Figuring out what parts of the Old Testament are to be followed today and what parts are not can be tricky. I am not going to try to explain to you how you can do that today. Fortunately for you, I only want to talk about one specific part of the Old Testament, and tell you why I think it’s so important. It’s called the Shema, and it is a very good summary of our intentions in raising Jakob. We were asked by the baby dedication coordinator for verses that best illustrate our desire to raise Jakob in a Godly fashion, and we gave her the Shema. For the goys that read my blog, the Shema is Deuteronomy 6:4-9. I know it’s confusing, because it starts out, “Hear, oh Israel…” I happen to know that not all believers are part of Israel. By the way, did you know that even Michael Jackson was a fan of the Shema? Yup, it’s true. A lot of people think he wsa saying “sham on,” as a variation of “c’mon,” but really, he was saying “Shema!” Okay, maybe not. So does this passage apply? Let’s break it down (Shema!).
v. 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
Hey, Gentile believers, your God is one, too. Jesus says so in Matthew 23:9. And, just to clear matters up, He and His Father are one, as He points out in John 10:30.
v. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Jesus reiterates this point in Mark 12:30. I guess you’ve still got to do that.
v. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts
Jesus is still talking about having and keeping His commandments in John 14:21.
v. 7 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.
Ephesians 6:4 might be the most misquoted verse by Christian children, especially those in trouble with their parents, who happen to believe in paddling. However, this verse is reaffirming the need to raise your kids with an understanding of what God expects from them, not warning you against punishing your child.
v. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Now this is a tricky part. We don’t run around wearing phylacteries, so does that mean that we do not need this verse? Nope. Hands are representative of action, and our foreheads are representative of thinking. Do we still need to think and do with the ways of God in mind? Philippians 4:8 covers thinking (which is always good to do before doing anything), and the next verse, Philippians 4:9, covers the doing.
v. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Okay, so the New Testament doesn’t say anything about writing God’s laws on your house. I’ll concede this point, but it does have a lot to say about what goes on in the house, especially regarding your own family. Ephesians 5 and 6 talk a lot about that.
And that settles that. Yes? Thank you. So, without any further ado (not that you knew it was coming), here is Jakob’s baby dedication.