Friday, July 20, 2012

Sesame Street and God's Word

Have you ever seen the old trick of the string tied around the finger?  So that person will be reminded of something important.  I remember a Sesame Street storybook from my childhood called "Don't Forget the Oatmeal" where Bert ties a string around his finger in order to remind Him to get oatmeal at the grocery store since it is the MOST important thing on his list.  Due to Cookie Monster's appearance and a mild bit of chaos due to a cookie sale...Bert gets home and realized he has a string on his finger.  Oh no!  He forgot the oatmeal! Even when something is right in front of us, it is still hard to remember!

Deuteronomy 11:18 - You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.

"Impress" simply means "to put, place, set" (Strong's H7760).  So, we are to place God's word on our heart and soul.  Then it goes on to say we are to "bind" them on our hands and, basically, place them on our foreheads.  This part of the verse is a little bit confusing.  You mean I'm supposed to wear the Bible on my forehead?  The Jews did!  Frontals were "scrolls of parchment with sentences written on them out of the law of Moses...bound to the forehead and the left wrist" (Lexicon).  The Jews took this verse rather literally.  However, I think it is safe to look at this figuratively - what does it mean to bind them to our hands and place them on our foreheads?  In Matthew Henry's words, "Let our eyes be fixed on the word of God."  If the Word of God is bound to our hands and on our foreheads, how can we miss it?  You see yourself in the mirror at least once or twice a day and your hands are in front of your face constantly!  Basically, God wants the Word to be active and present in our lives.  But as we learned from Bert, just because something is in plain sight, right there on you hand, does not mean you will remember its importance!

However, is the Word is placed in our hearts, which is what the Lord first mentioned, the active presence of the Word will be much easier!  After all, "We cannot expect good practices...unless there be good thoughts, good affections, and good principles in the heart" (Henry).  And how do you suppose those thoughts, affections, and principles get there? The Word of God!

Today I challenge you to tie a string around your finger.  Seriously - go do it!

Okay, now every time you see that string today, remember to keep God's Word in your heart.  Let the Word teach you the good thoughts, good affections, and good principles that it has to offer!  If something is truly in your heart, it will naturally overflow - let it!

And just for giggles, I ran across this video when searching for Bert's adventure:

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