by Tony Nester

Love God with All You’ve Got
Tony Nester
Deuteronomy 6:4-5

If you ever approach the door of an orthodox Jewish home you’ll find a container attached to the door post. It will be marked with the word, ‘‘Shaddai,’’ which is a Hebrew name for God meaning ‘‘Almighty.’’ Inside the container will be a small piece of parchment inscribed with the Scripture that Jews believe are the foundation of their belief in God. Every time they walk through their doors they are reminded of the central conviction of their faith. If you open the container, called a Mezuzah, and read the little scroll inside you will find the words of today’s Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:4-5:

‘‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. {5} You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.’’

Jews were taught not only to attach Mezuzahs to their door posts, but to recite this Scripture every morning when they saw the sun rise and every evening when the sun set.

As a faithful Jew Jesus did just that. He knew this Scripture from memory. And when he was asked which of all the 600 commandments was the greatest commandment, he quoted the Scripture in the Mezuzah:

‘‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, [adding] and with all your strength.’’’

Why do you think this Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 was chosen from all the Scriptures of the Old Testament to be the one placed in the mezuzah? The answer is quite simple: it’s the easiest to forget; and once forgotten, its loss causes the most damage to our relationship with God.

Moses spoke these words to the Israelites on the plains of Moab as they awaited the directive to cross the Jordan River and drive forward into Canaan which was their promised land from God. Once they crossed the Jordan River their life would never be the same again. They had spent forty years as wanderers in the wilderness. They had learned ho ...

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