Lesson One: God gave us His word to be used

By Barry McWilliams
Bible Story "The Children Who Wore God's Word"
Bible Text: Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 25-25

Theme: God has given His Word to me. God has given His word to be used constantly in directing and shaping our daily lives. Because it is God's Word it is especially important that we give it a lot of attention. (The emphasis is on why God has given His Word, rather than on how he has given it. In the previous chapter of Deuteronomy, God's Commandments are given; they show how we should live.)

God's Word teaches us how to love God. We must know all about God as a person if we are to love Him. We learn about Him and what He is like as a person from His Word - both from the things He has done and from what He has said. The Bible is "His-story".

Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 25-25

The sum of the commandments is to love God completely (6:5) - how do we do this? By keeping His commandments (1 John 5:3). To keep them, we must know them and how to apply them to our daily situations.

We might tend to emphasize being taught the word at Church or Sunday School, but God desires us to make it a part of everything we do. So when He gave His Word to Moses on the Mountain He told him to establish a silly custom: wearing God's Word.

Is this just a ancient Jewish custom: wearing God's word. Perhaps, but we wear all sorts of "words" on our tee-shirts.The "funny" places they were to wear it or put it indicate God's real purpose - to make the Word a part of all our daily living. This is a reminder that God's word, like a string tied around the finger, is to have our constant attention.

Hence it was to be worn on the forehead. (vs 8) [Literally "between the eyes"] Wearing something there would have three implications:

  1. It would be a constant reminder to us of God's commandments and our responsibility to Him. The things we think about and the decisions we make must draw upon the Word.
  2. It's proximity to the eyes and mind represent the importance of reading, thinking and meditating about the Word constantly.
  3. Such a placement upon the face would also be visible to others. People should see our relationship with God displayed in our countenance.

And it was to be worn on the hands. Just as the forehead represents the significance of the Word in our thinking, the hands represents the importance of its guidance of our actions. Everything we undertake to do is to be in obedience to God. And the things we do are to be for Him, to bring about His purposes. Before we use our hands, we consider what God desires.

(Note on Jewish Phylacteries: Whether God intended this command to be taken literally or not, in Jewish history such was the case. "The phylactery came into use as a small container enclosing a parchment on which a number of biblical verses were written. The texts varied quite often Exo 13:1-10, 11-16; Deut 6: 4-9; 11:13-21; or the 10 Commandments.")

It was to be nailed to the door posts and gates. Reminding us every time we go somewhere that God expect us to honor Him. And visible symbols to others that God is the Lord of the house.

(Again this has been taken literally. The Mezuzah was a small box containing a parchment usually inscribed with Hebrew and often a star of David fastened to the door frame.)

An application for the children would be the value of Christian plaques and decorations in their home using verses from the Bible. For the children, a good crafts project might be the making of such a plaque for their bedroom with a significant verse. Younger children might make "headbands" or "armbands" with simple verses that they can wear home. Stress that these have no value if we don't pay attention to them, or if we forget they are there.

Does God really want us to do these silly things? He wants us to have His word in our hearts to guide us in everything. (Vs. 6). It is not enough to have the Word on our foreheads and hands and doorways, he wants it written in the heart. (This is why we do Bible memory work.)

We are to hear and be careful to obey - be obedient listeners.

And we are to do this all the time. We are to talk about them all the time - sitting at home, walking along the road, going to bed, getting up in the morning. Point out to the children that God doesn't mention Sunday School and Church here, God refers here to all our daily activities from the time we get up, to the time we go to bed.

Most importantly, the Word is able to make us wise unto salvation: it shows us our sin and need of a savior, it reveals Jesus Christ to us both in His person ("God with us") and His saving work on the cross, and it calls us to faith in Him.

Where are we supposed to "wear" the Word of God and why? Draw a "picture"

What are some ways children can "wear" God's commandments?

Two other passages :
Psalm 119: 8 - 16 and 2 Tim 3: 15 - 17.

The entire Psalm 119 (longest chapter in the Bible) is an acrostic using the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. Nearly every verse in the chapter refers to the Word of God using various terms such as Precepts, Commands, Testimonies, Ways, etc. Thinking about Deut 6, read through Psalm 119:8-16 and notice the purposes God has for His Word and the ways we are to use it.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 teaches us three things about God's purpose for the Word. Timothy had learned it from the time he was a infant. The Word is able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ. It is profitable for us - teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Thus the Word is the means by which God sanctifies us. And finally, the Word makes us complete, fully equipped for serving God and doing good works.

© 1991 Barry McWilliams and Mission Church Fellowship, Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
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