I want to share with you one of my very favorite words in the whole Bible.  Yeshua (Jesus) quotes Deuteronomy 6:5 when He answers the Pharisees question of which is the greatest commandment.  And, if you back up just 1 verse before, you’ll read this word: “shema.” Which leads perfectly into the greatest commandment of all (click the link above and read this passage in Matthew 22).  Read Deuteronomy 6:4-5 with me below:

Shema, O Israel, Yehovah our God, Yehovah is one. You shall love Yehovah your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

Most English Bibles will say, “Hear O Israel” or “Listen O Israel.”  But, when you study the depth of meaning of this word in Hebrew, the original language that Moses penned the book of Deuteronomy in, you’ll notice it’s a whole lot richer than just “hear” or “listen.”  There are some HUGE implications of obedience embedded into the meaning of this word, “Shema,” which makes it very difficult for any English word to truly do it justice.  If you have 3 minutes and 25 seconds the video below from Bible Project does a stellar job of teaching what “Shema” really means.  But, in short, “Shema” means that you are not listening if you are not obeying; conversely, if you are listening, then you are taking action on what you heard.  Any parent knows this reality all too well!  If your child is truly hearing to you, they’ll actually act in accordance with what is being said. So, why would Yehovah tell Moses to write down the word, “Shema,” just before He gave him the greatest commandment?  Because He means for us to hear Him and to obey Him.  The book of Deuteronomy is a beautiful overview of God’s ways, His commandments, which are very, very different from the world’s.  I think it would do us really well to take these things to heart…to listen and to obey God rather than ignore and disobey Him.  May we begin to Shema our Creator who loved us so much that He sent His One & only Son…

Blue Letter Bible is my favorite app/website to look up the meanings of original words in the Bible, click here to see the Hebrew word “Shema” and it’s usage in the Scriptures: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H8085&t=KJV