Deuteronomy 6:2
so that you and your children and grandchildren may fear the LORD your God all the days of your lives by keeping all His statutes and commandments that I give you, and so that your days may be prolonged.
Descending ObligationsJ. Orr Deuteronomy 6:2
Obedience the End of LawD. Davies Deuteronomy 6:1-3
The Essence of the Decalogue is LoveR.M. Edgar Deuteronomy 6:1-5

I. CHILDREN WITH THEIR PARENTS ARE INCLUDED IN THE COVENANT. This has been a general principle in God's dealings with his servants. We have it affirmed, both in the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 17:7-15) and in the later covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 29:10-12). It was signified in the rite of circumcision. The Israelitish child was regarded as within the covenant, a genuine member of the theocracy, till by a personal act of apostasy - if unfortunately it should be so - he severed himself from its blessings. Similar language is used of the children of Christian believers (Acts 2:39; 1 Corinthians 8:14). Received into the Church by baptism, they are recognized with their parents as interested in the promise; they are expected, on coming to years of discretion, freely to appropriate the obligations of the Christian life; and they are, in case of refusal, justly regarded as apostates from Christ.


1. Religious instruction (vers. 6, 7, 20; Exodus 13:8, 14, etc.). The children had not been personally at Horeb. They had not seen the mighty works of God in Egypt and the desert. It was the duty cf. parents to acquaint them with the history, and to instruct them in their duties.

2. Religious training, which is education in act, as instruction is education in word (Genesis 18:19; Deuteronomy 21:18; Proverbs 29:15, etc.).

3. Religious example. The parent is to be one who loves the Lord for himself (ver. 5). The Word is to be in his own heart (ver. 6). Only thus will he teach with effect. All this has its counterpart in the duties of Christian parents (Ephesians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:4; 2 Timothy 3:15, etc.).

III. THE STANDING OF CHILDREN IN THE COVENANT ENTAILS SERIOUS OBLIGATIONS ON THE CHILDREN. Where parental duties had been fulfilled, the Israelitish child was under the most sacred obligations to choose and adhere to the God of his fathers, and to serve him in the way prescribed. There was in this no interference with freedom, for when God proposes covenant relations to a human being, while it is his privilege, it can never be aught else than his duty to accept them. In the Christian Church, a like obligation rests on the children of believers. The baptized child is bound to serve God, and, if properly instructed (Matthew 28:19), it cannot evade the responsibilities thus laid upon it. Great is the guilt of a child brought up in a Christian home if wantonly it apostatizes. - J.O.

Fear the Lord thy God, and serve Him.
Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.

1. Hear the Word of the Lord. This message is neglected or abused —(1) By those who seldom or never attend a place of public worship: let such consider how they will be able to account for their negligence (Hebrews 2:1-3).(2) By those who visit places of worship, but who sleep when they should hear (Revelation 3:14-19).(3) By those who are usually engaged in worldly contemplations while under the sound of the Word (Amos 8:5). Hence the charge is —

2. Observe the Word of the Lord. Observe —(1) The doctrinal truths taught — respecting God's claim on us; and God has claims on us as our Creator, Preserver, Benefactor, etc. — respecting our obligation to obedience, from gratitude, fear, hope, etc.(2) The preceptive part of what is taught — concerning both outward and reward obedience, and the discrepancy between our conduct and spirit and the extensive requirements of the holy law (Mark 12:30, 31).(3). The promissory and encouraging part of what is taught — respecting the freeness and plenitude of Divine grace, to pity and pardon our transgressions (Isaiah 1:18); to purify our hearts (Ezekiel 36:25-27); and to help our infirmities (Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 4:14-16). The observance required is, however, principally in reference to practice.

3. Obey the Word of the Lord. "Observe to do it." This refers to what in ver. 1, Moses called "the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord your God commanded."

II. IMPORTANT BENEFITS PROPOSED. As a stimulus to the Israelites to devote themselves to the service of Jehovah, Moses proposes —

1. Their safety; their well-being — "that it may be well with thee." By way of contrast, look at Deuteronomy 4:23-26; Deuteronomy 27:26; Deuteronomy 28:16-20. Disobedience always exposes to danger, to destruction. But "say ye to the righteous" - the obedient believer - "it shall be well with him. He shall be well instructed" (Psalm 25:9; 1 John 2:20); well defended (Deuteronomy 32:9-11); well provided (Psalm 34:10; Philippians 4:19). It shall be well with such, not only through life, but also at death (Psalm 116:15); at judgment (Matthew 25:34; 2 Thessalonians 1:10); and forever (Psalm 16:11). But we must return to observe that Moses proposes —

2. Their prosperity — "that ye may increase mightily." This may have respect —(1) To an increase of wealth — "houses full of all good things, etc. (ver. 11). Or —(2) To an increase of numbers (Deuteronomy 7:13). In the former case they would have an increase of their means of enjoyment; in the latter they would more "mightily" resist and overcome their enemies (Deuteronomy 7:24); and in both they might with less difficulty and greater cheerfulness attend on the services of the Most High. We, as Christians, may expect prosperity of a higher order.

1. Individually, we may be blessed with a sense of pardoning love, and fellowship with God through His Son (1 John 1:3); may be enriched with the fruits of the Divine Spirit, "love, joy, peace," etc. (Galatians 5:22, 23); strengthened with "might in the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16); and continue to "grow in grace," etc. (2 Peter 3:18). Hence we shall be enabled to bear temptation more easily; and in our conflict with Satan and his servants, our having prospered "mightily" will appear in our effectual resistance and our final triumph. And hence —

2. While the members of churches adorn their profession, we may hope that the churches collectively will receive an accession of members who, won by our Christian deportment, shall glorify God on our behalf.

(Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)


1. To dedicate ourselves wholly to Him.

(1)Our souls, understandings, wills, affections.

(2)Our bodies.

(3)Our estates.

(4)Our gifts.

(5)Our authority.

(6)Our time.

2. To make His laws the rule of our lives.

3. To endeavour to please Him in all things.

II. WHY SERVE GOD? He is our Maker, Preserver, Redeemer, etc,


1. Spiritually.

2. Obediently.

3. Willingly.

4. Cheerfully.

5. Faithfully.

6. Humbly.

7. Thankfully.

(W. Stevens.)

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