“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” — Deuteronomy 6:4 (KJV)
This is the famous Statement known as SHEMA YISRAEL, ‘Hear, O Israel.’ (A centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services, The Shema is considered to be the most important part of the prayer service in Judaism) It is also important because it tells us that GOD IS ONE. It confirms that there is only one true God, not many gods. At the same time, ‘The Lord our God’ mentioned as a plural word in Hebrew, so even within Shema, we believe, God is also Three in One, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The two books before Deuteronomy (Leviticus and Numbers), Moses wrote down the laws and regulations that the Lord wants his people to obey. Here in Deuteronomy chapter 6, Moses told the Israel the reasons why God asked them to obey these laws and regulations.
Couple of days before, we have the verse which says the Israel is God’s first born. God does love his first born so that he wants to keep them living a righteous life. Before they entered the Promised Land, God asked his people to obey the commands, decrees and laws “so that we(the Israelities) might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.” (Deuteronomy 6:24)
Just like a loving father who knows the importance of discipline, God set up the rules and regulations so that his children can stay ‘righteous’. At the same time, as his children, we should understand that all the discipines come out of love. But sometimes we may put our eyes just on the disciplines that we have received from our father, and forget about the reasons why our father does it.
Therefore, here in this very verse, God asked his people to listen to this: 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. Even thought we are somehow hurt by the discipline from our father, we still love him because he did it for our benefit.
Today, our righteousness no longer comes from obeying the laws and regulations. Jesus came down and died for us so that we can have a right stand before God once we truely repent and accept Jesus as our Saviour. But the father’s heart never changes. God still wants us to love him with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength.
So if you are not a Christian or you have never said this before, try it with all your heart now, “Daddy, I love you”