Jesus quoted from this passage (Mark 12:29,30), so we need to be familiar with its contents.
Multi-generational service to the Lord – The appeal was for the Israelites to fear God and keep His commandments. This message was for “you and your son and your grandson” (6:2). While it is true that our offspring will have to make their own spiritual choices, our goal ought to be to serve as a positive influence on our family for several generations.
“That it may be well with you” – For Israel’s own good, what did it need to do in order have a great life? “Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it . . . And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you” (6:3,18). Whether you and I consider our own individual lives, our family, our congregation, or our nation, the need is still the same: our number one concern must be to do what is right in God’s sight.
Love the Lord – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your souls, and with all your strength” (6:5). Nothing, that is n-o-t- h-i-n-g, is more important than this. Jesus said so (Mark 12:28-30). Maintaining a heart that adores, reveres, and submits to the Creator’s will is life’s major undertaking and challenge.
What parents should do with God’s word – First, Moses told the Israelites, God’s words “shall be in your heart” (6:6). Next, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them . . .” (6:7). Talk, talk, talk about God and His word. Third, make God’s word visible, out in clear view for your kids to see often; write it on stuff (6:8,9). Surround your kids with a home environment in which God’s instructions are seen, heard, and practiced. Sounds like a wise plan today, does it not?
Do not forget the Lord – This is a recurring theme in the book of Deuteronomy. God promised to bring His people into the promised land and give them great material blessings there (6:10,11). When that occurred, they would need to be on guard: “Then beware, lest you forget the LORD . . .” (6:12). When people “have it made,” they tend to forget God along the way. None of us is exempt from such a temptation.
Not all oaths were wrong – Were you aware that God charged the Israelites to take oaths? He did. Hear this: “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name” (6:13).
Israel’s righteousness – “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us” (6:25).
— Roger D. Campbell