Hear O Israel
“And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then]” Deuteronomy 6:6 Amplified Bible
In chapter 6 of Deuteronomy, Moses is preparing the Israelites to enter into the Promised Land. Earlier Moses said to “Hear, O Israel…” He is giving them a powerful truth that is still just as powerful and relevant to us today as we enter into the full promises of Jesus daily in this life. Hearing the Word is a key to our being able to possess and retain the promises that are ours in Him.
Moses implores for them to “hear”. In context he is talking about the word, the law, and the precepts of the Lord. “Hear, O Israel” is a plea and as we read Moses’ words all these centuries later it is still his plea for us. Hear the Word of the Lord. Make it a priority to hear the Lord every day, both from the Word itself but also from Jesus speaking to us through the Holy Spirit. Have you heard the Lord today? Have you even listened for Him? We easily hear all the loud voices of the world as they shout to us the lies that are contrary to the Word. Those voices are loud enough to make it difficult to hear the voice of the Lord unless we are diligent to listen intently and expectantly.
Jewish people have a prayer they pray to start and end their day. The prayer is called “Shema”, which is the Jewish word for “hear”. This is their daily reminder at the day’s beginning and end to listen and hear the Lord. This is what Moses is speaking of in the verse above.
We need to have the words of the Lord “first” in our own minds and hearts. He goes on to say that then we are to teach the word of the Lord to others. But the emphasis is on the word first. It has to begin with us and as the Jews have learned it has to be the “first” thing of each day. Despite what thoughts crowd into your mind at the start of each day, before anything else, seek to hear His voice as He speaks to your spirit. Seek to hear from Him as we read the Word before doing anything else in our day. You will hear so much from the world throughout your day, make a purposeful effort to hear from Him to begin and end each day. As we train ourselves to hear Him in this way, it will then be easier to hear His voice throughout the day.
J Todd Hostetler