Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Thursday, December 5, 2013

People under One God! The importance of the Shema for Christians

To hear the SHEMA sung go to click the link

Hello everyone, first I would like to apologize for my absence as New Kingdom Church endeavor's to read the Bible in 90 days the blog will become more theme centered instead of being purely devotional centered and therefore will not post daily again until after Christmas.  With that being said, starting now you can leave questions that you may have as well as a topic that you would like explained in upcoming blog post. All inquiries will be read and they will be picked at random for a response.

Today's topic is the Hebrew Scripture, or also known as the (Old Testament). We will look at the Torah and the Pentateuch, and yet still more closely the Shema. This is important especially for Christians because Christianity was birthed out of the Judaism faith and Hebrew people. (REMEMBER Jesus was not a Christian, indeed he was a Hebrew.)

Here we go on our Hebrew crash course:
* The Hebrew scripture is referred to as the Tanakh, an acronym of the first Hebrew letter of each of the Masoretic text's three traditional subdivisions. 

* The Torah  or Pentateuch refers to the first five books of the Hebrew scripture(Genesis - Deuteronomy).The word Pentateuch means five books. In Hebrew the Torah, means the instruction  and or the law.the law. Some also refer to the Pentateuch as the five books of Moses, because Moses is the main receiver of the word from God in the Torah.

* Genesis covers (the Creation, Sin, the Establishment of God's people).
   Exodus covers (Bondage, the Law and Deliverance).    
   Leviticus covers(the Priestly laws and all things that must be done in order to enable the  
   people to remain in the presence of God).
   Numbers covers (primarily numbering the military and counting the nations among tribes    
   in order to delegate work areas)
   Deuteronomy covers ( known as the second law, and covers three speeches of Moses that recover the events of the first four books and includes future instructions.

 All play a specified role in communicating the will of God for the people to the people. These books five books introduce Bible readers to God's divine will, the purpose for our creation and God's plans for us. Today's text is essential to the Jewish faith and is taken from Deuteronomy, let's look:

Deuteronomy 6New International Version (NIV)
Love the Lord Your God  6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

The above text is part one of the Shema, this is a passage that Jesus would have recited twice daily if not more as he was a devout prayer. The Shema is a prayer that is a centerpiece of both the morning and evening Jewish worship/ prayer services. It reminds the people that God is the one and only true God."Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one",  

Many Jews consider the Shema to be the most important part of the entire worship and prayer service. Many times observant Jews recite the Shema as their last words and are often the first verses taught to youth and children to memorize. As Christians we also should take pleasure in reading and praying on these words from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 because we also serve One God, the God of Moses. This prayer is a confession of whom we believe God to be and of our faithfulness to God always.

To hear the SHEMA sung go to click the link

Be well today, Love P.J.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow, thanks!!

This truly helped provide some background information on the creation of and purpose for the first 5 books of the bible. This is very helpful in providing context for our readings.