In my neighborhood, religious inscriptions abound—on plaques, walls, doorposts, commercial vehicles, and even as registered names of businesses. By the Grace of God reads an inscription on a mini-bus; God’s Divine Favor Bookshop adorns a business signboard. The other day I couldn’t help smiling at this one on a Mercedes Benz: Keep Off—Angels on Guard!
But religious inscriptions, whether on wall plaques, jewelry, or T-shirts, are not a reliable indicator of a person’s love for God. It’s not the words on the outside that count but the truth we carry on the inside that reveals our desire to be changed by God.
I recall a program sponsored by a local ministry that distributed cards with Bible verses written on both sides that helped people memorize God’s Word. Such a practice is in keeping with the instructions Moses gave the Israelites when he told them to write the commandments of God “on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deut. 6:9). We are to treasure God’s Word in our hearts (v. 6), to impress it on our children, and to talk about it “when [we] walk along the road, when [we] lie down and when [we] get up” (v. 7).
May our faith be real and our commitment true, so we can love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and strength (v. 5).
Father, may Your words be more than nice sayings to us. May they be written on our hearts so that we will love You and others.
When God’s Word is hidden in our heart, His ways will become our ways.
Today’s passage begins with three verses of instruction about the benefits of keeping the commands of the Lord. Moses begins verse 4 with “Hear, O Israel.” Hear doesn’t mean “listen”; it means “understand” or “know.” The Israelites were to “know” the Lord—and so are we.