Deut. 6 Lesson 2
We should point out some things concerning Deut. 6:4-9. As we pointed, out Christ referred to this as the first and the great commandment, Matt. 22:37; Mk. 12:30; Lk. 10:27. As such, we should not pass over it lightly. This is very basic to the law of. God, especially since our Lord enforced it.
Verses 4 and 5 are recited as the morning and evening prayers of Israel and are considered by the Rabbi to contain the principles of the Decalogue. We find v. 4 confirmed in I Jn. 5:7 and we call this the doctrine of the Trinity.
R. J. Rushdoony points out there are seven principles contained here in this passage (Institutes of Biblical Law, pg. 16-27). I think it would be well to look at them here.
The first principle: One God, one law. This does away with polytheism, many gods. We sure live in a system of many gods and many laws today. God's people are absolutely forbidden by Christ Himself to recognize any other religion or law-order, other than God's, as binding upon themselves or anyone else.
To say there is one law for Israel and one law for the Christian is polytheism. To say there is one law for the OT and one law for the NT is polytheism. To say there is one law for one period of time and another law for another is polytheism.
He is ONE GOD; therefore, He has only ONE LAW which is for all men of all times. He has only ONE standard for mankind; NOT one word for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. It applies equally to all.
1. There are more heresies around which divide the one law of God up into many parts than we can list. Much of the dispensationalism which we have today is nothing but polytheism as it says that God deals with people in different ways in different periods of time. God has always and will always deal with man in mercy and grace through the Lord Jesus Christ, Lam. 3:21-25. What does Mal. 3:6 say?
If Mal. 3:6 is true, then we have one LORD God and He has revealed one law to man, not many different laws. If Mal. 3:6 is true, then He has only one standard of holiness, Ex. 19:6; Lev. 11:44; I Tim. 2:19-22; I Pet. 1:13-20. Here in I Pet. we see that Peter reached back into the OT for the standard of holiness, then he says one of the purposes of the redemptive work of Christ is to enable us to obtain to that standard. We are redeemed that we might live a holy life even as God is Holy.
We must point out, also, that the contrast to law would be lawlessness. The opposite of God's law is lawlessness.
A second principle: One absolute, unchanging God means one absolute, un&SHY;changing law. Our applications of the law may change, but the law does not. To claim one law "for Israel" and one for Christians abandons the one law and the one God of the law as found here in Deut. 6:4. Since there is only one true God and His law is the unchanging expression of His unchanging nature and righteousness, then to abandon His law (Scriptural, Biblical law) for another system of laws is to abandon the God of the Scriptures. This is to change gods. A system of laws for a society or individual represents the god of that society or individual. We obey the laws of the one we choose to fear or obey. To obey man centered laws is to forsake the God of Scriptures. We show who we serve as God by whose commandments we obey, Jn. 14:15-24; Lk. 6:46.
To say God's law changes will have to say there are different standards of holiness and different standards of truth whereby God will judge man which is totally contrary to Rom. 2:1-11. To change the standard of judgment will also require different means of salvation.
A third principle is that one God, one law, requires total, unchanging and unqualified obedience. Deut. 6:5; Mk. 12:30-32 make it clear that man is to invest all his heart, soul and might in pleasing the one God (the Talmud here translates "might" as "money"). The meaning is clear from here and from Jn. 14:15. Every fiber of man's being is to be set on ONE thing, obeying his God. Every area of man's life is to be subjected to His law. There can he no area held back. Again, the main purpose of redemption is to give the power and ability of God to do this, Cor. 10:31; Eph. 2:13; I Pet. 2:18, 19.
A fourth principle as found in Deut. 6:7-9; 20-25: Education in the law is basic to and in&SHY;separable both from obedience to the law and from worship. The law requires education in the terms of the law. This makes anything other than a Bible based schooling an act of apostasy for a believer. It involves having other gods, bowing down before them to learn from them, as well as sacrificing the children to them. There can be no true worship of the God of Mk. 12:30-32 without true education in terms of His law, Jer. 10:2.
The principle laid down in Deut. 6:7-9 is that God requires EVERYTHING to be viewed through His law-word whether it be the home, mind, family, actions, work, education, or goals in life. Everything is to be seen from the perspective of God's Word. Nothing is to be mixed with man's imagination. To do so is called "to go a whoring" after other gods and results in God's hand against them. God just doesn't view things as we do. We don't see any reason for Him to be so angry about such minor things, but He is, Hosea 11:9; Zeph. 1:5, 12.
A fifth principle here, and in Deut. 6:20-25, is that in this required education it must be stressed that the response to grace is the keeping of the law, Titus 2:12; II Tim. 3:16. Children are to be taught that the purpose of redemption out of bondage is that His people might obey HIM for their own good and thereby prosper. Israel could not serve God in Egypt because of the bondage.
2. What was the purpose for God calling His people out of Egypt, Ex. 5:1; 8:1; 9:1; 10:3?
a. What were they to do this with, Ex. 10:26?
b. If Israel is a picture of our being redeemed out of the world, then what is the purpose of our redemption, II Cor. 5:15?
Deut. chp. 6 REQUIRES this be taught to our children. To fail to do this is to teach them to serve other gods.
3. A sixth principle: The jealousy of God Deut. 6 contains the warning against God's people looking around and seeing the prosperity of the heathens and their laws. They will see these other means of success and worldly prosperity and be tempted to go after them.
To go after these other means of success and prosperity which the heathens use is called what, v. 14; Lev. 20:5?
a. What was the result, Hosea 6:1?
As we relate everything to Him and His law-word this is called swearing by His name, v. 13. To use any other means to accomplish anything in our lives is to deny His name, blaspheme.
In the temptation of our Lord, two of His three answers to the tempter are from Deut. (Deut. 6:16=Matt. 4:7;- Deut. 6:13;10:20=Matt. 4:10). His third answer came from a related passage, Deut. 8:3=Matt. 4:4. All three temptations were a direct challenge to God and His law. They were cen&SHY;tered around an attempt to get Christ to act independently of God's Word and the same temptation abounds today. The tempter's desire is to get us to do even good things apart from God's power. (Do we have a religion of morality, or of Christ in us?)
4. I think it's very important for us to notice here with our Lord. Where was His EVERY answer for victory found over temptation from the devil himself, OT or NT?
a. What would this show us? Where is our victory found?
b. This raises a question. Even though the NT is equal authority with the OT, what will happen to our victory over the devil's temptations if we avoid the OT law, the book of Deut. in this case, Lk. 16:29, 31; Jn. 5:46-47?
A seventh principle is given in 6:16-19. Here was one of the temptations of our Lord, to try God, to put God to the test This forbids the unbelieving testing of God. God's law is the testing of man: Therefore, man cannot presume to be God and put God and His word on trial. This is blasphemy; it is opposite of obedience. Obedience is the condition of blessing; it is the ground for God's people to enter into their rest, Heb. 3:7; 4:11. When God's people believe there is any other way other than obedience to God's law and word to obtain the blessing of God and His rest, this is to TEST GOD. Paul makes it very clear that to do this will receive the same response from God as the OT Israel received.
The providing of God in Mal. 3:10 is to put His laws into action and proving that He will respond to obedience on our part.
To test God or to tempt Him is to do --whatever-- our way and still expect Him to fulfill His promises and blessings here in this life. Do we tempt God?