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In Case You Missed It -- Deuteronomy 6-7, Psalm 102

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 recounts the famous shema. Shema is the Hebrew word for “hear”. What exactly is Israel meant to hear? First, they are to hear that God is “one”. That means God is unique, and YHWH is above all others. God is also indivisible, for there is no other God, and God has unity in purpose, direction, and love. This understanding of YHWH will set Israel apart. Secondly Israel is to hear they are to obey God with all their hearts, souls, and minds. Jesus Himself called this the greatest commandment of all. Deuteronomy 6 tells us this means Israel is to dwell on God’s commands, tol teach them to their children at all times and in all sorts of ways. All of this is Israel’s due response to the love of God set upon them—not because they are a great nation, but just because God has loved them (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). God’s love for Israel sets them apart and calls for complete reciprocal love. Then, as today, God’s love is the main motivation for our complete love.

Jeremiah Vaught