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Eventually people begin to take these instructions literally. They put abbreviated reminders of the law called mezuzot—scrolls of parchment inscribed with a prayer rolled into a decorative case—on their doorposts. They even wear tefillin—small leather boxes containing the same prayer—on their arms and foreheads with straps. Any discipline that reminds us effectively to live as God intends is helpful. But Moses’ goal here is not to create new rituals. It is to encourage God’s people to be intentional about learning and remembering God’s ways.

Moses: 22 If you carefully obey all these things I’m commanding you—if you really do love the Eternal your God and live as He wants you to and devote yourselves to Him— 23 then He will drive out all of these nations ahead of you. You’ll conquer nations that are bigger and stronger than you are. 24 Every place you walk will become yours: your territory will extend from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.

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