Train Up A Child
Return To Index

Standard; De 6:1 "Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,
 2 "that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.
 3 "Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you-'a land flowing with milk and honey.'
 4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!
 5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
 6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
 8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
 9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
 (NKJV)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Deuteronomy. It's one of my favorite books of the Bible and if we ever have a couple of years to spare, I would love to preach through this book one verse at a time!  It's the fifth Book of the Bible, the final book of what is called the Pentateuch or the Torah.

Deuteronomy literally means “second law giving.” And it contains the addresses of Moses to the people in the final months of his life. It was given to the people as they camped on the plains of Moab poised to finally enter the Promised Land.

This was a generation that had not experienced the parting of the Red Sea or the first giving of the Law on Mt Sinai and they needed to be reminded of God's deliverance and His Law, less they give in to the temptations of a settled and secure existence.


In one sense, this is a good book for “new Christians” because as they enter into a new lifestyle of following Jesus , they will be faced with the spiritual warfare (there are giants in the land) that comes with this new life in Christ. There will be new and strong temptations and things to resist which they never had to resist before.

Luther said this about the Book of Deuteronomy: “ This Book contains nothing else than faith toward God  and love toward one's neighbor, for all God's laws come to that.  Moses guards against everything that might destroy faith in God, and he guards against everything that hinders love.”  Hmmmm come to think of it, this might be a good book for old Christians as well.

As we pick it up in chapter 6, Moses had just reiterated the ten commandments and so we read:

 De 6:1 "Now this (what has just been delivered to the people) is the commandment, (the ten commandments are the commandment, the decalogue if you will. The ten in one, the reason that James can say if we are guilty on one point we are guilty of all because they are a unit.  Jas 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.)

and these (what are about to be delivered to the people)  are the statutes (the laws) and judgments (the blessings and cursings attached to the statutes for obedience or disobedience.)  which the LORD your God has commanded (me, Moses) to teach you, that you may observe (do) them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,

Why?

 2 "that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.  3 "Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you-'a land flowing with milk and honey.'

So having these laws will promote a healthy fear of the Lord. And a healthy fear of the Lord will ensure longevity of freedom. These are the rules of the road for the promised land. Before you got your drivers license you had to pass a written test that dealt with the rules of the road.
Those rules were designed for your safety, and if you and everyone else would abide by them our roads would be a much safer place to travel....life would be generally prolonged.

We are told of the penalties for violating the rules of the road. There are loss of points, revocation of license, fines, and even jail time associated with breaking the rules. Armed with this knowledge we develop a holy fear of police cars don't we?

Why? Because we know if we violate the rules of the road they have the right to pull us over and give us a ticket. What kind of thoughts go through your mind when a police car pulls up behind you and follows you through town? Or when you see an officer parked on a street with radar gun in hand? Usually the first thing you do is check your speedometer!  Then your mind goes to other violations you may be occurring.

You do this because you are aware of the “judgments” of the law. This causes you to have a healthy fear of police officers. That's why Moses was told to not only teach the laws of the road, but also to include the judgments, so people would fear the Lord their God and obey His rules of the road.

Now, police officers are also a tremendous blessing to us as well, as they provide protection of our lives and property, and so it is with God. And as you read through the Book of Deuteronomy you will find it a rich source of promised blessing for those who follow the rules of His road.

The number one rule for His road is what the Jews call the Shema which means “hear.” And verses 4 through 9 are literally written on a piece of paper, along with Dt 11:13-21  and placed in what is called a mezuzah on the doorposts of their houses. They do this in keeping with the letter of the Law.

 4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)
 5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, (all sincerity) with all your soul, (without reservations,) and with all your strength. (engaging all your faculties to their full capacity)

 6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. (You need to put them in your heart. How do you put them there? God puts them there, but you keep them there through exposure to the words and memorization. We really don't do a good job of this in the church or in our families today.
People just don't memorize scripture anymore. Confirmation classes have been reduced to DVD's, class discussion, filling in the blank homework, and you are confirmed when you write out your personal testimony.  There is no memorization of the Law, no mention of the judgments, and therefore no fear of the Lord.

And no help at all when temptation comes along: The psalmist says:

 Ps 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
 (NKJV)

 Ps 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart."
 (NKJV)

But it shouldn't start with confirmation. Confirmation should really just be a review of what the parents have already poured into their child.

Prov 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. God's commands are the trellis we must use to train our children.  Is it a guarantee that your child will not be a rebel? No! Look at any trellis and you'll always see some vines that have their own ideas about where they want to go.

Hey, I have an idea, because one or two vines are wayward, let's throw out the whole trellis and let all of the vines lay on the ground!  The best thing parents can give their children is the trellis of God's Law and lives that mirror it.

7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
 8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
 9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

(the word diligently means to teach by frequent repetition or admonition. That speaks of memorization and all manner of encouragement to our children to obey the commands. Sometimes that means applying the board of education when they disobey.
If God grants a couple the gift of children, He has given them to you for one purpose...to raise godly offspring. (Mal 2:15)  

Now this memorization doesn't just apply to children, it's for adults as well

And guess what? As you faithfully work with teaching your children memorization, the word starts to surface again in your own heart, and the cycle of God-fearing people continues from generation to generation.

Little visits with God is a fine family devotion, but don't let it replace the catechism at your family altar. This memory work may not produce immediate results, but as you engage your household in it, you give your children the best chance of succeeding  

Of course not everyone will be happy with a program of memorization at the family alter, there will be attacks of the enemy, he will do all he can to interrupt you, distract you, get you committed to other things, because the last thing he wants to see is children that have a healthy fear of the Lord because the fear of the Lord .....

 Ps 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
 (NKJV)
 Pr 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
 (NKJV)

You better believe the enemy does not want you cultivating the fear of the Lord in your children!

Do you talk about the Word of God in your house? Do you share with other family members the things that God is teaching you in His word? What are you listening to on the radio? On you ipod? Do you talk about what God is teaching you when you are on the way with a friend? Do you share with excitement those things that God is revealing to you?

How are you digesting the Word of God?  Do you wolf it down like a fast food hamburger or chew it like a delicious steak.
Too often we take our daily devotions and read them like the fine print on a credit card contract. Slow down! Buy a highlighter and mark those things that jump off the page at you.  Do you find a word that you don't know the meaning to? Don't be so lazy....stop and look it up!

Invest in some Bible Study tools, Buy a concordance, it will give you the location of every word in the Bible and the Greek and Hebrew meaning of the word.  Get a Bible dictionary, a commentary or two. Use the cross references, Use a computer program, there are some outstanding Bible software programs out there. I have all I need on one disc and it only cost me two dollars!

Buy a 10 cent spiral notebook and start journaling. Writing down your God thoughts and keeping track of your answered prayers. Verbalize these truths with others. It will firm up what you have learned and bless them as well. You never know when you will have a word for someone at just the right time. .  

Lest you forget why we do this look back again at v2, “That you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son, and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

But you say, I can't keep all His commands and statutes. This is true, but you can treasure them and that's what the word “keep” means. And if you treasure a command, you are more likely to keep it. But what about the times you fail?

Let me tell you more about the structure of the Book of Deuteronomy. It reflects what was known as the suzerain/vassal  treaties that were common to the culture of biblical times.  The suzerain/vassal covenant was a conditional covenant that regulated  the relationship between a great king, (in this case God) and one of his subject kings (the Israelites, you, and me)  

The great King claimed absolute sovereignty, and demanded total loyalty and service. (The vassal in turn must love his suzerain) The great king then pledged protection of the subjects realm and dynasty, conditional on the vassals faithfulness and loyalty to him.

The vassal pledged absolute loyalty to his suzerain no matter what his suzerain demanded, and the vassal pledged exclusive reliance on the suzerain's protection.

Participants referred to each other as lord or father and servant. This covenant remained in effect as long as the suzerain ruled. Guess what? The suzerain of the Deuteronomy covenant  is still ruling!

Jesus said in  Mt 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
 (NKJV)

Not one jot, not one tittle....the fine print of this contract is still in effect. That would mean the vassals (you and I) are in big trouble. The stipulations of this contract are too much for us, there is no way we can hold up our end of the bargain.

This was demonstrated time after time by the Israelites. That's where Jesus comes in.

He became the the vassal of the suzerain/vassal covenant. When He walked this earth He spoke continually of the sovereignty of His Father. He gave the Father King total loyalty. He did whatever the Father (the suzerain) demanded even going to the cross to pay for our sins. (those things in the covenant that we fail to do)  

Our only hope then to satisfy the demands  of the suzerain/vassal everlasting covenant  is to surrender our lives to Jesus  Christ. It is only in Him that our end of the bargain can be upheld. Only in Christ do we enter into the everlasting covenant with the Father! Only in Christ do we escape the attached judgments of the covenant.

Christ the vassal, Christ our King, Bow your heart to Him today. Receive Him as both your Savior and your Lord, your suzerain. Give your realm to Him. Let Him be your provider and protector from this day forth.