Always Choose to Love God Totally

Deut 6:4 is one of the, if not the main pillar of Judaism. The Lord God is “one”. Jews accuse Christians of blasphemy when we refer to Jesus as God. And many of our explanations of the extra-Scriptural term “Trinity”, suggests that there are “three Gods”. In an attempt to condense a Semester of work into a short paragraph, I rely on Commentator Guzik who identifies the options of two Hebrew words, “echad” and “yacheed”. The first speaks of a compound unity. The second speaks of an absolute unity. Let us test this. In Genesis 1:5, the evening and the morning were spate, but were combined to form the first (echad) day. In  Genesis 2:24, a separate man and a separate woman are combined in marriage to form a compound unity, one (echad) flesh. Similar uses of the word “echad” can be found in  Exodus 26:6, Ezekiel 37:17 and elsewhere.

On the contrary, “yacheed” is used in Genesis 22:2 to refer to Abraham’s only (yacheed) son, and of David’s solitude in Psalm 25:16.

Deut 6:4 uses the word “echad” and not “yacheed”. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are repeatedly separately referenced throughout Scripture, the most glaring example being Mathew 3:16-17. After God the son –  Jesus- was baptized on earth, God the Holy Spirit, in the form or a dove, descended from above to earth and rested on Jesus, and as this was happening, God the Father from heaven was heard saying, “This is my Beloved Son”. Clearly, on the cross, Jesus was portrayed as “separated” from His Father. And Jesus after His resurrection said that He Jesus will send the Holy Spirit. All these and more passages emphasizes the three separate persons of the Godhead. Now consider the other side of “the coin”.

Jesus repeatedly said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) There is no mystery in the word “one”. It means singular and is so used over 250 times in the New Testament. Jesus is as explicit, is John 14:9 – “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Now listen to this not-so-well recognized verse. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18  – “17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 commands us to love God totally. The best word picture in this instance, is not created from an individual analysis of each Hebrew word for – “heart”, “soul” and “strength” as Scripture indicates overlapping, related meanings in their usage. But together they encompass our intellect, reasoning power, mind, emotions, energy and physical strength, and will. But perhaps most importantly, their combined meaning and usage accounts for “choice”. We must continually choose to love God totally and completely and entirely.

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