Lesson 2

The Family

(Deuteronomy 6)
Print this lesson | Bookmark/Share:

Introduction: If you are a parent, ask yourself if there was a time when your children believed everything you told them? Was there also a time when they believed almost nothing you said? This may overstate the facts for most of us, but I think all would agree that there is a special time when our children are especially open to being taught. In the past, the public joined Christians in delivering a positive message to our children. The “Andy Griffin Show” on television comes to mind. Do programs like that exist today in secular television? I don’t think so. With our children now viewing the Internet at a very young age, what are they being taught by it? Our lesson today is about what the Bible teaches parents about educating our children. Let’s dive into the Bible and learn more!

  1.         The Greatest Education

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:1. Who is the source of the instructions we are about to read? (God! God tells Moses and he tells the people.)

  1.         Have you ever wondered whether something is appropriate to teach? What is the pedigree of this teaching? (It is from the highest and best source.)

  1.         Notice that this verse talks about teaching in the future. If you have not properly taught your children so far, is it ever too late?

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:2. What do you think the Bible means by “fear” when it comes to teaching about God? (Not terror. But, respect. This view is confirmed when you read the rest of the chapter. God does not threaten the people in a way that would create fear.)

  1.         How large an impact can you have by properly educating your children? (You are able to have a multi-generational impact.)

  1.         What impact will it have on your life? (Obedience to God lengthens life.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:3. What other benefit comes from a Godly education? (Your life will be better. “It will go well with you.” Notice that this is directed to God’s people in general, and not just children.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:4-5. What we have been reading so far is an “advertisement” for following God’s educational program. What is the first principle of a Godly education? (We set our God apart and love Him completely.)

  1.         Deuteronomy 6:4 is called the “Shema” in Jewish tradition. It literally means “hear and obey.”)

  1.         In our last series of studies on witnessing, I stressed the importance of the Trinity and received some push-back on this point. Does “the Lord our God, the Lord is one” preclude us from believing in the Trinity? (At least one person pressing me on this point readily admitted that Jesus is “divine” - meaning that He is God. If you don’t believe that Jesus is God, then you are not a Christian by my understanding of the Bible. If you agree that Jesus is God, that means that you have not one, but two Gods.)

  1.         As you look at Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and contemplate its meaning and context, do you think that it precludes a divine Jesus or the Trinity? (The context is that God’s people, while in Egypt, had been introduced to many gods. They will continue to be confronted with other gods. I think the point the true God is making is that these other claimed “gods” are no god at all. Our God is the only God, and He is unique. He is the One.)

  1.         How do you understand loving God “with all your heart ... soul and ... might?”

  1.         If you are going to teach this, you need to understand it, right?

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:6. What does it mean for this command to “be on your heart?” (You not only have to believe it yourself, but it needs to be a fundamental part of your attitude.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:7. I have repeatedly heard that “time on task” is the most critical learning component. For example, year-round schooling helps a child retain what he has been taught. What does God say about “time on task” with His principles? (God endorses it.)

  1.         God’s instruction here is very detailed. Have you some suggestions for doing this? I know that when I’m sitting with a grandchild, I’m sometimes challenged on how I should begin discussing God.

  1.         Or, does the text mean that we should not limit our discussion of God to some set time of day?

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:8-9. Do you think that God meant this to be taken literally? (Even today, some Jewish people take this literally. Perhaps the most common practice is to place a “mezuzah” on the front door post. It is a small box with a bit of scripture in it.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 11:20. Seeing this other text (and there are several like it), makes it seem that God intends this to be understood literally. Should you do this?

  1.         Read Acts 15:28-29. If you read the entire chapter, you will see that the underlying controversy was circumcision - as a sign of a relationship with God. If circumcision is no longer required for Gentiles, what does this suggest about the requirements of Deuteronomy 6:8-9?

  1.         Read Colossians 2:11. We see that circumcision is not simply forgotten, but takes a new form. How would you continue to honor Deuteronomy 6:8-9 in a new way?

  1.         Might your “new way” be more effective? Wearing something on your head might be a lot like wearing glasses - pretty soon you are so used to it that you forget you are wearing them.

  1.         Read 1 Samuel 7:12. The context is a sneak attack described in 1 Samuel 7:10-11. What does this Ebenezer Stone tell us about teaching our children and remembering what God has done? (It shows us creative ways to help us remember what God has done for us.)

  1.         My wife and I have a book we call our Ebenezer Stone. In it we record special occasions in which God blessed and helped us.

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:10-11. What would you say if God did that for you? Is there any chance that you would forget this great gift?

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:12. What warning about education do we find here? (That we will forget even the greatest blessings. I don’t think the issue is “forgetting” as much as it is getting used to the blessings and thinking that somehow we deserve them.)

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:13. Remember we discussed what was meant by “fearing” God? As you review what we have studied in this chapter, what does that context teach you about what is meant by fearing God? (This chapter tells the things that God did for His people or will be doing if they obey Him. The “fear” is not terror, but rather respecting God for His love and protection. It is a respect for the principle that following His commands makes our lives better.)

  1.         Other Gods

  1.         Read Deuteronomy 6:14. This seems to be the focal point of God’s education.  Worship Him and not other gods. In my world no one I know is bowing down and worshiping a god they made. Do you know anyone who does this?

  1.         Does this mean that greatest educational lesson is now irrelevant?

  1.         I hear people say that someone’s car or home is their god. That is likely nonsense, who worships their car or home?

  1.         More to the point, what was the purpose of worshiping false gods? (The people thought they would gain something from it.  Success would depend on the false god.)

  1.         Do we have this issue today - without the carved image? (We depend, among other things, on our intellect, our money, our beauty, and our job.)

  1.         Are these gods in terms of our discussion of Deuteronomy 6?

  1.         If you answered, yes,” what are you doing to educate your children about those false gods?

  1.         Friend, will you keep the education of your children constantly in mind? Will you make it a part of all that you do with them?  Why not start today?

  1.         Next week: The Law as Teacher.

To receive the Bible Study of the Week by e-mail, please enter your e-mail address:

 Subscribe in a reader

Lessons on Education

Attention Translators!

Would you like to help us share the Bible Study of the Week with others? At present, the Bible Study of the Week can be read in ten languages: Bosnian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. We welcome serious volunteers who are willing to spend the time each week to translate the lessons from English into another language. We are particularly interested in having the lesson translated into Portuguese. Please contact us if you would like to volunteer to translate.