Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (Deut 6:4)
Question 5: Are there more Gods than one?[i]
Answer: There is but one only, the living and true God.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-5 we have one of the most amazing passages in all of scripture, and in all of ancient history. This passage is known as the Great Shema. Shema is the Hebrew word for “to hear”. Thus, the Hebrews referred this passage as a Great Shema which says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” In the ancient world this would have been an amazing propositional statement to make. The idea that there is only one God was unheard of at the time of the writing of Deuteronomy (ca. 1500 BC). This was a time when every ancient civilization believed in multiple gods who her not much better than a bigger version of human beings. They possessed character flaws, were manipulative, and completely self-serving. Yet here God declares to the nation of Israel that there is only one God from whom all things were created and who sustains the universe by the power of his word. And this is the same God who extended grace to Adam and Eve after they committed cosmic treason in the garden. There God makes a promise to them in Genesis 3:15 to someday send a Redeemer. The God of creation, the God of the universe, extends grace when he was not required to. He extends grace to those who were not deserving of it, and then he reveals himself in the person of his son, Jesus Christ, and dies on the cross to pay for the sins of people. We created the mess and yet it is God, the one true God, who pays the ultimate sacrifice to repair what man has ruined. This is amazing grace!
[i] “A Catechism with Proofs” by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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