Word of the Day: Shema 

Meaning: Hear

Hebrew: שָׁמַע

Pronounced: Shaw-mah

Copy the word at the top of your page. Say it aloud three times.

Have you heard this word before? If so, what do you know about it?

Look up the following references where this word is used. What do you learn about the word Shema? 

Deuteronomy 6:4

Genesis 3:8

Genesis 3:10

Genesis 3:17

Genesis 16:2

Jeremiah 7:13

Where are we in the meta-narrative of Scripture (or, the story of Redemption)? 

If you’re familiar with Jewish culture, you may have heard of the “The Shema” which is found in Deuteronomy 6:4. This is God’s call to His people bidding them to hear Him, but Shema doesn’t just mean to hear with your ears. The word also encompasses action that results from hearing, so when God calls His people to hear Him, He’s really asking them to listen and obey Him.

This is why Yahweh says to His people in Jeremiah: I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen. It’s not that the people plugged their ears and refused to hear from God, but they refused to heed His voice. When God asks us to hear His Word, He’s imploring us to listen and obey. 

This word will become particularly important as we come to the end of the Old Testament study in Hebrew. After calling to His people to Shema Him and their insistent refusal, Yahweh falls quiet. At the close of the Old Testament and before the beginning of the New Testament, Yahweh doesn’t speak to His people for 400 years. No prophets, no visions, no word from heaven because they would not Shema.

And then … the Word became flesh. 

How does this move the story forward?

Pray & Reflect: Thank God for His Torah. Ask Him to give you a heart that listens and obeys His commands. Thank Him for sending Jesus to be the Word made flesh!

Author: amygannett

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