Deuteronomy 6:3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
The immediate context of these verses and this entire chapter is to the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel was to be God’s physical picture of the blessings He wants to give all those who will walk in the fear of the LORD. In the context of the book of Deuteronomy, Israel was on the verge of entering the promised land. They spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness due to their rebellious nature. You cannot be God’s chosen people and succeed as rebels. The nation of Israel was not a God-fearing nation at this time. There were a few God-fearing people living in Israel, but the majority of the nation was pagan.
God never stopped reminding the nation what He not only expected of them, but what He required of them. God wanted all people to know Him. Many Jews had an imaginary image of God. They did not want to humble themselves and accept the true God.
In the midst of this, God reminded the nation what they needed to do as they prepared to move into the land of Canaan.
The first point God made is that Israel needed to listen to Him. As we mentioned, the immediate context is to Israel. There are principles that apply to all people. As we noted, Israel was to be that picture of the blessings that God can and will provide for His people. Israel limited themselves to only having some of the blessings that God wanted to give them. God will not pour out His blessings to ungodly people.
Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
God has many great blessings that He has in store for those who love Him. In our text, Israel had spent 40 years wandering. An entire generation, except for two men, had died in that wilderness. Those two were Joshua and Caleb. Thus as they were preparing to enter the land of Canaan, the people needed to stop and listen to God. They had not done that for 40 years. It was high time they stopped and listened to God.
In verse 4 the LORD declared that there is only One true God. Israel had witnessed many false gods during their years in Egypt. Some of them still accepted that there were many gods. They did not believe they were false gods, but they had many gods. There is only One true God. He is Jehovah God. He is the self-existent God Who knows everything and will accomplish His will. He wants to bless people, but even if people choose not to obey Him, He will do what He says He will do.
In verse 5 Israel was commanded to love the LORD “thy God”, with all thine heart … God reminded Israel that they belonged to the true God. God was not going to destroy Israel and build a new nation. Israel was His nation. They would be wise to accept Him as their God and serve Him.
When the men of Israel would love the LORD with all their heart, they would be able to teach His truths to their children.
At this present time, Israel has been set aside and the local churches are to be the picture of God’s love and mercy and holiness, etc., to the world. Just as Israel, as a nation, failed to trust in the true God, most churches fail to trust in the true God.
In God’s economy, men are to be the leaders. Fathers are to lead their homes. Men are to be leaders in their community. In Manitoba, we are in the beginning stages of a provincial election. It is a sham, but that is where we are. As we travelled recently, we noticed campaign signs up. All the signs we saw were women running to represent their constituency in the Legislature. Where are the men? Men are to be the leaders. Men are to be the business people. They are to be the farmers and mechanics and carpenters, etc. Men are to be the “bread winners.” Women are to be keepers at home. Since the men are to be out working, how then can they be the main leaders in the home? They need to set up a home that honours God. Wives and mothers need to walk in the fear of God just as much as the husbands and fathers must. When the wife walks in the fear of God, she will keep the home according to the set standard that God has established and her husband has discussed with her.
In our time, too many homes have an absentee father. He is there. He makes money. He does not lead the home. The wife and mother is the economic and spiritual leader in the home. This is true even in a home that does not know the fear of God. In many homes the god is money and sports. Most people have heard the term “hockey mom, or soccer mom.” Organized sports has no place in the God-fearing home. Children can go and play hockey or baseball or soccer, etc. Organized sports takes over the life of the home and becomes the god of the home.
God stated that the fathers needed to love God with all their heart, and they needed to teach that diligently to their children. This teaching was to be an all consuming part of the father’s life. In Bible times, it was quite common for sons to work with their fathers. They would learn the trade of the father. God did not limit this teaching to the sons. He talked of the children. Boys and girls need to be instructed in Who the true God is. Children need to know that everything worthwhile is founded in God’s laws.
You cannot impress upon your children that the LORD is all important, if He is not all important in your life. This brings us to where we are right now. There have been subtle and not so subtle changes to the educational philosophy of our country for some time now. For a number of years it was a rather slow grind. When our children were young, they were bringing “sex ed” into the school system. For my wife and I, that was the time to get out of the public school system. We went to school meetings and spoke up against the changes being proposed and saw our concerns fall on deaf ears. We were unsure of how to move forward. I remember bringing our concerns up with our pastor and some other men in the church. There was no direction given there. We needed to look at God’s Word and make up our minds based on what God’s Word says. That is always the way it should be. Pastors need to be obedient to God’s Word and be there to guide the flock in walking obediently with the Lord.
To this day, most homes and most churches are reluctant to do God’s will. The command to the fathers in our text was not unique to Israel. It was not unique to that generation. That command is for all people in every generation. Fathers are responsible before God for the spiritual well-being of their children. Mothers follow along, but they are not to be the leaders.
As we approach this present school year, Christian parents should understand that their children do not belong in any public school. Public school teachers are indoctrinated in an evolutionary, anti-god system. They are promoting that philosophy to the children in their classrooms. Children need to be taught the truth and with that be warned of the deception that is all around them. The foundation needs to be the truth. The public school system does not have the truth as its foundation.
Every parent is or can be qualified to teach their child(ren). A good church will be there to encourage the parents to be able to teach their children. That is what a true church is for. If a parent is saved, that parent is qualified to teach their child(ren). God gives His children a love for Him. Parents do not know everything. They need to be constantly learning. God’s Word must be the foundational basis of learning. Anything worth learning is built upon God’s Word. If it does not fit on the true Biblical foundation, it is not worth having.
Thus to every true Christian that is reading this, if you are not homeschooling your children, why not? There may be a few private schools that will be built on a Biblical foundation, but they are definitely few and far between. Keep in mind, that you as a parent, and particularly as a father, are responsible for the spiritual well-being of your child(ren). Your family may have to get rid of some things you thought were important, but the spiritual well-being of your child(ren) should be your primary concern.
When we took our children out of the public school system, we were warned (threatened) that the public system would not recognize our children’s education. They would need to be tested to see if they were fit to move on in society. I was not concerned about that. I knew that if I did what God commanded me to do, my children would be able to function in the wicked society we are living in. They would find jobs and be able to support themselves. God proved Himself to be true in our lives. He provided for our needs in raising our children and our children have found employment that allows them to progress. They are not where they should be spiritually, but that is a choice they need to make. They need to listen to God and become obedient to Him. My duty as a father is to keep the truth before them. That will be my responsibility for as long as I live.
As a pastor, it is also my responsibility to help those that God sends across my path, to choose wisely with their own lives and families. I cannot force people to follow what God says. I can and must remind them of what God commands. His desire is to bless people. God is not a mean God. He is a holy and loving God. He wants to give His children good gifts. If you claim that God has not been good to you, you are the problem, not God. If you will humble yourself and follow Him, you will be thankful for His blessings to you. If you fight against God, you will struggle and never find that satisfaction that God wants you to have.