Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

05/21/2017 A.M.

 

Hear O Israel

Deuteronomy 6.1-9  Luke 8.11-15

 

Access a Worship Bulletin and read with me Deuteronomy 6.1-9...

These are the commands... Decrees and laws... The Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess... So that you... Your children and their children after them... May fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you... So that you may enjoy long life.

 

Hear… O Israel... And be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey... Just as the Lord... The God of your fathers... Promised you.


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 upon 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.

 

This morning… We focus our attention on verses 3 & 4...

Hear... O Israel... Be careful to obey these commands of God.

• Hear... O Israel... The Lord our God... The Lord is one.

 

We begin our lesson with a word study...The word is shema.... sha’-ma...

Sha’Ma O Yis-ri-al... Be careful to obey these commands...

SHA’MA O YIS-RI-AL... The Lord our God is one.

SHA’MA... A Hebrew word meaning to hear.

 

This is the first piece of Scripture a Jewish child learns. Over the centuries... It has become the centerpiece of their Morning and Evening prayers... And is sometimes repeated at bedtime.

 

In other words... A faithful Jew begins his day... Ends his day... With this promise... With this statement of faith...

Sha’mao Yis-rI-al... Keep my commandments.

Sha’mao yis-rI-al... Your God is one.

You see... Deuteronomy 6.4 is the Jewish John 3.16.

 

These verses contain the basis for what they believe... Much like John chapter one is our statement of faith...

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father,full of grace and truth.

 

These verses are the centerpiece of our faith... the core… the basis… of what we believe.

 

Now... Let’s get back to our word study...

Sha-ma means to hear... But there are three levels to our hearing...

 

First... Hearing is simply sensing the audible noise.

In physics, hearing is the noise that sound waves... sound vibrations... make when they strike our eardrum... And interacting with the associated nerves.

• These sounds may or may not be understood...

• They may or may not have any meaning to the hearer...

 

For instance... Thunder makes a noise...But there’s no intelligence within the sound... It doesn’t say anything to us.

 

We have babies and young children in the audience that are hearing the same prayers... songs... and sermon... you’re hearing...But to them... there is no intelligence... no meaning... Just audible sounds.

 

Scripture speaks of this kind of audible sound in Genesis 3.8... Where... After their sin... Adam and Eve heard the sound of God walking in the garden...

 

The sound simply meant they were not alone...

So... SHA’MA... Means to perceive... To become aware... By hearing with the ear... To physically sense... The Sounds... The Noise... The Vibrations...With the ear.

 

Secondly... SHA’MA speaks of paying attention... Listening to understand.

We may tell our nine year old to take a shower...Brush their teeth... Eat their broccoli. They heard the words... They understood the message... But paid no attention. They heard the sound... Understood the message... But there was no Sha’Ma.

 

Sarah did something akin to this when she was eavesdropping on the conversation between Abraham and the Angels... The Angels said... Sarah is going to conceive... She’s gonna have a son... Sarah understood... But didn’t believe... Even passed off what she heard with a laugh. Like the teens... She paid no attention to the message.

 

God is telling the Jews and us in Christianity...I want you to Sha’Ma Me... To hear me... To pay attention... To understand... To take heed.

 

Thirdly... Sha’Ma means we are to obey what we’ve heard.

To hear God means we sense the sound...Understand the message... And respond through obedience.

 

After Abraham had proven to God that he would have offered his son Isaac... Genesis 22.18 has God saying... “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed... WHY??... because you have obeyed my voice.”

 

Did you catch it...

• Abraham had heard God...

• He listened...understood...

• And obeyed

The voice of God.

 

Here's something interesting... There is no word for obey or obedience in the Hebrew... The world is Sha’Ma...Hear...Listen... Understand... Obey.

 

So... The question this morning issimple...

• Are we hearingGod?

• Do we Sha’maHis voice?... Obey the message?

 

I think it’s important here to set these thoughts aside... Let them soak...

As we consider some additional Scriptures...

Familiar Scriptures that we need to hear again… Sha’Ma  again.

 

Isaiah 28.23... Listen and hear (SHA’MA) My voice; pay attention and hear what I say.

 

Matthew 11.15... He who has ears,let him hear… Let him SHA’MA.

 

John 6.63...The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

 

Luke 21.33...Heaven and earth will pass away... But my words will never pass away.

 

Romans 10.17... Faith comes from hearing the message... (Sha’MA the message)... heard through the word of Christ.

 

James 1.22-25...Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (Sha’Mait)... Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.

 

Matthew 7.24-25...Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

 

 

Hebrews 3.7-8...So... The Holy Spirit says... Today... If you hear His voice... (SHA’MA IT)... Do not harden your hearts.

 

Jesus had some things to say about how we hear the word... SHA’MA the word...

How we allow it to impact our daily walk.

 

Luke eight has Jesus saying... No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light... Therefore consider carefully how you listen.

 

Jesus tells us how to listen... How to SHA’MA the word in the Parable of the Sower...

 

The soils represent... four ways we listen... Four ways we hear the Word...

This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

 

The first heart is represented by the hardened soil...He hears the Word... But he doesn’t SHa’MA the Word... Doesn’t understand the Word... Because he becomes distracted by the Devil.

 

Paul speaks of those who do not understand spiritual concepts because their mind is not focused on spiritual things... But on things of the world.

 

The second heart is seen in the Rocky soil...

He hears the Word...

• Understands the Word...

• Obeys the Word...

But is distracted by trials and troubles of this life.

 

Church... How many do we know today... That use to sit right here with us... Among us... They sang songs of praise with us... Encouraged and edified us... But because something happened in life that they could not understand or explain... They forsook the way of the Lord. They stopped SHA’MA-ING the Word.

 

The third heart is the thorny soil. Here the Word of the Lord has no chance because the individual... Hears the sound waves... Perhaps understands the voice... But never really considers obedience because the... Worries... riches... Pleasures... A fascination… with this world has his attention and priority.

• It was Jesus who said we cannot serve two masters.

• John wrote... Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

• Paul asked Timothy to come quickly... For Demas has deserted me...Having loved the things of this world.

 

Then...The fourth heart is seen as good soil.

• This person SHA’MAS the Word of God because he refuses to be distracted by the Devil...

• Is not discouraged in times of testing and trials.

• His attention... focus...priority... in life are on the spiritual... Not the things of this world.

This person has prepared his heart to... Hear the world...Understand the message... and Obey its commands.

 

The good soil represents the heart who SHA’MAS the Word of God.

 

Question… Does this include you and your preacher?

 

A circus parade was moving through the streets of Milan, Italy.  In Milan, church doors are large and in the summer are most often wide open. This made possible an interesting situation...Suddenly, one of the elephants broke ranks from the parade and marched into a church building.  This visitor wandered up the center aisle... Trumpeted a few sounds... swung her trunk around and then headed back to the parade.

 

Church… Unfortunately... Many of us seem to imitate this elephant.

On Sunday mornings...

• We walk into the church building...

• Make a few noises...

• Observe the congregation...Seeing who’s here... And what they’re wearing...

Then step out to resume our place... In the parade... In the world.

 

You see… Satan doesn't mind if we come to church... As long as we don’t SHA’MA the Word...

• As long as we don't hear God's voice.

Understand the message...

• And be obedient to his commands.

 

When we refuse to listen for the voice of God... We deprive ourselves from the blessings it offers...

• Redemption...

• Forgiveness...

• Ongoing sanctification....

• Eternal salvation.

 

Jesus made it clear that God's voice will be heard... His truth will be revealed to the heart… to those who are listening... SHA’MA-ING.

 

If you are here this morning and not achild of God...

• Don’t harden your heart...

• Don’t allow the world to squeeze you into its thinking...

• Place your faith in God...

• Commit to repentance...A changed lifestyle...

• Confess Jesus as the Son of God...

• Be baptized for the remission of sins... Born again... Raised to walk in a new life... Living like Jesus... Having His heart... Mind... Attitude... Disposition... and Behavior.

 

What do you and I need to do this morning to show that our heart is the good soil...

• Where His Word is allowed to penetrate...

• To Convince... and Convict...

• Where His Word is turned into a Jesus-like behavior.

 

So... As the Holy Spirit Says... If you Sha’Ma His voice... Don’t harden your heart... As we stand and sing together.