Greater Emanuel Apostolic Temple
Sunday School Lesson
October 24, 1999
Golden Text: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou
              shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all
              thy soul, and with all thy might.---Deuteronomy 6:4-5
 
Scripture: Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 20-25
Lesson Subject: The Great Commandment

Deu 6:1  Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
Deu 6:2  That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Deu 6:3  Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
Deu 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Deu 6:5  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu 6:6  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deu 6:8  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
Deu 6:9  And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Deu 6:20  And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?
Deu 6:21  Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
Deu 6:22  And the LORD showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:
Deu 6:23  And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
Deu 6:24  And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
Deu 6:25  And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

Introduction:

The book Deuteronomy meaning the “second law” or the “doubling of the law” is derived from it containing a repeating of the previous laws that were given to the first generation of Israelites that died in the wilderness.  In the rabbinical Bible its title is “SEPHER DEBARIN” the book debarim or the “book of words”.  In early Saxon translations it was called the “after law”.  The words of the law were spoken to Israel preceding their entrance into the Promise Land.  Our lesson this week teaches Israel and believers today the absolute requirement of fearing, loving and obeying God.

Israel is Persuaded To Obey.  (Deuteronomy 6:1-3)

“Now these are the commandments”(vs. 1), Moses now begins to explain to this new generation exactly what God wants them to do when they enter the Promise Land.  These laws (torah) of God or commandments of God that Moses taught them and teaches believers today are instructions that when followed will enable one to live a pleasing life before God in every area of life.  That first generation in the wilderness were taught the same laws but they refused to obey them.  Their lack of obedience caused God to punish them by allowing all of them except Joshua and Caleb to die in the wilderness.  Moses is now beginning to teach this new generation the same laws he taught to the ones that died in the wilderness.  Saints today that have been with the Lord many years and are growing in perfection must also teach the newly born again to enable them to know how to live a life pleasing to God.

Moses tells them that they are required to obey the “commandments“, “the statues” and the “judgments” of God and obedience to all of these will bring long life.  The “commandments” refer to the moral law, the “statues” refer to the ceremonial law and the “judgments” refer to the law by which the judges decide.  These laws can be found in the book of Leviticus.  Chapter 18 has the “commandments” listed or moral laws, in Lev 18:8 it states, “The nakedness of thy father's wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father's nakedness.  Chapter 19 has the “statues” listed or the    ‘ceremonial laws, in Lev 19:28 it states, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD“.

Chapter 20 has the “judgments” or how punishment is decided, in Lev 20:12 it states, “And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.” Moses taught only what God commanded him to teach to the people.  We today are commanded by the Lord to, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”(Mat 28:19-20).
 
“That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God”(vs. 2),---”Hear therefore, O Israel, observe to do it,”(vs. 3).  Moses now stresses the importance of why they should be obedient to all of Gods commandments/laws.  Israel’s obedience to God’s laws will bring to them the enumerable blessings of God in the Promise Land.  He will give them wellness and might and all that he promised their forefathers in the land of milk and honey.  Christ is our example of obedience and he is the one believers should look to for direction and from whom we will receive our reward, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”(Heb 5:8-9).

How to Obey God’s Laws.  (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

“Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord,”(vs. 4).  Moses now begins to tell Israel what a man must do to faithfully serve and obey the laws of God.  The Israelites had been in Egyptian bondage over 400 years and had witnessed the polytheism (many gods) in Egypt’s religious practices.  There was no man that came after Joseph died who spoke or taught about the one God of Israel. During this long period of slavery, the children of Israel began to assimilate many of the Egyptian religious practices in their worship just as their children in the Promise Land took on the religious practices of the Canaanite and all of the other “ites” they came in contact with.  Moses was called to led Israel out of Egypt which was a land that had many false gods.  God in his deliverance of Israel used the twelve plagues to show the Egyptians that their twelve false gods had no power.  Moses in this 4th verse was establishing in the children of Israel a new recognition of the one and only one true and living God.  This verse is known as the Jewish confession of faith or the “shema”.  It is also Israel’s and Apostolic believers’ confession of monotheism that God is one.

“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might“(vs. 5).  I will give a brief explanation of the spiritual meaning of the heart, the soul and the might of a person. The children of  Israel are now called upon first to love God with all of their heart.  The heart is the center of the physical, mental and spiritual life of a man/woman.  The heart is spoken of in scripture as the center of our moral and spiritual life. The condition of the heart is who you are spiritually, we are told by Solomon to, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”(Prov 4:23).  The Hebrew language had no word for conscience and the word heart was used to express the concept of having a conscience.  Israel was commanded to love God with all of their heart and to love him as he commands, is to love him with our true regenerated nature and all of our character.  It takes a pure heart to truly love God because it is in our heart that we recognize and are aware of him.  All of the heart also required Israel to be willing to sacrifice their wills completely to God.  Jesus has given to us the same commandments, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself ”(Matt 22:37-39).  These verses revealed to Israel and to us the great commandment of God.

The soul gives the human being his existence and is the immortal part of him.  The soul also directs the feelings, the wishes and the will of man.  The soul gives praise and rejoices, that is why the Psalm writer said, “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad“(Ps 34:2).  We can only love God with all of our soul by totally submitting or turning over our will to him.  The might of a man in this verse means his physical strength and power.  When he loves God with all of his might, he will give all of the power within his body and soul to the service of God.

Moses Commands Israel to Teach Their Children.  (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)
 
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:”(Deut 6:6).  Moses directs them where they should keep God’s words.  In order to please God his word must be keep in their hearts.  When the word is established in our heart it becomes a living part of us and it will enable us to flee temptation.  With the word in their hearts Israel would be obedient to the Lord by keeping his commandments.  David said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee”(Ps 119:11).  Therefore, the word is to be esteem, prizes, honored and received as a most wonderful privilege.

In verses 7-9, Moses tells Israel how they should relate to their children when teaching God’s word.  Teaching diligently means to repeat or teach over and over again.  This implies the idea of whetting and sharpening a weapon by constant friction and grinding. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart“(Heb 4:12).
 
 Israel was to teach their children diligently to enable them to understand God’s word.  This is a very difficult task for the parents because this requires much patience and dedication in the parents to enable them to do a good job. They were to teach the child everywhere and at all times.   Israel failed in this task and the majority of us today have also failed.

The word was to be bound as a sign upon their hand, this was done to spark the memory not to forget the importance of the word.  Today we use things like notes to our self, knots in string, timers and many other devices to bring about a recollection.  They were also commanded to wear frontlets; these were objects that contained passages of scriptures worn on the forearm or between the eyes mostly at prayer time.  The laws were also to be written upon the entrances to their homes.  The Jews quickly forgot the spirit of these precepts and they soon became sort of a good luck charm to keep evil spirits away.

The Command to Explain to Children.  (Deuteronomy 6:20-25)

“And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies--statues--judgments--God hath commanded you”(vs. 20)?  Moses is saying to parents that if their lives have been lived according to God’s commandments before their children, the children will enquire about the God they serve.  This observation of your life will cause them to seek the God you serve and they will want to understand the do’s and don’ts of the God you serve.  Holiness before our children will not bring fear into their hearts concerning the restrictions we follow being separated from the world.

“We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt”(vs. 21).  They were to tell their children how the Lord had delivered them from slavery in Egypt (symbolic of being in sin).  And that their deliverance was brought about by the power of the Lord.  Believers today can tell their children the same thing about being trapped in a life of sin and how the power of God delivered us.  We have been freed from the penalty of sin by the power of the Holy Ghost.

In verses 22-25, the parents were to testify how God destroyed Egypt before their eyes and how he brought them out through the sea.  They were to tell them that their deliverance enabled God to bring them into a land that flowed with milk and honey. This land they were in, God had promised to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They were then commanded to tell the children that God commanded them (the parents) to follow all of his laws and to fear him.  And if this was done God would insure their prosperity in all things and keep them alive.  The observance of God’s laws would put them in right standing before God.

 Conclusions:

This lesson teaches us that Israel was commanded to obey all of God’s commandments, statues and judgments and theses can be found in Leviticus chapters 18, 19, and 20.  This lesson teaches us that God is one and we are to love him with our total being which requires, all of our heart, soul, and might.  When we obey God’s commandments we will be rewarded with prolonged life.  We are commanded to hide his word in our hearts and diligently teach our children God’s commandments.  We must be willing to explain God’s word to our children when they as us and we must teach the word to them everywhere we go.  Finally, we must testify to our children how God delivered us from sin and saved us and we now have a loving or reverential fear of God.
 

By: Eld. H. Watson
hlwj2@aol.com