Deuteronomy 6

* A persuasive to obedience. (1-3) An exhortation to obedience.

(4,5) Obedience taught. (6-16) General precepts, Instructions to

be given to their children. (17-25)

1-3 In this and the like passages, the "commandments" seem to

denote the moral law, the "statues" the ceremonial law, and the

"judgments" the law by which the judges decided. Moses taught

the people all that, and that only, which God commanded him to

teach. Thus Christ's ministers are to teach his churches all he

has commanded, neither more nor less, #Mt 28:20|. The fear of

God in the heart will be the most powerful principle of

obedience. It is highly desirable that not we only, but our

children, and our children's children, may fear the Lord.

Religion and righteousness advance and secure the prosperity of

any people.
4,5 Here is a brief summary of religion, containing the first

principles of faith and obedience. Jehovah our God is the only

living and true God; he only is God, and he is but One God. Let

us not desire to have any other. The three-fold mention of the

Divine names, and the plural number of the word translated God,

seem plainly to intimate a Trinity of persons, even in this

express declaration of the unity of the Godhead. Happy those who

have this one Lord for their God. It is better to have one

fountain than a thousand cisterns; one all-sufficient God than a

thousand insufficient friends. This is the first and great

commandment of God's law, that we love him; and that we do all

parts of our duty to him from a principle of love; My son, give

me thine heart. We are to love God with all our heart, and soul,

and might. That is, 1. With a sincere love; not in word and

tongue only, but inwardly in truth. 2. With a strong love. He

that is our All, must have our all, and none but he. 3. With a

superlative love; we must love God above any creature whatever,

and love nothing but what we love for him. 4. With an

intelligent love. To love him with all the heart, and with all

the understanding, we must see good cause to love him. 5. With

an entire love; he is ONE, our hearts must be united in his

love. Oh that this love of God may be shed abroad in our hearts!
6-16 Here are means for maintaining and keeping up religion in

our hearts and houses. 1. Meditation. God's words must be laid

up in our hearts, that our thoughts may be daily employed about

them. 2. The religious education of children. Often repeat these

things to them. Be careful and exact in teaching thy children.

Teach these truths to all who are any way under thy care. 3.

Pious discourse. Thou shalt talk of these things with due

reverence and seriousness, for the benefit not only of thy

children, but of thy servants, thy friends and companions. Take

all occasions to discourse with those about thee, not of matters

of doubtful disputation, but of the plain truths and laws of

God, and the things that belong to our peace. 4. Frequent

reading of the word. God appointed them to write sentences of

the law upon their walls, and in scrolls of parchment to be worn

about their wrists. This seems to have been binding in the

letter of it to the Jews, as it is to us in the intent of it;

which is, that we should by all means make the word of God

familiar to us; that we may have it ready to use upon all

occasions, to restrain us from sin, and direct us in duty. We

must never be ashamed to own our religion, nor to own ourselves

under its check and government. Here is a caution not to forget

God in a day of prosperity and plenty. When they came easily by

the gift, they would be apt to grow secure, and unmindful of the

Giver. Therefore be careful, when thou liest safe and soft, lest

thou forget the Lord. When the world smiles, we are apt to make

court to it, and expect our happiness in it, and so we forget

Him who is our only portion and rest. There is need of great

care and caution at such a time. Then beware; being warned of

your danger, stand upon your guard. Thou shalt not tempt the

Lord thy God; neither by despairing of his power and goodness,

while we keep in the way of our duty; nor by presuming upon it,

when we turn aside out of that way.
17-25 Moses gives charge to keep God's commandments. Negligence

will ruin us; but we cannot be saved without diligence. It is

our interest, as well as our duty, to be religious. It will be

our life. Godliness has the promise of the continuance and

comfort of the life that now is, as far as it is for God's

glory. It will be our righteousness. It is only through the

Mediator we can be righteous before God. The knowledge of the

spirituality and excellency of the holy law of God, is suited to

show sinful man his need of a Saviour, and to prepare his heart

to welcome a free salvation. The gospel honours the law, not

only in the perfect obedience of the Son of God, the Lord Jesus

Christ; but in that it is a plan for bringing back apostate

rebels and enemies, by repentance, faith, forgiveness, and

renewing grace, to love God above all things, even in this

world; and in the world above, to love him perfectly, even as

angels love him.
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