Pay Attention to the Doorposts
Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad. Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
Next time you enter a Jewish person’s home or business pay attention to the doorway. You will likely see a small, decorative ornament called a mezuzah. Inside of that mezuzah is a small scroll of paper with what is referred to as the Shema (sh-MAH) – the Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:5-9, which begins with the Hebrew word Sh’ma.
The mezuzah serves as a physical reminder for Jewish people – every time they enter or leave their dwelling or business – that the Lord deserves all of my heart, soul, and might, and that his Word should be central to my walk and talk.
Often, people pause and touch the mezuzah as they pass by, reflecting on these powerful truths. The entire portion of Scripture reads:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”Deuteronomy 6:5-9 ESV
I love the beauty and imagery of the mezuzah and the Shema, the principles and practices of which ought to be considered and applied in the lives, homes, and businesses of believers. However, we must not think that the “point” of this Scripture is to go out and purchase a mezuzah and affix it to our doorways. Although there is nothing wrong with that, God’s word should compel us to respond more deeply than merely adopting a Jewish tradition.
What is the point of this Scripture?
- Love God. Love Him with everything you are and all that you have. Love Him with your heart (the deepest part of you), love Him by meditating on Him in your thoughts, love Him by your actions and with your energy and efforts. Love Him first of all and most of all.
- Build your life on God’s Word. Read it, memorize it, mediatate on it, teach it to your children, talk about it, listen to it, sing it, shout it, write it, display it …but most of all, hear it and obey it. God’s word is the bread of life – the essence of what sustains life itself. Man shall not live by (physical) bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Deut. 8:3, Matt. 4:4)
Our relationship with God is really the point. And God’s Word is like that mezuzah – a daily reminder of God’s faithfulness and our privilege to know Him as sons and daughters.
Our relationship with the Father through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus is made alive in us every day by the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. This relationship is central to our “going out” and “coming in”, and is not merely to be considered and practiced on Sundays at church. Everywhere I go, He is already there. He never leaves me.
May each doorpost you encounter today be a reminder to you that God loves you and His Word sustains you.