The great command of both the Old Testament and the New Testament is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul”. It is found in the verse preceding today’s passage (Deuteronomy 6:4).
As verses 5-9 show, this is not an abstract, theoretical command. It is a practical order.
The truth is we cannot love the Lord with our entire heart, mind, and soul… only on Sunday mornings. Or when people are watching. Or when it is convenient. Or, even, when we understand why, it feels easy, and we like doing it.
These are not compartmentalized commands.
The love of God is not meant for the back burner. It is a complicated and difficult endeavor. There will be times we are frustrated by the life God asks of us, times when we do not understand what He is doing. Times when we just flat out don’t want to. Times when we are distracted by the false promises of the flesh or the superficial joys of today’s circumstances.
In short, we too often turn to these commands situationally. Only when we want something or need help. But the commands of the Lord are not short term prescriptions. They are a way a life.
As such, we are told in these verses to think about these things. Talk about them. Let them swim in our heads as we lay our heads down to rest and as we blink in a new day. To be adorned in them. Mark our houses with them. Be so identified by them that the commands of the Lord are inseparable from our daily, practical being.
When we sit. When we rise. When we go. When we stay. The Lord is always the Lord. And His ways are always best for us.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
– Deuteronomy 6:5-9