“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thine heart:”
Today’s passage is of central importance not only to Judaism, but to Christianity as well (Mark 12:28-30). Here, in very few beautiful words, we get an amazing glimpse of God and His great heart on the matter. First, we are told to “hear” which, in this passage, is a command to listen to the voice of God. This command is repeated throughout both Testaments. The writer to the Hebrews warns, “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25). Next, we have a cryptic reference to the tri-unity of God. “The LORD (1) our God (2) is one LORD (3).” Even the term translated “one” is significant. It is not the Hebrew word that denotes absolute singleness, rather, it signifies a unity. The same term is used to describe the unity between a man and his wife at the dawn of human history (Genesis 2:24). Our passage goes on to reveal the tremendous value God places on love and our love relationship with him. Heart position is what is paramount here; outward performance is less than useless if our hearts are not enamored of God. God desires that we love Him and He has made Himself maximally lovely to us. He came into the world in the Person of His beloved Son, and for our redemption and salvation, experienced the worst the world could throw at someone. Truly He has demonstrated His great love for us in a maximal way (Romans 5:8). The only sensible thing to do is love Him in return (1 John 4:19). In order to deepen our relationship, God asks that we read and meditate upon His word, which is the testimony and record of His Son and His redemptive love (Revelation 19:10). His words are to be upon the human heart. Why? Because the unregenerate human heart is stony and hard. The word of God does not often have immediate access to it. However, the word can fall inside when our stony hearts are broken, either by earthly circumstances or the word of God itself, which is described elsewhere as a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces (Jeremiah 23:29). The more we study the word and pray to the One Who gave it to us, the One of Whom it speaks, the more we will experience His sweet ministry to our hearts. At conversion, our stony hearts are replaced with hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26). By His word through the Holy Spirit God pours faith, hope, and love into our new hearts. This too is an expression of God’s love for us. Walk in His love today, dear saints, and be encouraged.