4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 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. 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.”
They were to love him with all their might. In the outward expressions of the passions and decisions of the heart and soul, in the places where men’s thoughts turned to action and resolve turned to progress, they were to love him.
In their creativity and in their learning, in their working and in their resting, in their building up and in their tearing down, they were to love him. They were to love him as whole people, in all their weakness and in all their strength. On their loneliest nights, and at the tables of their most abundant feasts, they were to love him.
This was the heart of Israel’s religion: love. Only divine love made sense of the world. This love went beyond a mere feeling. This love was doctrine. Israel’s story was a story of being kept, and the only reasonable response was to love the Keeper.
Nevertheless, though their lives were a ruin of their own making, God swore a covenant oath to redeem them.
The story ends with the maker and lover of the souls of men drawing his people to himself—purchasing their redemption through the lifeblood of his own Son. God did not spare his Son but gave him for us all. And if this is true, how will he not also, through his son, graciously give us all things?
Excerpt from Behold the Lamb of God by Russ Ramsey (Pg 8,9,11)