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LISTEN, OBEY, SING

Daily Devotional Deuteronomy 6:4–9


When we listen to music, we think of hearing something after it has made a sound. But any act of music-making requires listening before any note is heard. To listen is to hear the true pitch and rhythm in our minds before playing, singing, or even writing music.


“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.’”

MARK 12:29


How true that should be as we live for Christ! We are to know and hear His voice and the leading of the Spirit as we live in obedience to Him. When asked which commandment was the most important, the first word Jesus said was “hear” (Mark 12:29). Jesus quoted a passage from Deuteronomy 6:4 known as the Shema Prayer. Shema appears over 1,000 times in the Old Testament, and it means to hear, to listen, and to obey. This makes sense: when we tell our kids to “listen to mom or dad,” we are essentially telling them to obey. In the same way, our heavenly Father lovingly calls us to obey Him.


Shema is also used in a musical context. In Psalm 150, it means to make a loud musical sound in praising God (Ps. 150:5). To offer true praise in our music and songs, to worship with impact on the church and the watching world, we must first shema to Jesus. We must have no other gods, for “hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Mark 12:29). Hear, listen, obey the Lord and no other. Then shall we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then shall we love our neighbor as ourselves. Then shall we offer true and pleasing worship in our song, for we are to worship the only One worthy with our very lives. Shema, O Church! May we trust and obey Him and sing to the Lord a new song (Ps. 33:3; 96:1; Isa. 42:10).


Go Deeper


What has God been teaching you through this study? How has it deepened your understanding of music in the Bible? If you are in our Facebook group, we invite you to share one of your takeaways with your fellow readers!


Pray with Us:


Jesus, we desire to listen to You better, the way we learn to listen to music. You told Your people in the Shema to “hear,” which means hear, listen, obey. Indeed, this is our prayer today: teach us Your Shema, Lord!

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