Verse of the Day Devotion Deuteronomy 6:7
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” – Deuteronomy 6:7
In order to understand what this verse refers to it is important that we look at the verse prior to focus verse. “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.” Deuteronomy 6:6. The whole here describes the commandments, a term that encompasses the full covenant text as communicated by Moses. “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.” Deuteronomy 6:1-2. Then Moses says, “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5. And as we read in verse six, these laws are to be on their hearts and not just in their heads.
Now Jesus spoke regarding the Law in a similar fashion as recorded by Matthew in His gospel. “And he said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40. Based on this, we should look at obeying the Jewish law as a way to show our love for God, not just to obey them to be righteous. However, notice that Jesus added another thought to this, and that is to love our neighbor as ourself.
Now lets take a look at our focus verse. “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:7. These words given them by God are so important that the covenant recipients must impress the words of covenant faith into the thinking of their children by inscribing them in the children’s hearts with indelible sharpness and precision. Theologian E. H. Merrill makes a great point regarding this. “The image is that of the engraver of a monument who takes hammer and chisel in hand and with painstaking care etches a text into the face of a solid slab of granite. The sheer labor of such a task is daunting indeed, but once done the message is there to stay. Thus it is that the generations of Israelites to come must receive and transmit the words of the Lord’s everlasting covenant revelation.”
This idea of training our children in the ways of God is just as important, if not more, in our time as well. We read in Proverbs the following, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6. And in the New Testament. “And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4. It is imperative that we instruct our children, and if necessary other children, in the ways of God and of the Salvation that is offered via the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mark records what Jesus said to His disciples. “And He said to them, go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16.
I want to encourage each of us to spend concerted time in sharing the truth of the scripture to our children, first leading them to salvation through the acceptance of Christ, and then helping them to learn how to live the Christian life in a way that glorifies God. If we absolutely love our children, we will take as much time as necessary to train them in the ways of our loving God. When my children were young, I would read the scriptures to them in a way that was fun yet instilled in them the truth. They enjoyed it and actually looked forward to it. And now, my children are Christians with strong faith in God. This is so important, for this gives them an opportunity to have a wonderful life in Christ both now and for eternity. And never stop training them for there is so much involved in living the Christian life. Is not this what we desire of our children? I pray it is.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.