“And it shall be to you as a sign on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth.”
Husbands, whenever some woman starts flirting with you a little, and you’re flattered by the exchange and start to flirt back, do you look down at the ring on your left hand and say with a sigh of relief, “Oh I forgot I’m married! Thank goodness I’ve got this ring to remind me!” Mothers, whenever you flip through your calendar to a new month and see your son’s 16th birthday circled, do you heave a sigh and say, “Sixteen already?! Wow time flies! Good thing I wrote this down—I only bought twelve candles for the birthday cake!” Obviously not. Because, as spouses, we don’t wear rings as reminders of our precious union; we wear them as trophies of it; as symbols on our hands of the bond we share in our hearts. And, likewise, as parents, we don’t need a date on a calendar to remind us to celebrate our children’s birthdays either. We circle the date on our calendar as a highlight of the month, because we can’t wait to celebrate their growth in a fresh way; to let them know how special they are to us.
It strikes me when reading God’s injunction in Exodus 13:9 that for these Jewish pilgrims about to enter the wilderness of wandering, it really doesn’t matter whether they inscribe the memory on their hands and foreheads if genuine love for God isn’t already inscribed on their hearts. Because if love from the heart isn’t there, then these annual symbols will just become seasonal decorations, reminders of something forgotten rather than celebrations of something beloved.
Friend, Christ wears the wounds of our redemption on His hands and feet not as everlasting reminders of His love for us but as everlasting trophies of that love! So today, let’s not be content to merely write His love on our hats and t-shirts and bumper stickers and household ornaments. Let’s make sure to inscribe His love where it matters most, in our hearts, and spell out that love in the world around us through our words and actions.