Summary: This text in Deuteronomy stresses the need to fix God’s Word in our hearts and our children’s hearts. How is this done? How does this make us feel when God puts such responsibility in our hearts? That’s what this sermon expounds on.
May 29, 2005 Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and souls; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse -- 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Several months ago I tried to fix a towel rack that had been broken off of our wall. I bought some expandable screws and drywall anchors thinking that I could do this with no problem. Within several weeks however, my fix it job soon deteriorated. The towel rack was loose and I was seemingly back to square one. In came dad. Thankfully, he was here for a week, and I asked him to look at it. Come to find out, the expandable screw just needed to be tightened more so that it widened out and anchored more firmly into the wall. I had no idea because I am definitely not a fix it kind of man. Thankfully, he fixed the problem in no time at all.
In today’s text, the Holy Spirit calls on each of us to be “fix it” people - not with walls or pictures - but with words and hearts. What does this mean? How can we do it? Why should we try it? We’ll see as we consider the theme -
Fix These Words In Your Hearts
I. What does it mean, to “fix in the heart”?
This is a strange thing that the LORD tells the Israelites to do through Moses. He tells us to “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and souls.” If you tell me to hang a picture - that is an easy thing. I can measure a wall with a tape measure, grab a hammer and a nail, pound it into the wall and hang up the picture. That’s easy. But how do you fix a word on a heart? Words are not physical things. You can’t grasp them with the hand, but only with the ear and the mind. How can you fix anything on your heart? When the Beatles sang the song “can’t buy me love,” they realized that the heart is not something that any human has the ability to “fix” anything on. Grab a nail and a hammer and try to force something on it, and it will die.
So what does Moses mean - to fix words on the heart and the soul? Obviously, this must be a spiritual thing - something beyond our realm of hammers and nails, swords and spears. It is indeed, a different kind of sword that God Himself must swing with a force more powerful than the sinful flesh and even the devil himself can hold back. Hebrews 4:12 says, “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Only the Word of God can penetrate the heart.
If you think about it, the only reason we are hear is because the Holy Spirit has cut our hearts apart. As Christians, we have three nails sticking out of our hearts. The same nails that were used to penetrate Jesus’ hands and feet - those nails have also penetrated our hearts. They make us say, “what a filthy sinner I am! I caused the death of God’s Holy One. My sin put those nails in his hands and feet.” They leave a gaping wound in our hearts - a sense of shame and guilt at our Judas-like treachery. Yet with those nails sticking out of our hearts, then God can hang the most precious word of all. Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. The impenetrable heart becomes penetrable through the nails of Christ. When they hit His hands they strike our soul. When they pierce his side it pierces our heart - for the Holy Spirit convicts us of this sin - the death of Jesus Christ. However, with those words, the Holy Spirit also uses the blood of Christ - pumping it into our gaping wound. He shows us that the very One we pierced was also pierced FOR US. This “blood transfusion” continues to keep us living and breathing.