History often has a way of repeating itself. Just this past week, gas prices rose due to inflation, tensions in Russia and Ukraine have yet to cease, and the most popular song globally on Spotify is Kate Bush’s - Running Up that Hill. Looking at you Stranger Things. Turn back the page to mid-1980’s and you’ll see an eerie familiarity with our current state of events. Which got me thinking, why is that history tends to repeat itself? I wonder, however, if it correlates with our ability, or in most cases our inability, to remember.
In our passage this week, we see God’s people, the Israelites, being instructed by Moses to remember the covenant God made with them after they were delivered out of Egypt. After years of being in the desert, they are finally heading into the promised land. Moses uses this moment to remind God’s people of who they are and who God is.
1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Questions to Consider
What promise does God give his people in this covenant? Why does he want them to follow the decrees and commands? (v.2)
Why does Moses instruct the Israelites to go through all these practices? Does it seem a bit overkill? (v. 7-9)
Why should they be careful to not forget? What happens if they forget? (v. 12)
Why does Moses want the people to remember these things before heading into the promised land?
What does it mean for you to remember who God is and who you are as one of his people? How does this influence your life?
Summer is a great time to rest, relax, and travel. But it’s also a great time to have much-needed space to reflect and remember what happened over the past semester and year.
A few weeks ago, I spoke with a friend and as she was sharing, I said, “Wow, pretty cool to see how God answered every prayer we were praying over the course of the semester, right?”
She responded, “Wow, yeah, you’re right! I kind of forgot we prayed for those things.”
Just like her, I easily forget to remember the things I’m asking God for and reflect on how He answers those prayers. I was able to help her remember where God had been faithful to her even when she forgot because I was aware of her needs and prayers.
One of the ways we can grow in our intimacy with God is to reflect and remember.
When were you praying for something this past year and God answered that prayer? Or perhaps you’re in a season of waiting on an answered prayer and struggling to see God’s faithfulness. Can you recall another time where God revealed his faithfulness as encouragement and hope in this season of waiting? Talk with a friend, family member, or spiritual mentor recalling ways God showed up in your life this past semester/year or ways you’re still waiting for Him to work.
Consider setting aside 5 minutes each evening to journal and remember when you were aware of God’s presence with you throughout the day and when you weren’t aware of His presence. Over time, what trends do you begin to notice about yourself and God?
My prayer is that we would become a people who would not easily forget. I pray that we would remember how God has been good and faithful to us in every season of life and that we would help one another reflect.
This summer devotional is also available in podcast form! To listen, click here.