Summary: God has a gift for Christian father’s today, a rare gift, respect. What is a man’s purpose? What is a father’s role? Let’s look at Deuteronomy 6:1-9.
God has a gift for Christian father’s today, a rare gift, respect. What is a man’s purpose? What is a father’s role? Let’s look at Deuteronomy 6:1-9.
Deuteronomy 6:1 “Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it,”
Here are three parts of the law. Commandments are basic duties. Thou shalt not kill. Statutes create limits for commandments. Killing is allowed in war, capital punishment, and eating meat. Judgment applies law to specific cases. War can be justified but newly married men are forbidden from going into battle.
But those three divisions are still just the letter of the law. Christians go far beyond the letter of the law to the spirit. Pollution contributes to people's death. Bullying contributes to suicide. If people die because they cannot afford treatment, we contribute to their death.
We kill innocent babies every day. Taking money from the poor contributes to an early death. Paying less than a just wage, so that people struggle and die young contributes to their death. Driving so as to contribute to an environment which endangers other motorist's lives, contributes to someone's death.
God’s Desire for Fathers?
Deuteronomy 6:2 “so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.”
Don’t be offended that this is primarily addressed to men. We are all included in principle. One of a father’s primary duties is to teach the next generation the standards of God’s law. In a New Testament context we would teach the spirit or intent of the law, for longevity.
Deuteronomy 6:3 “O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”
God wants our lives to go well, more than mere physical blessings pictured by milk and honey (Romans 7:10-14; James 1:25). Human traditions can be “heavy burdens” (Matthew 23:4), but not all (1 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15). Christianity is not of the letter of the law but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6).
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!”
This “Magna Carta of the Home” emphasizes teaching the next generation how to love God. First, how can God be three and one? If husband and wife can be one flesh (Genesis 2:24) but two people, then surely God can be Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
Deuteronomy 6:5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
Heart in Hebrew means affection and thought or as translated in the Greek Septuagint quoted in Mark 12:30 heart AND mind. We cannot merely voice this love, but must love Him with everything that we are. Worship is a total experience of heart (affection and thoughts), soul and might.
What’s on a Father’s Heart?
Deuteronomy 6:6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.”
Some meditate with the absence of thought or focusing all thoughts on a material object. Christian meditation is thinking about God. What’s most on our hearts, the latest sports scores, the weather, politics, worries, television, shopping, material pursuits, vengeance, or hatred? Do we meditate about the important things of God?
Deuteronomy 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
If God is constantly on our minds then it will appear in what we teach and talk about. Are our conversations never about God? Do we take every opportunity to talk to future generations about God? Do they close their ears? Have we been bullied into silence by belligerent children?
What Does a Father Do and Think?
Deuteronomy 6:8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.”
Is this literal, write a sign on our arms and foreheads, or metaphorical reminders of deed and thought? The mark of the Beast, is on the hand and forehead, in deed and thought, and God’s commands will be in what the righteous do with their hands and what they think.
Deuteronomy 6:9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”