Deuteronomy 6:4-5

4Hear, Israel: Yahweh is our God. Yahweh is one. 5You shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.


Continuing on from yesterday and the Shema:

The next part of the verse reads. ‘The Lord is our God. The Lord alone.’  Moses knows that the people are about to enter a land were worshipping one God is unusual.   The people of these new lands will serve many gods and worship idols and try to lead the Israelites astray. Moses is warning them not to let anything distract them from the true God.  Traditionally when the Shema prayer is recited the person covers their eyes with their right hand.  This action serves as a symbol and reminder to avoid distractions and concentrate only on God.  this was going to be difficult for the Children of Israel.

Living as the people of God in obedience to his word had a two-fold benefit; one, they were keeping their part of the God’s covenant and two, they were an example to the nations around them.  Submitting to the authority of God’s will wasn’t going to be easy when the rest of the world lived in reckless abandon.

The final part of the verse calls for them to Love God with all their heart, soul and strength. In practical terms they were to love God with every aspect of their being.  The word ‘love’ like the word ‘listen’ also has a double-sided meaning.  The Hebrew word is ‘Ahab’ and it joins the word love with the word devotion.  The people were called not just to an emotion of love but to have lives that were devoted to God.

Today as the people of God our calling is still the same, in a world of hedonism, hurt and chaos we are called to take a stand, to shine out as the people of God.  We are to serve the one true God, to listen and obey with love and devotion.