Readings from the Old Testament / Hebrew Scriptures
Moses instructs the Israelites, and tells them the most important commandment.
“Israel, remember this! The LORD — and the LORD alone — is our God. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.”
Moses tells the people what God demands.
“Now, people of Israel, listen to what the LORD your God demands of you: Worship the LORD and do all that he commands. Love him, serve him with all your heart, and obey all his laws. I am giving them to you today for your benefit. To the LORD belong even the highest heavens; the earth is his also, and everything on it. The LORD your God is supreme over all gods and over all powers. He is great and mighty, and he is to be obeyed. Have reverence for the LORD your God and worship only him. Be faithful to him and make your promises in his name alone. Praise him – he is your God.”
“Love the LORD your God and serve him with all your heart.
Do not let yourselves be led away from the LORD to worship and serve other gods.
Love the LORD your God, do everything he commands, and be faithful to him.”
In his final speech to the Israelites, Moses reminds the people to remain faithful to God.
“I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. Love the LORD your God, obey him and be faithful to him.”
Nearly three centuries later, the prophet Samuel also reminded the people of Israel to remain faithful to God. He also spoke of God’s promise to all who obey the Lord.
“Do not turn away from the LORD, but serve him with all your heart. Don’t go after false gods; they cannot help you or save you, for they are not real. The LORD has made a solemn promise, and he will not abandon you, for he has decided to make you his own people. Obey the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Remember the great things he has done for you.”
1 Samuel 12.20b-22,24
Many of the psalms express trust in God.
You, O LORD, are always my shield from danger;
you give me victory and restore my courage.
I call to the LORD for help, and from his sacred hill he answers me.
I lie down and sleep, and all night long the LORD protects me.
Look at me, O LORD my God, and answer me.
Restore my strength; don’t let me die.
I rely on your constant love;
I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
I will sing to you, O LORD,
because you have been good to me.
As for me, I will pray to you, LORD;
answer me, God, at a time you choose.
Answer me because of your great love,
because you keep your promise to save.
Answer me, LORD, in the goodness of your constant love;
in your great compassion turn to me!
Teach me, LORD, what you want me to do,
and I will obey you faithfully;
teach me to serve you with complete devotion.
I will praise you with all my heart,
O Lord my God;
I will proclaim your greatness forever.
With all my heart I try to serve you;
keep me from disobeying your commandments.
I keep your law in my heart,
so that I will not sin against you.
I praise you, O LORD;
teach me your ways.
I will repeat aloud
all the laws you have given.
I delight in following your commands
more than in having great wealth.
I study your instructions;
I examine your teachings.
I take pleasure in your laws;
your commands I will not forget.
The book of Proverbs teaches the value of wisdom.
“Everything I say is true;
nothing is false or misleading.
To those with insight, it is all clear;
to the well-informed, it is all plain.
Choose my instruction instead of silver;
choose knowledge rather than the finest gold.
What you get from me is better than the finest gold;
better than the purest silver.
I walk the way of righteousness;
I follow the paths of justice.
Those who find me find life,
and the LORD will be pleased with them.”
Put your hope and confidence in God. The LORD says, “I am the high and holy God, who lives forever. I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are humble and repentant, so that I can restore their confidence and hope.”