Words in the Heart
Deuteronomy 6:6-9
And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart:…

1. The style of the Book of Deuteronomy is unlike that of the preceding books of the Pentateuch, and this may be accounted for by the fact that the contents are very different. The language of Deuteronomy is in the main hortatory.

2. The lawgiver is seen in this book to be full of zeal for God, and of earnest desire for the well-being of the people. His exhortations to obedience have been truly said to be "deeply fraught with holy and patriotic feeling."

3. There is something of a valedictory tone throughout these pages. The forty years' wanderings are almost concluded, and the death of Moses is near at hand. Moses, giving injunctions to Israel before his departure, is typical to the final commands of Jesus Christ before His Ascension.


1. What words? The commandments of God, as summed up in the verses which precede the text. Having first asserted the truth that "God is a Spirit," for the people were reminded, when the Lord spake unto them out of the midst of the fire, that they "heard a voice, but saw no similitude" (Deuteronomy 4:12); so now, the Unity of the Godhead is clearly revealed: "The Lord our God is one Lord." Further, Moses drew from the doctrine of the Divine Unity that God must be the sole Object of Israel's love and obedience — of a devotion which claimed "all" the heart and soul and might for its rightful exercise.

2. These words were to be in their heart, or "upon" their heart, as something written and engraven upon the memory. This faculty was to be the treasure house of the Law of God. Constantly in Holy Scripture exhortations and institutions had for their object the prevention of forgetfulness of the Divine Law and Divine mercies: "My son, forget not My Law," (Proverbs 3:1). The Sabbath was a reminder of Creation; the Passover, of the deliverance from Egypt; and twelve stones were set up for a memorial of the passing over Jordan. To remember the presence of God and the commandments of God and His goodness was a stringent duty, for these were to form the guide of life and the stimulus of devotion.

3. To forget God was a sin in itself. "Beware lest thou forget the Lord," the prophet continues, especially in days of affluence and prosperity in Canaan. It was Moses' reproach — almost his dying reproach: "Of the Rock that begat thee, thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee" (Deuteronomy 32:18). And forgetfulness of God leads to all sin.


1. There never was a time when this Divine command needed more to be accentuated than at present. Secular education is only partial education; it omits to train the moral and spiritual, the higher elements of our being. It has been wisely said by a French statesman, "Strong, definite, religious convictions constitute the real strength of any country." He might have added, "of any soul."

2. Religious instruction of the young is necessary, because God commanded it. That is a clear and definite ground to go upon, for all who believe the Scriptures. Further, it stands to reason that if religion is to be our guide in the midst of a sinful world, we want that guide for all ages. Childhood as well as maturity belongs to God, and must be sanctified by God. The image of the Child Christ, with the words, "Hear ye Him," placed by Dean Colet over the master's chair in St. Paul's Grammar School, was his way of showing the importance of religious education, and of teaching children that they should follow Christ and be made like unto Him, if they would become true men and women.

3. Moreover, youth is the time when powers are fresh, and the truths which God has revealed can be best taken in and assimilated. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth" (Ecclesiastes 12:1). It is the time for acquiring deep convictions and of forming habits (Proverbs 22:6).

4. Youth is an age when we are more liable to be led astray by passion and the first taste of the world; and therefore the restraining and blessed influences of religion are the more necessary.


1. To strive to remember the Divine commands and the presence of God.

2. "In the heart." Not merely an intellectual action, as "learning by heart," though this is important; but by loving obedience to God, and devotion to Him.

3. To teach religion to thy children. A ground for forcing the importance of religious instruction in our schools, and that definite. The text says, "these words."

4. But further, a lesson for parents, upon whom the task devolves, that in the home, as well as at the school, the children should be instructed in the truths of Christianity, as the most momentous of parental duties.

(Canon Hutchings, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

WEB: These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart;

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