"Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!Deuteronomy 6:4(NASB)
Following the judgements in Eden, the flood, and the tower of Babel, man continued to rebel against the Lord and delighted to serve and worship the creation rather than the Creator. And so, God took the little nation of Israel to be His chosen people, His holy, set-apart mouthpiece on earth, to proclaim the good news of a coming Messiah through Whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.
And to the tiny nation of Israel, God made a covenant that if they would worship Him, trust Him, and serve Him alone, He would bless them abundantly, but if they rebelled against Him and worshipped false gods, they would be punished.
God's covenant with Abraham was unconditional, but the covenant with the nation of Israel depended upon their faithfulness. The first condition of this covenant was the 'Shema' - the Jewish confession which means 'to hear' and which states: "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is One."
Living in the centre of a corrupted, polytheistic, pagan world, Israel was to proclaim their one, unique God. Morning and evening, the God of Israel would be confessed to be the one, only, unique, eternal, living God. Israel's proclamation affirmed Jehovah: Yahweh: Elohim: as ONE. He was to be honoured through their lives and they were to share the good news of God's love and faithfulness to the nations. But Israel failed to keep their covenant with God.
But the God of Israel is infinitely wise and gloriously faithful to His people, and although in His great omniscience He knew they would fail to keep their part of the covenant with Him, He had foreordained that He would one day send His only begotten Son to pay the price for their rebellious failure and multitude of sins. God secreted the Person of the Lord Jesus within Israel's very confession; that THE LORD our God is ONE. Within the Shema was a precious reference to the ONE Who would set aside His eternal glory and be born in the likeness of sinful man so that He would save His people from their sins.
By confessing the Lord is ONE with the plural word 'ELOHIM', the nation of Israel has for many centuries unwittingly delivered a shaded confession to the unity of the Trinity - the oneness of the Godhead - the uniqueness of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - the tri-unity of the YHWH, Creator of heaven and earth Who alone is to be worshipped and glorified for ever and ever, amen.
Heavenly Father, You alone are worthy of my praise and worship, for You alone are the true and living God. Thank You that You sent Your only begotten Son to be born as the incarnate Word of God and to take upon Himself the punishment for the sin of the world. Thank you that you sent the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer. And thank You that that despite Israel’s rebellion, You have promised to one day establish Your chosen, covenant people back in the land that You promised to their forefather, Abraham. Praise Your holy name, for You alone are worthy of worship. In Jesus' name, AMEN.