Deuteronomy 6: It's All About The Beginnings
By Allan Bosson
Our reading for this week will take us from Deuteronomy chapter 6 to chapter 23.
Deuteronomy 6 is without question one of the most important and informative chapters in all of God’s Word. In fact, to Jews, it is one of the most cherished passages in all of their Bible, or Ten arch. Actually, it is one of the very first passages a young Jewish child is required to know and understand well. They commit the principles of this chapter to memory, certainly before they ever begin to face the real world outside of their homes. The interesting truth, however, is that to a Christian the principles outlined here are just as important as they are to a Jew.
There is so much one could say about Deuteronomy chapter 6, but let me just outline three points of importance to Christians. First, in chapter 6:1-9, the writer of Deuteronomy urges us to begin life well—make sure you get it right! Beginnings are very important. For example, in the construction business, the foundations of any structure are the most important. Failing foundations lead to failing facilities. This is also true in music, athletics, and academics. If we get off on the wrong foot, then almost everything that follows is detrimentally affected for sure.
Second, in chapter 6:10-17, the writer of Deuteronomy emphasizes that we must be realistic about life— make sure you keep it real! To dream is not wrong but to live in a “dream-world” is very wrong. When things are going well and we feel truly blessed, it is easy to drift away from where we first began and to forget who it was that got us to where we are. When we forget our beginnings, we can lose sight of who we should truly depend upon and whom we should thank for the good times we are experiencing. When that happens, we can easily drift into a world of false confidence and false dependence. As the writer of Deuteronomy tells the people of Israel, if you forget to correctly acknowledge who made you and established who you are, it is very likely you will lose what you possess, or at the very least, greatly diminish your present blessing.
Third, in chapters 6:16-25, the writer warns us not to make foolish, self-inflicted mistakes—make sure you don’t have regrets! We only pass through life one time. Because of the nature of life, no one can go back and undo the foolish mistakes and regrets of the past. For that reason, the importance of carefully reading and obeying God’s manual on life, the Bible, cannot be overstated. God’s eternal promise to all obedient believers is that if we diligently study His Word and obey it, He promises to bless us and all our generations to follow. What the writer is emphasizing here is that life is not just about fun and laughter, though there is a place for that. Life is first about faith and loyalty, and it is extremely important that we get these priorities right.