I love learning history about people and the customs they followed. I always put myself in their world and wonder what it might be like if we still followed in those customs today. In our passage for today, Deuteronomy 6, we learn what the Jewish rabbis did to remember God’s word.
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.
Jewish rabbis took verse eight literally and tied phylacteries (pictured above) on their arms and foreheads. These were little leather boxes in which were placed verses of scripture written on parchment paper. There are Jewish homes that still practice this today.
Since we do not walk around with the Word of God bound to our forehead or arm, how do we obey these words to love God and share them with our children and loved ones? How are we constantly reminded of God’s Word and let it seep in our hearts 24/7?
Moses is emphasizing the need to continually teach the Word of God. It should be all we think and do. We should demonstrate our love for God by the way we live. Others should be able to see our love by how we treat them. We should use God’s Word as a guide each day. Not as a badge worn on our body to show our devotion, but to saturate our hearts with His Words. We are commanded to be consumed with Jesus. To talk about Him with our children. To talk about Him when were are out and about. He should be our first and last thoughts of the day.
The video below explains more about the phylacteries and how they were used.