It is our second day, and the boys remembered Bible reading time!  I ask them if they remember what we read yesterday, and they remember correctly the story of the serpent and Jesus coming to defeat it. Good memory! 

To move to the next Bible reading, I had to do a lot of history talk since our next Bible passage is in Deuteronomy. 

So we talked about Adam to Noah to Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Joseph, and then slavery in Egypt.  Then God saves the Israelites from slavery through Moses.  After the 10 plagues, Israelites crosses the Red Sea, and when they arrive at Mount Sinai Moses gets the 10 commandments (twice) from God, and finally they are about to go into the promised land, and then what happens?  The Israelites chicken out! Even though they have experienced God’s power, they were scared to take the land from the Canaanites.

So 40 years in the desert training to trust God. There they eat manna that God gives, and learn that “man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

Finally the Israelites are back to where they started, in front of the promised land, and now Moses who is very old, gives his final talk to the Israelites.

This passage is the heart of his long sermon (the whole book of Deuteronomy).  We read Deuteronomy chapter 6. 

What is Moses saying?  He isn’t just saying, he is begging! He is begging the very famous commandment – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength! (verse 5)

God wants our whole hearts.  He created us so we can having a loving relationship and fellowship with him – just like he did with Adam and Eve.  He is a jealous God, because there is nothing or nobody comparable to our creator God.  He is the one who made us and loves us!

In this passage, Moses keeps repeating to follow all of the commands, decrees and laws, so Israelites can fear God and worship him only.  They have to remember all the great things he has done.  They must remember he is the one who saved them out of slavery and gave them all the blessings that they didn’t work for.  They must constantly talk about it to their children, so they also know and remember.

As I am passionately talking about his passage like Moses, Evan asks “But what about Jesus?”  
(This is probably an indicator that I have been talking too long or too passionately… so moving along…)

Jesus is not mentioned directly here, but we get an indicator in the very last verse.

Evan and I read verse 25 together, and it ends with these words: “our righteousness.”  Evan guesses that word is about Jesus.   (He has picked up some Christian words from the 8 years going to church.)

Nobody can keep the law.  No matter how hard we try.  We cannot.  Only Jesus can.  Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. He is our righteousness.  He came as a human to keep all the laws and decrees and be perfect for us.  

Evan says, but even after Jesus, I am not perfect, and I still make mistakes. Why?

I reply with another question: We still make mistakes, but does God see them?  

Evan says yes.  

I say no.  God doesn’t see your mistakes.  He only sees Jesus’s righteousness.  So you are perfect, because of Jesus.  

I think Evan felt Jesus’s comfort for a second.  Then the moment passed, and he started to talk about his lost tooth and the tooth fairy.  Moving on again…

I personally love this chapter, because of the passionate command – Love the Lord with everything you have! The heart of the law is repeated again by Jesus when he was asked what is the greatest commandment.

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

It is not about rules and commands, it is about the heart! 

PS: For the shorter version – read Deuteronomy 6:4-12 & 20-25


Amy Hwang

Amy is the Faith Formation Ministry Leader at Living Water CRC.

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