These Words (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

I don’t know if the phrase “on my heart” exists outside Christian circles, because that is the only place I recall ever hearing it. However, believers speak of something being “on their hearts” fairly regularly. The way it is used in Christian circles, the phrase translates loosely to “been on mind my mind to the point where every spare thought turns to this thing.” If we were to sing to this thing that is “on our heart”, the song we would sing is “I just can’t get you out of my head….”

For my part, there are very few things that can hold my attention that way. But God wants His Word to be the thing that I let my mind obsess over. See, when something is “on my heart”, I will automatically talk about it when I sit in my house and when I walk around and when I go to bed and when I wake up. I’ll talk about it at work and during lunch break. I’ll talk to anyone I think might be even remotely interested in it.  That is how God wants me to approach His Word. Talking about it frequently. So absorbed by it that my mind automatically turns there in free moments and when someone has a question or concern. As one once put it, I should be so absorbed by the scriptures that when I’m cut I bleed Bible.

Lest I think that this encouragement to be absorbed in The Bible is purely a command to Israel, the Berean church, in Acts, was commended for searching the scriptures to verify Paul’s preaching. All of the preaching of the apostles goes back to the scriptures. The NT is replete with encouragement and enjoinder to read The Bible and know it intimately.

There is a warning, though. Jesus rebuked the religious folks who focused on the scripture to the exclusion of going and living it out. God is not commanding Israel, or me, to sit by and chit-chat about the scriptures, God is telling me that they should be part and parcel of my daily life. When I sit down to meals or to watch a TV show or movie; when I go for a walk with my wife and daughter; when I’m mulling things over at the end of the day and trying to make sense of what happened and plan for what is coming I should be considering The Bible and acting in accord with what the scriptures say.

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