The diligence commanded in Deuteronomy 6 involves a special marriage of the fruits of faithfulness and self-control. We need the self-control to be faithful to diligently teach our children God’s ways.
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Moses commanded the Hebrews to discipline themselves and their children by diligence in learning and teaching the words of God.
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. (Deuteronomy 4:9–10).
An Example of Diligence
The Hebrews have always placed God’s Word at the center of their education. Modern religious Jews (especially Hasidic Jews) continue to focus on God’s Word.
The book The Chosen, by Chaim Potok, is an absorbing novel about two Jewish boys, Reuven and Daniel, which takes place in New York City in the late 1940s just after World War II. It’s a deep, heartfelt novel about the struggles of overcoming religious differences, with several lessons on Jewish history and traditions skillfully woven in along the way. The novel begins with Danny and Reuven as high-school boys and concludes with their graduation from college. God’s Word was consistently the priority in the boys’ education.
Throughout the book, both boys regularly studied the Torah with their fathers, especially on the Shabbat, usually for several hours at a time. Once they entered college, they studied the Torah from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then they began academic studies at 3:15 p.m. to 6 or 7 p.m.!
What a lesson in priorities—and what a story of fruit! The Hebrew education methods of diligent Bible-focused study has been passed down over thousands of years.
The unbelieving Jews don’t have the Messiah nor the Holy Spirit but they focus their study on God’s Word. Compare this fruit with the fruit from the Greek classical methods used in Christianity. How many hours a day do we devote to God’s Word?
God Rewards Diligence
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is(Ephesians 5:15-17).
Need Work in this Area?
We don’t have to stay the way we are. Through faith in Jesus Christ, anybody can be changed. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus said to Andrew’s brother, “You are Simon [“a hearer”]….You shall be called Cephas [“a stone”]” (John 1:42). “You are—you shall be!” God can take a weak piece of clay like Simon and make a rock out of him!
God’s promise is that those who love and search for wisdom will find it. “I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.” (Proverbs 8:17). Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matt. 7:7-8)
Do you diligently feed your children breakfast? Diligently feed them God’s Word daily.
Plant self-control and faithfulness in me that will help me grow up like a tree producing diligence. Direct my passions, desires and emotions and make them subject to your Spirit. I need You to give me self-control. I need You to produce in me faithfulness to diligently teach my children to pursue Your Wisdom.
There are times I get too busy or too concerned over matters of the world. I need You to redirect my focus on You. Help me to walk away from temptations that take our time away from time that should be focused on studying Your Word. Keep the enemy from our family. Help us to say “no” to anything that undermines us from receiving highest blessings of wisdom.
I thank you for the work you are doing in me and bless your Holy Name.