The Passover was an illustration of the way in which God would later pass over those whose sins were covered by the death of Jesus Christ and deliver them from judgment. Now after this summary we read, “And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in thy mouth; for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt” (Ex. 13:9). The first great doctrine that they were to have before their eyes, then, was the doctrine of the atonement, the doctrine of salvation through the shedding of blood.
The frontlets are mentioned a second time, in Deuteronomy 6:4-8, which contains a summary of the character and requirements of God. These verses say:
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand and they shall be as frontlet between thine eyes.
In other words, the second great doctrine to remember was the nature of God and man’s corresponding responsibility to Him. They were to love God with all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their might.
The third mention of frontlets occurs five chapters later, in Deuteronomy 11:18. In this chapter God sets forth the principle by which He will bless the life of any individual or nation. The principle is obedience. Where there is obedience, God will give blessing. Where there is disobedience, He will send judgment. “Therefore,” He says, “shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand that they may be as frontlets between your eyes…That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them.” The third great doctrine then is the need for obedience, and it is to characterize our lives as God’s people.
Let me say that in this life neither you nor I will ever master all the great truths of Scripture. The Word of God is inexhaustible, like God Himself. And if our joy depended upon such a mastery, we would never actually experience it. But our joy doesn’t depend on that, not on perfection. Our joy depends upon our relationship to God and our life with Him. If there is ever to be real joy in the Christian life, then there must be a deep and growing experience of the basic truths upon which that life is founded. We must strive to know God better and to love Him. And we must attempt to live obediently before Him as His children.
Oh, there’s a great deal of unrest in this world, and there will always be unrest for those who do not know Jesus. Apart from Him there is no true peace, no joy, and no real happiness either. But this should never be the case for the Christian. If you are a Christian, you should draw close to God. You should feed on Scripture, and “the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Rom. 15:13).