“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This passage is from Deuteronomy 6:4-9; and it’s one of my favorite in all the Bible. The Israelites are getting ready to cross over the Jordan River and move into their new homeland – the land that God has been promising them since they left Egypt. A lot has gone on between now and when Moses led them out that night. One of the biggest things to happen was that Moses got himself into trouble with God. And his punishment was that he was not going to be allowed to go into the Promised land with the rest of the Israelites.
For quite some time now, Moses has been their spiritual father. He has led them, cared for them, watched after them and even judged them. Without Moses they certainly wouldn’t have made it this far. And now, Moses has one last opportunity to give them some directions, some wisdom, some advice before they go on without him. This is like a parent sending their kid off to college for the first time – only these kids would never return. The book of Deuteronomy records for us what all Moses told his kids.
This passage you just read is one of the most poignant, inspiring and challenging of Moses’ messages. The last sentence is verse 9. Referring to the commandments that he had given them, he told them to write them on the doorposts of their homes and on their gates. As much as this was a literal command for them – it’s a metaphorical command for us. He told them to do that so that everyone who came to their home would know that without any doubt, that God was worshipped, honored and respected in that home. And also, it was a constant reminded for the family that lived there that the Lord was the God of that home. And that He was the center of their family. And that He, and He alone, would be worshipped, honored and respected in their home.
God hasn’t called us to write his commandments on our houses anymore. Instead, we are supposed to write them on our hearts and demonstrate them in our lives. Is your home a place where the Lord is the only God that is worshipped, honored and respected? Do you live that out so forcefully and so aggressively that everyone who knows your family can easily see that?
Take time with your family to look and listen to your home. Is what you see honoring the Lord? Is what you hear honoring the Lord? Maybe it’s time to write it on our doorposts again.
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