Monday, May 21, 2012

Taking Teachings to Heart...and More

Deuteronomy 4:9 - Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

This verse is referring to God's law, His commandments, His teachings.  The Israelites were just across the Jordan from the Promised Land and God was instructing, urging them to obey His law.  But, as with all Scripture, these words can surely be applied to our lives as well.

The first thing that piques my interest is the Hebrew word used for "forget" - shakach, which can also be translated as "whither" (Strong's H7911).  I love the imagery of "whither" - the verse could be read something like this, "so the the things which your eyes have seen do not whither away..."  We forget things all the time.  I forget to call my mom, I forget to water the plants once or twice, etc.  But the image of a flower withering - it holds the idea of neglect.  If we do not neglect the things we have seen, they will not whither, we will not forget!  "Do not forget" = remember.  And remembering means we must be active!  

Next we are not to let these things "depart from [our] heart."  After all, "it is not sufficient to lay up Divine things in the memory, they must be laid up in the heart" (Clarke).  I can remember a lot of things, but that does not mean I care about them.  I remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs, numerous ones that I don't even like, let alone care about!  The law of God, His teachings, all things Divine must be laid up in our memories AND our hearts!  For "those who let the grace of God depart from their hearts, lose that grace; and those who lose the grace, fall from the grace..." (Clarke).  You see, we "must be very cautious and walk circumspectly...we need to look about us and...keep our hearts with diligence. [We] cannot walk carelessly and at all adventures" (Henry).  

Lastly, we see that we are to "make [these teachings] known to [our] sons and [our] grandsons."  First of all, I find it interesting that not one generation, but two generations are mentioned here!  We are not only responsible for our sons and daughters but for our grandsons and granddaughters as well.  I am proud to say that my family exemplifies this.  My parents have done an excellent job in teaching me what Christian living is all about, so have my grandparents..and yes, even my great-grandparents.  I pray everyday that I will be able to do the same.  Anyhow, sorry about that side-note...back to Scripture.  Let us look at the Hebrew definition of "known" - yada means "to know" but more specifically, "to cause someone to know something" (Strong's H3045).  Two things jump out here: First, in order for there to be a cause ("to cause someone...") there has to be an effect!  And second, to know something is to be familiar with it!  So much in such a simple  statement!  The last thing I would like to note here is this: "Those who neglect family religion, neglect personal religion" (Clarke).  If you are clearly living the laws and teachings of God, it will effect your entire life - most directly and importantly, your family!  If these teachings are truly in your heart - your family will know them, they will be familiar with them!  

Today I challenge you to examine your heart.  First, find a scripture that is meaningful to you, something that has impacted you or changed you for the better...and memorize it by the end of the week.  Second, take a moment to consider and then jot down at least one area of your life where you are not exemplifying what is in your heart and take a step to change that!

Happy Monday - I hope it is a great one!

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