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Oilfield Workers Sharing Christ Around the World

51st MOST REFERENCED VERSE ON THE INTERNET*

By Mike Chaffin

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! Deuteronomy 6:4

How many times have you asked someone, “Did you hear what I said?”  It’s easy to get upset when we talk to a loved one and they don’t seem to be listening.  We want to be heard. 

          Moses wanted to make sure the descendants of those who had died in the wilderness due to disobedience and were now set to enter and take the promised land, knew who they must trust. 

          This verse is the beginning of the Hebrew Prayer called Shema.  Shema means listen, or hear, and is taken from the first word of the verse.  The full prayer consists of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Deut. 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41.  If you have never read the full prayer now is the time to read it out loud so you can hear it.  (You can listen here while reading along)

    

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. ‘And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15 And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be]filled.’ 16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 lest the Lord’s anger be aroused against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain, and the land yield no produce, and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you. 18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth. Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 38 “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners. 39 And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, 40 and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for 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.”

               This prayer is still prayed today.  In fact, it is so relevant and so important that when asked by a lawyer of the temple what the greatest commandment was Jesus quoted the first verses of the Shema.

                Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. Mark 12:29-30

          Jesus goes on to say in verse 31

          31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

          It is interesting how much this verse in Deuteronomy is closely related to the new command Jesus gave us in John 13:34, the 52nd most referenced verse.  The Bible never strays from the message God wants us to learn. 

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for your love for us and showing us our priorities in life.  To love you and love others.  Help me prioritize my life so I put you first and exhibit the fruits of the spirit to everyone I meet.  In Jesus’ name, amen. 

* There is a website that conducted a search for Bible verses.  They compiled a list of the verses in order of the magnitude of hits they got in their search.  Some of these verses probably qualify as ‘people’s favorites’, while others might be on the list because they are some of the most important and most teachable words of God. 

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