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The Shema

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 International Standard Version (ISV)

4 “Listen, Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a]5 You are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 Let these words that I’m commanding you today be always[b] on your heart. 7 Teach them repeatedly to your children. Talk about them while sitting in your house or walking on the road, and as you lie down or get up. 8 Tie them as reminders[c] on your forearm, bind them on your forehead,[d] 9 and write them on the door frames of your house and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 11. 13-21 International Standard Version (ISV)

13 “If you carefully observe the commands that I’m giving you today—that is, to love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul— 14 then he[a] will send rain on the land in its season (the early and latter rains)[b]and you’ll gather grain, new wine, and oil. 15 He[c] will provide grass in the fields for your livestock, and you’ll eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful! Otherwise, your hearts will deceive you and you will turn away to serve other gods and worship them. 17 The wrath of God will burn against you so that he will restrain the heavens and it won’t rain. The ground won’t yield its produce and you’ll be swiftly destroyed from the good land that the Lord is about to give you. 18 Take these commands to heart and keep them in mind, tying them as reminders on your arm and as bands on your forehead. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them while sitting in your house, walking on the road, or when you are about to lie down or get up.20 Also write them upon the doorposts of your house and gates,[d] 21 so that you and your children may live a long time in the land that the Lord promised to give your ancestors—as long as the sky remains above the earth.”

Numbers 15:37-41 International Standard Version (ISV)

37 Later, the Lord instructed Moses, 38 “Tell the Israelis that they are to make tassels at the edges of their garments throughout their generations and that they are to put a violet cord on the tassels at the edges of their garments. 39 That way, when you see the tassel, you’ll remember all the commands of the Lord and you’ll observe them. Then you won’t seek your own interests and desires[a] that lead you to be unfaithful. 40 Therefore, remember to observe all my commands and to be holy in the presence of your God. 41 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God. I am the Lord your God.”

Together with some other passages what you read in the above is perhaps, one of the oldest Creeds or Confessions of faith that we have in the bible, which gives us some background to the historical discernment used in formulating the Westminster Confession of faith. That the Westminster Confession of faith never came about by accident nor was it derived from speculative impasse. Where the Westminster Divines as they are known followed a correct and obedient model in accordance with scripture.

As Professor Drivers notes in his commentaries “the ‘Shema’ which is the above, (Duet 6, 4. the word ‘listen’) expresses the fundamental truth of Israel’s religion, the uniqueness and unity of God”. The Shema is a credo, along with the other passages is a confession of faith which was established more than 1500 years before Christ.

Its sole obligation was to make sure that Israel followed the decrees of Yahweh (God) rather than the more secular views which had been established within Israel at the time, many religious and non-religious practices left over from the 400 years had in captivity. Also the country in which they were inhabiting, and roaming was riddled with many religious practices. The Shema was a decree that was meant to impressed itself upon the mind of the Israelite where pious Jews and Levi, took the words of verse 6. 8,9 so literally that they wore a thing called a ‘tephilin’ on their foreheads and had the words inscribed on their doorposts in the form of a ‘mezuzah’, a glass, wood or metal cylinder containing the first two passage of the Shema.

So it is one of the most basic statements to be found in the Old Testament, and highlights one of the oldest biblical practices in its entire history. Thus, it was their for a reason, to prevent those and future generations stepping away from the mark, and following their own beliefs, and creating their own inept religion.

Therefore, it is hoped that if you have been following my blog so far I have been trying to steer a course towards the fundamental principles lodged within the Westminster Confession of faith and how important it is for us to have our beliefs summarized forth right so that we do not stray from our biblical teachings. Where the question is today, 'have we strayed from these basic fundamental truths in favor of a more seemingly pleasant belief (s) system that invites tolerance of all things no matter what, good or bad?

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