Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
(with Matthew 28:19)
I. That the Scriptural Trinity implies that God is One. So far from being against the cardinal truth of God's unity, it actually assumes it. The Trinity of our faith means a distinction of persons within one common indivisible Divine nature. If we ask, What is the chief spiritual benefit which we derive from the knowledge of the unity of God? the answer is this: The unity of God is the only religious basis for a moral law of perfect and unwavering righteousness. It is a unity of moral character in the Ruler, and therefore of moral rule in the universe. It is such a unity as excludes all conflict within the Divine will, all inconsistency in the Divine law, all feebleness in the Divine administration.
II. What religious advantages do we reap from the fresh Christian discovery of a Trinity within this unity of the Divine nature? (1) To this question we answer, that the doctrine of the Trinity has heightened and enriched our conception of the nature of God. (2) This doctrine affords a basis for those gracious relations which it has pleased God to sustain towards us in the economy of our salvation.
J. Oswald Dykes, Sermons, p. 123.
I. The belief in one God gives rest to the active man; it satisfies his intellectual, his moral, his emotional, his spiritual, being.
II. In the field of scientific research this faith inspires us with a confident hope of reducing all phenomena to law, since all proceed from one hand, and express one creative will. This faith supplies that which physical science lacks and yet requires, viz., a prime mover and a sustaining power.
III. In morals this faith acts most powerfully upon our will and rouses us to exalt the higher nature and repress the lower Polytheism deifies the human passions, and turns the wors views into acts of religion; but if there be only one God, then our highest aspirations must give us the truest image of Him.
IV. Faith in one God brings peace to the mourner and to the suffering, for we know that He who now sends the trouble is the same God whose kindness we have felt so often. Having learned to love and trust Him, we are able to accept suffering as the chastisement of a Father's hand. If there were gods many, we could regard the troubles of life only as the spiteful acts of some malevolent deity; we must bribe his fellow-gods to oppose him.
V. Upon one God we are able to concentrate all the powers of the soul, our emotions are not dissipated, our religious efforts are not frittered away upon a pleasing variety of characters, but the image of God is steadily renewed in the soul, and communion with God grows ever closer.
F. R. Chapman, The Oxford and Cambridge Undergraduates' Journal, Jan. 22nd, 1880.
The teaching of the text is that the "one God" must be "loved" and served by the whole man. Consider how the love of God is to be cultivated.
I. We cannot love an abstraction. God must be a personal God before we can love Him. We must have a sense of property in Him. He must be our own God.
II. Presence is essential to love, even in human love. If we have not a presence in fact, we always make it in fancy. There is an imaginary presence of the person we love always with us. God says, "My presence shall go with thee."
III. There must be prayer. Communion with the absent whom we love is essential to the existence and the growth of love.
IV. God is really a present God. Therefore we must do acts—acts which have Him in them. Acts of love make love.
V. There is no love like union—wedded union. And so through this mystery of union the love grows fond, intense, eternal. Our whole being gathers itself up to one focus, and the demand of the text becomes possible, and the duty becomes a necessity.
J. Vaughan, Sermons, 10th series, p. 6.
References: F.W. Robertson, Sermons, 4th series, p. 261; J. Oswald Dykes, The Law of the Ten Words, p. 35; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xii., p. 271. Deuteronomy 6:6, Deuteronomy 6:7.—E. M. Goulburn, Gospel of the Childhood, p. 37. Deuteronomy 6:7.—R. W. Evans, Parochial Sermons, p. 21. Deuteronomy 6:16.—J. Edmunds, Sixty Sermons, p. 205; H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2178. Deuteronomy 6:20-25.—Parker, vol. iv., p. 145.
Deuteronomy 6:24I. Let us examine the popular idea as to the excessive severity and formality of this law. To a transgressor who had not in him the living principle of obedience it was, no doubt, fearfully formal and stern. So is our statute-book to a felon, while on you and me it sits lightly as the air. Judaism was given from Sinai to that people for that people's good. It was God's best gift to them as they stood there before the mountain. Its relation to the future was their relation to the future; in training, educating, and developing them, it was making a future possible to their nation and to the world.
II. Notice that the very heart's core of a dispensation of law is duty, and duty is the master-key to life. Law is the buttress of right; its object is to fortify the dutiful soul. The real object of law is to help men to do right, and thus most effectually restrain from wrong; unless there be a sentiment of duty latent which the law can appeal to and elicit, it is heartless and hopeless work.
III. The receiving of a law was the first step of the people in a new and glorious career of personal and national development, which, though they have missed the crown, has left them the most notable, powerful, and capable race in the world. In other words, it opened a noble man's career to them; it will open the same to you.
IV. But, however we may magnify it, and however justly, the law is not a gospel, and can in no wise supply the place of a gospel to the world. The dispensation of law in our individual histories is but a "schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." The Gospel is the instrument of the reconciliation which the law declares to be needful, but cannot secure.
J. Baldwin Brown, The Soul's Exodus and Pilgrimage, p. 202.
References: Deuteronomy 6:24.—A. W. Hare, Sermons to a Country Congregation, vol. ii., p. 367. Deuteronomy 7:2-4.—T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. vi., p. 24. Deuteronomy 7:6.—J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Easter to Ascension Day, p. 192. Deuteronomy 7:8.—Parker, vol. v., p. 6. Deuteronomy 7:9.—Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxi., p. 165; Parker, vol. v., p. 7 Deuteronomy 7:9, Deuteronomy 7:10.—R. D. B. Rawnsley, Village Sermons, 2nd series, p. 21. Deuteronomy 7:12, Deuteronomy 7:13.—J. Keble, Sermons for the Christian Year: Easter to Ascension Day, p. 375. Deuteronomy 7:20.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xii., p. 673.
That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,
And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;
(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.
And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers,
To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.
And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?
Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand:
And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:
And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.
And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.