Yah, for your God, with your whole heart, with your entire being, with all your resources. Well, I've already given you here my interpretation in part, but usually it's with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. It's a strength. Strength, which is what the Greek has at this point. But this a huge problem. What does this mean? Well, here's what I call the psychological interpretation of Deuteronomy six five. When I was in Bible College, which is where I met my wife and we were in theology class together. And when I was in Bible, we were we were taught to be tri calmest in our anthropology. That's a lot of big words. That is to be human is to consist of three parts. Parallel to the God who is Triune. If you look at Scofield reference Bible, it makes those connections. But to be human is to have heart, have strength, and have soul. These are the three things that constitute us as human beings. Heart, strength and soul. That's what I call the psychological interpretation. Or is it anthropological? But now we have to talk about what each of these words mean. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart. Well, this word appears hundreds of times in Scripture. It is your organ in the left side of your body. I think if you feel pain there, you got a problem. It's the. The machine that pumps blood through your whole system. It's physical. It's the organ in the body. That's what the word means. But it is used of heart shaped takes. It is the sea of emotions. Exodus 414 Judges seat of intention and will Disposition.


[00:35:35] Attitude mind. In Deuteronomy 29 three. You understand with your heart it's the seat of thought. The Lord saw that every imagination of human beings was only evil, continually imaginations of the heart of evil. But we know better the. We don't think with our hearts. But 50% of the time in Scripture. Heart is your thinker. Biblical Hebrew has no separate word for brain. It's heart. The heart is the seat of thought. It's the seat of emotion. It's the seat of the will. It's. It's your inner being. The inside. Jesus said Out of the heart. Come the thoughts. Really? But scientifically, that's wrong. It's a lie because we don't think with our hearts. But he's thinking in Hebrew. He's been from the inside. And that's what the files is, is not what you put into your body, that the files is what comes out of it that proves you're defiled. I would rather hear from your interviewing or to think in Hebrew, as he said in his heart. Or when you people talk to themselves, that's a Hebrew idiom. He said to himself, he thought. That's hard. Well, that's 50% of the time in in the first test. It's your thinker, not your feeler emotions. So that's a four. Now, back to Jesus quotation of that. You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. What's Jesus just done? He says, I'm not going to pick which of these two we're talking about. Because it means both. And he captures the sense with heart and mind one word in Hebrew leave. And that's what he's doing there. That's that's NLP ish. How about Nefesh, which the Greek regularly translates as suck.


[00:38:00] Soul. Well, what is in that fish? In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and He created all kinds of living creatures. Uh, knife. Ah. Show chaos. Creatures that have a fish. I thought we always said the difference between a human being and an animal is that we have a soul and they don't. Sorry. That won't work. In Hebrew. You don't have a soul. It's not what you have. It's what you are. Remember, God took a piece of dirt and He formed it into the shape of a human. He breathed into it his breath, and it became. A living nefesh. A living being. So that in contexts like this, it's don't restrict it don't don't think now in in in simplistic agreed terms where the the real you is the soul within this body. You know, when my father passed away at the at the gathering of the family in the presence of the corpse, my father's corpse, or one of my brothers says, Dad's not there. He's elsewhere. And you ask yourself biblically, anthropologically, is that accurate? Is that precise? Is that true? It's the body's there. And it assumes that there is an entity that exists apart from the body. And that's the real you. And so that the body is simply the container that holds the you. That's not Hebrew thinking. It's a being whose life resides. You shall not eat the blood because the life nefesh is in the blood. Or sometimes it's life for life. Exodus 21. Eye for an eye. Tooth for a tooth. Nefesh for Nefesh. And it's translated life for life. It's not soul for soul makes no sense. A person himself or herself is a nefesh, an idol. Nefesh. Sometimes the word refers to a corpse.


[00:40:23] That was my dad's nefesh there and my brother was in effect saying, No, the nefesh is gone, the soul is gone. But here, these references, the nefesh is what's left after the breath is gone. So all of these possibilities force us to ask, what does it mean here? Literally, the word nefesh means the gullet. That with which you swallow food and then it comes to mean appetites of appetites. That's what you like to eat. Like all that good stuff. That's good for the gullet. And of course, the seat of desires and the seat of mental acts. Well, what are we going to do with this in this context? You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart slash mind. And with all your nefesh. Well, let's go to the third one. We'll sorted out yet my old you shall love the Lord your God. This is the most bizarre of all. If I had greeted you this morning and I had an ad in Hebrew or you had greeted me, you'd have said, Boker tov. Good morning. Is the word for good and Bulker is the word for morning bulk at all. Good morning. But I mean, we are here and commerce and this is a beautiful world. And I wanted to say it's not just a good morning. It is a super good morning. And I'd say Bulker tov, my old. Very good morning to you. That's what this word means. Very. It's always used for. It's an adverb. It's not even a noun. You shall love the Lord your God with all your very. It makes no sense at all, Which is why I think when the Septuagint guys were translating it, they translated it as strength. They're guessing. They're guessing we got to have we have to have a noun here.


[00:42:38] You love the Lord, your God with your heart. That's a noun with your being. That's a noun. And with your vary, that makes no sense. And so they put in with all your strength. Well, let's look at how this it's an adverb. Genesis one and God saw that all that he had made and behold ESV. Archaic English. It was very good or Deuteronomy ten very far away or 3014 very near. The word isn't far away from you. It's near. It's in your heart. It's very near. There are two places in all of Scripture. It occurs hundreds of times, two places where it means it has to be a noun. Here. You love the Lord. Your God with my old has to be a noun. It happens here and it happens in one Kings. 2325. Actually, it's not one kings. It's two kings. It's Josiah. I love one of my favorite characters in Scripture because he is recognized as the embodiment of the Shamar. To 23 two Kings. 2325. Before him, there was no king like him who turned to your way with all his live and with all his nefesh and with all his modes. Wow, That's amazing, isn't it? He's the only person in all of Scripture who is said to embody what Deuteronomy six five calls for. It's my favorite, one of my favorite characters. Josiah What a guy. But notice he changed the verbs. He doesn't say he loved the Lord with all his heart. He said he turned to. Which is another word for commitment. You turn in the direction of God. Totally devoted to. He could have said love, but there's a hesitation among biblical characters and authors to ascribe that word actually to people. There are commands to do it.


[00:44:57] But they even here he's hesitant. But Josiah turned to the Lord with all his slave, with all his nefesh, and with all his old. This is the only places where it's used this way. It's totally unique. User Yahoo! Alone only. Here we have this. Well, there's help now on the way in cousin languages. Sometimes if the Hebrew doesn't help you, you know you can't apply very. It means very every other time. And it makes no sense here so we got to go in you eukaryotic you have a word mother need used as an adjective. Great Strong. Or not. Sounds like Septuagint. With all your strength. Interestingly, Akkadian, Babylonians, second cousin language. You have a noun module, same root, obviously, which means fullness. Quantity. Possessions. And now we really have possibilities. And when you see how this is working, it all makes sense. This is not a psychological picture of the three constituent parts of a human person. It is a covenantal picture that works in three concentric circles. You shall love the Lord, Your God demonstrate love with your inner being from the inside out. You start there. You shall love, demonstrate love for the Lord Your God with your whole person. I think that's what it means here. The whole the the soul that sends it shall die, Ezekiel says. But the soul doesn't sin. People do. He means the person who sins dies. So now it's your whole body. Love the Lord. And then with all your old. That's everything connected to you. Yes, it is strength. But I prefer something more generic, and that is resources. And for those of us who sit at the books, it means my computer is devoted to God alone. Nobody else. My house is God's alone.


[00:47:36] And if I'm a farmer, my tractor is God's alone. My car, my pickup truck. It's all belongs to God. Nothing for another God. That's what we got here. And of course, all of a sudden I discover I'm in the New Testament world. I hear Paul's words ringing in my ears. IBC, two brothers by the mercies of God. But you present your. Body's a living sacrifice wholly acceptable to God. Which is your. And now I have to be careful how I say it. How do we have it here? Romans 12. And I weep new American standard, which is your spiritual service of worship. You've got to be kidding. Spiritual, Sir, Jesus said, I beseech you that you present your bodies to living sacrifice. It's not a spiritual act of worship. It is full body worship. And if anything, I think at this point, the King James guys actually had it right, because when we get to chapter ten, we'll see that that the language here is borrowed from Deuteronomy 12, which is your reasonable. Service. Vassal dumb. That's what the word means. It's not cultic worship. It's not spiritual worship. It is vassal dumbs serving your master. That's exactly what we're talking about. This is this is Paul. I mean, this is Moses. Which is your. This is what it means to be fully devoted to God. Everything is committed to him. Nothing left over for any other God. Somalia. Cheryl, Jacqui, Ellen, we all work hard here on Israel. Jacqui is our God only Jacqui. Nothing left for anybody else. This is focused, full bodied, wholehearted devotion to Jacqui alone. Of course, we could talk a lot more about the afterlife of this Sharma. It climaxes in the First Testament in Zachariah here or universe.


[00:50:26] Yahweh is our God, Yahweh alone. It's not that his name will be one or people will call him God, but that the only God named will be Yahweh. He looks forward to the day when everybody will be saying Yahweh, God. Not Yahweh is one. But if anything, Yahoo! Is the one and only God for all of us. That's the point. The one and only. All other gods have been defeated. And Eclipse. There's only one left. And the earth will be filled with the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea. This is how I interpret it. Now, let's see how this works in the rest of this text. Moses adds, Then it's slight commentary. These words I charge you today shall be on your hearts. Oh, there we are again. You shall repeat them to your children. You shall declare them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down. And when you get up, you shall tie them as insignias on your hands and wear them as symbols on your foreheads and usually inscribe them on the door poles of your houses and your gates. What in the world is happening here? And of course, this is brilliant commentary on what this looks like in real life. So let's look at this. The dimensions of covenant commitment. Notice again, he's working with threes. These words that I am giving you are to be on your hearts. That means. Your personal commitment. And again, he's addressing heads of households, remember? It's heads of households. They shall be the fundamental commitment of the head of the household from the inside out. But that does it doesn't stay there. It's not only about the head of the household.


[00:52:34] Notice you shall repeat them to your children. You shall declare them when you sit in your house, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up. I mean, what is this? This is making this covenant commitment beyond a personal matter for the head of the household. It extends to the whole family, everybody here. And so you repeat the words of this Torah to the children. So they get it. Everybody gets it. And notice how this educational program, this provision happens. It doesn't mean he doesn't say that. Oh, and when you build your church, be sure you hire a youth pastor very quickly who will see to it that everybody, all the kids know the scriptures. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. It's this way. It's. And I don't think we should now limited to heads of this household. In this household. I think you should talk to adults. It's your responsibility to see to it that the next generation gets it. And don't limit it just to your family, because in our covenant community, everybody's kids are everybody's kids. Did you hear that? In a covenant community. Everybody's kids are everybody's kids. And. And when one family languishes with kids are going off the rails, We all do. And so this is he's not limited. That's why he goes on to say, you shall repeat them to your children. It is not talk. I think some translates. You shall talk about them. No, it's not. Talk about them. It's talk them. Don't substitute God's word for your own commentary. Talk them thy word. Have I hid it my heart? So this you shall talk them to me. It's a strange word here. It's not used often, but it means to say over and over again.


[00:54:41] Repeat, repeat, repeat. So repeat them to your children. Declare them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the way. What is that? That's a figure of speech. We call it a marriage. Some m e r i. S m. It means you. You. You refer to opposites. To demonstrate the whole I am alpha and omega. The beginning and the end. But it's not only the beginning and the end. It's everything in between, too. And so this is when you sit down or when you're walking or talk about them, or when you lie down and when you get up, that means there isn't a single part of life that shouldn't be seized as a teachable moment for training your kids. I'll never forget when our grandson Calvin, was just a little guy and living in Vancouver, British Columbia at the time. And we were at the house and I took him for a walk. I mean, he was all energy and he never slept. He was so hard on his parents and Oh, dear, this is. But I took him for a walk. And then as we were walking along the sidewalk, all of a sudden he saw this little hole in the sidewalk with all kinds of wood sand there and ants running around. And he squatted down like this, and he was just mesmerized by the activity. So I sat down right beside him. And I just let him watch that. And then we had an interesting conversation. Do those ants know what they're doing? Who takes care of them? Where they come from. How do they get there? What's the what's going on here? And it was a fabulous conversation with a little guy that I just had there. Any moment is an occasion for inculcating in them these covenantal values.


[00:56:47] Don't limit it to what you do in the schools. On what to morning give on the Bible knows nothing about morning devotions and evening devotions. Did you know that? That's our handy way of sick of separating the world into sacred and profane. All of life is sacred. All of life. All of life. This is a sacred moment. And you shall. Yeah. So all the time. So it's a community matter, the whole household. And then you shall tie them as insignias on your hands and wear them as symbols on your forehead and inscribe them on the gates of your house. It's a family matter. It is a communal matter. Well, here, these are full factories. They found these at Qumran Leather Pouches. And in those leather pouches, there are those scrolls at the bottom. Which have inscribed on them biblical texts like the the Geronimo's 6429. It's repeated in 11 3013 to 21 and a couple of other texts. This they found that come on, they're taking it very literally. In the Aramaic word for what this is, is that our tefillin or Falak lack to the Jewish friends take this very literally and they have gone to great lengths to see to it that if you're going to wear these, be sure you do it properly. I'll never forget the first time I went to Israel. I rode El-Al and there are lots of Jewish people on there. And there was a guy sitting across the aisle from here. He was putting all this stuff on us. I was. I've never seen that before. I'm just a farm kid from Saskatchewan. What are we doing here? And then when he was all done. I mean, that's the literal you show where them on your hands and on your foreheads and there are instructions.


[00:58:47] If you go to Jerusalem, to the Wailing Wall, you'll see all of this. And of course, there's the biblical precedent, why the high priest has on on his forehead kadosh loyal, holy to the Lord. And so that's what we do. Or not only on the person on the gate, poor store pulse of your house and the Jewish custom of the mezuzah comes from this. You shall put them on the door pulse of your house. And of course, they've got special blessings. This is their security policy. So that I don't know if you've ever walked into a house that has this along with a Jewish friend, but it was curious. The first time I encountered it, we walked into the house and as you walked into the house, you went like this. And without thinking of it, he touched that mezuzah and kept on walking. Our conversation carried on. It's their way of identifying with what's in that mezuzah. Ah, my brother in Winnipeg at the time he he rent was renting an old, old, old house had been painted 37 times. Whatever. So paint everywhere a thick page. And one day when we got to this house, I noticed there's a bulge in the door post on the right hand side of the door post. And I said to, My brother's name is Rubin. I said, Rubin, what's that? He said, I don't know. Never noticed it. I said, Have you got a little screwdriver? And we opened it up and inside there was a little parchment. With this inscription, these inscriptions on it. It's a mezuzah that was a Jewish household at one point, and this is their good luck charm. The security on the right side. Notice the one on the picture here is at an angle.


[01:00:36] And there's at an angle there's a difference between Ashkenazi Jewish people and Sephardic Jewish people. Some I've forgotten which one goes which I think. Yeah, it's the Ashkenazi have it on an angle. Sephardic Jews straight up and down. That has to do with tradition. And where does that come from? But in any case, they're obviously taking this literally. Is that what Moses intended? But that's the question. When you come to a text, should we do this literally? Well, we used to. I mean, I will never forget in the the dining room of the house I grew up in. 13 kids and one small house. And, you know, in the dining room on that side or opposite the bench where, you know, eight of us sat on one side. You look up and you see the the models of all sorts prayer changes things. I'll never forget that one. My parents also had a had one thing that's very relevant today. Home is no home without a father. I mean, that's. 70 years ago, home was no home. And I tell you, do we know that in our day? But in any case, is this about putting a wall mottos on the walls or Ten Commandments we talked about earlier? Yeah, that's it. We can do this as a matter of truth. Well, there is something to this. I'm not saying we shouldn't do it. In fact, I think we should do it far more often. It should be obvious when people enter our homes that this is sacred space. The Lord lives here. Not just with these symbols that can be hypocritical on this is what he's talking about. They should be on the door posts of your houses and on your gates. And presumably at the back of this there there would be a gate out and, you know, the whole thing is fenced off, but on the door poles and then the gates so that everybody walking by knows in this house they belong to Yahweh.


[01:03:03] So it's personal on your heart. It's family. You're teaching them to the kids, passing it on. And it's communal. It's public. This is not private religion. It is public religion. In this house, the name of the Lord is proclaimed. Which reminds me, and this picture was taken in, uh, with an old camera in 1968 in Ghost Germany, when my wife and I were in Germany for one year, we were up at Ghouta Institute in Northern Germany, a quaint medieval town. I'll never forget this house. You walk by it and it's beautiful, black timbered, black painted timber framing everywhere else but at the top. On. Got a Sagan is Alice Gilligan. Wow. I wonder if the people living there now believe it. But of course, it's a tourist town. They're not allowed to change anything. Even if the people living there are different, they're probably secular, atheist, whatever, whatever. But in any case, at one point. The builder declared to the world, Everything depends on God's blessing. And got a cig. It is still leaking and you walk by on the sidewalk. And from the place where we were saying to the class, the room where we were having our classes in German every day, twice a day, I walked by that and that has become such an important motto in my life. Everything hangs on God's blessing. This is it. Everything. This is so Deuteronomy. It is so Deuteronomy. But here you shall write these on the door of your house and on your gates. But of course, if you're going to put that on your gates. You better watch how you live inside this house. Because if you're not living this, it's bearing the name of the Lord your God in vain. It's a sham.


[01:05:24] It's hypocrisy. It's idolatry. And one more illustration, then we're done. In about. Oh, my goodness. What was it, 1998? Perhaps we bought a new car, a brand new car. And I hadn't had a new car for a long time. And we are always buying either rental cars or whatever else. Couldn't afford a new. But I bought a brand new car. I always wanted a Pontiac Bonneville and exactly the right one was available there. It was my car. We got my dream car and. I got a license plate in advance for this thing. And by the time we got had the car, I had the license plate and I put the license plate on in the morning and I drove to school to the office that morning with my new car and on the way on Brownsburg Avenue in Louisville, Kentucky, suddenly there was this cherry to Lulu Lulu at the bar. A guy pulled me over. And he said, Sir. Do you realize that you were driving 57 miles an hour? I said, What? It's a it's a 35 mile per hour speed limit here. I was driving 57 miles per hour, of course, with my old car. I mean, 15 felt fast. I mean, it's loud. It's whatever else. But this is just a boat ride, you know? It feels like you're not even movie. I had no idea. And my first response was, was to quote my father once when he had he got stopped for speeding. And then the cop came over and he says, Oh, sir, I have sinned. I have sinned. But what really troubled me is that morning I had put on my car, the license plate has said. Ridley has said loving kindness, grace, mercy. You compare. This is the one my favorite word in any scripture.


[01:07:53] And here I have betrayed my Lord. You are not demonstrating hazard here from a 35 mile speed limit. So on you, you're going 57 miles an hour. Shame on you. I had brought shame to the name. Couple of days later, I stopped at a service station to fill in with gas and one guy noticed my license, professor, and he said, Do you know that's a word that. He's a Jewish guy. He said, That's a word. It's a Jewish word. I said, I know. Shall I tell you about it? Beautiful opportunity to share the gospel. You know, that's what we're doing here. We're wearing but not getting stopped by the cops for driving recklessly. That's a that is scandalous. This calls for wholehearted commitment with your inner being, with your whole body and with your car. All your resources devoted to God. We don't do so well, do we? But it's a challenge. This is the covenant. The call for covenant living. And it's a totally different paradigm than we're used to thinking when we think about law. Somewhere along the line we have to have a discussion of the difference between a law based world and a covenant based world. And when you put those side by side, you will discover that Deuteronomy is nothing like a law based world. That's downtown Chicago. Downtown Chicago, if they've got problems, all they think is we need more laws to protect to to prevent this. And I'm sorry. You won't have enough trees to make books to fill all the laws you need if you're going to go that route. We don't need more laws. We need more human beings who are actually met a mensch, a human being, as God intended us to be. Covenant be human beings.


[01:09:52] Covenant and human beings who are embodying righteousness in that world. You don't need laws against such. There is no law. Just be what you are. All right. That's the Shamar. I had no idea what the show moment until I started wrestling with this text and I tell you. Once I was done, I could hardly wait to share it. That makes so much sense now in the context. Anyhow, that's it.