Hush Now and Sh’ma

Sh’ma Yisrael YHWH Eloheinu YHWH Eḥad

Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One (Deuteronomy 6:4)

I love that this verse has a shorthand title, Sh’ma (or Shema), because whether read or said out loud it’s clear that it starts with sh. It’s a sound whose meaning we all know: shhh, hush now, be quiet. To me, Sh’ma conveys: Be quiet and listen, the one God is our God.

God likes it when we become still in his presence in order to get to know who he is. In fact, he invites us into his presence for this very purpose. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'” (Psalm 46:10.)

The one God who is our God is the God who is worthy of exaltation everywhere on earth. And he wants us to know him? If it weren’t true, it would be preposterous. He’s God, the one who is worthy “to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength  and honor and glory and praise!” (Revelation 5:12.) Are we? Are we even close? No.

David knew how ludicrous it was. He even wrote a song about it: what is a human being that you are mindful of him, a son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4.) David marveled at why God would choose to share himself with people: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” (Psalm 139:6.) Yet that’s what God has done, shared himself with us in the most intimate sense.

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

(Psalm 34:8.)

Taste – take God into ourselves, and find out how good he is.

Refuge – a place of rest and quiet in the Lord.

Too good to be true? Extravagantly so, except that it is exactly what God desires. God wants us to take him into ourselves, and for us to enter into him as well. He in us and we in him. Eat and rest. Listen and learn.

Sh’ma, hush now and listen:

Our God is the one true God.

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15 Responses to Hush Now and Sh’ma

  1. Comforting thoughts today, almost like a lullaby.

  2. Aimee Byrd says:

    It is pretty amazing how our Lord calls us to receive this wonderful revelation of himself. We are so blessed.

  3. PC says:

    Even more ssssshhhh to keep reading in order to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

    Love me some Sh’ma

  4. cathyallen says:

    Hi Tim,
    Thank you, you’ve shared some of my favorite Scriptures, and I needed to be reminded! God is good! The Psalm 46 quote I’ve used many, many times in my interactions as a Christian; it seems to be a clear place to start. As I said, though, I’ve recently needed to be reminded!
    On a lighter note, I’m surprised by your picture! From your postings at RoP, I expected you to look a bit like a screaming wacko ( 🙂 ) — or a at least a bit UNUSUAL, shall I say? You look like a normal person! I plan to visit often, now that I’ve found your blog; thank you, and God bless you!
    Cathy Allen

    • Tim says:

      Thanks, Cathy. I’m glad you made it over to the old train wreck, and I really look forward to your comments and insights here.

      And as for the screaming wacko, that’s me on the inside. Don’t let the judicial exterior fool you!

  5. Tim, love this. I learned about the Shema after a Jewish friend told me about it, and I included her story in my book Breathe. did you know that devout Jews, for centuries, would begin and end their day with this prayer? (many still do today) it is also a prayer that is a part of their Sabbath liturgy. The entire prayer can be found here:
    The first few lines are from Deuteronomy 6:4-9
    Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God; the Lord is One
    Blessed be the name of his glorious kingdom forever and ever
    And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
    And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.
    And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them
    when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.

  6. I love learning the Hebrew and Greek translations of words and their meanings so much. It makes the scriptures that much more powerful! It really shows the strength of God! May we all find refuge in Him and be still and let Him do the talking and leading. What really do we even know??

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