September 5, 2021
Scripture: “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” Deuteronomy 11:18 ESV
Observation: To this day, orthodox Jewish men strap phylacteries (small boxes with key verses of the Torah inside) to their brows and their arms (with leather laces extending from the arm to the hand). Indeed, if used as a reminder to “lay up these words” of God in their hearts, this ceremonious start to their day can be helpful. It can also become a distraction and lead one to complacency. By the time of Christ, this tradition had regressed to a show of piety. Hence, Jesus called out the religious leaders for their pretense, for their hearts were far from God (John 5:42).
Takeaway: Signs and symbols are only helpful in as much as they point us to a more profound truth. The purpose of the above command was to remind the spiritual leaders to apply God’s Word into every aspect of their thought processes (frontlets of eyes) and actions (hands). The above command was an important reminder as Israel was about to enter a land flowing with opportunities but laden with challenges and temptations. It is no different today. We can only apprehend the blessings that lay before us if we nurture our love for God through Scripture.
Prayer: Father God, help us absorb your Word into every aspect of our lives and deepen our love for you, that what we know is evidenced by what we do. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling