October 12, 2022
Thank you for your prayers for revival and for our prodigals. As we continue to pray for God’s working in our lives and in the lives of others, may this devotional be a source of encouragement.
Deuteronomy is the final book in the Pentateuch, and its English name comes from the Greek word deuteronomion, meaning “second law” or “law repeated.” Among other things, the book contains 3 powerful speeches delivered by Moses 40 years after Israel left Egypt. They were messages from God to a new generation that would enter the land of Promise.
God wanted a people who would understand who He was, and in turn obey His commands by loving Him with their whole beings. This comes out in the Jewish Shema, “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” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
God promised that if they truly loved Him, He would greatly bless them. “May the LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you” (Deuteronomy 1:11).
God often had His people reflect on His goodness as a way to help them to truly love Him. Deuteronomy is a book of remembrance. At least 14 times Moses tells the people to remember, and 6 times they are told not to forget.
To remember was to motivate them into action. The same is true for us.
Let’s consider a few instances:
Firstly, over and over throughout the book God says, “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:15).
God said, “Remember what it was like before I delivered you. Remember the cruel bondage and that it was me who took you from that place and condition.”
As they remembered, it would stimulate them to obey God's command to keep the Sabbath day holy and to find their rest in Him.
Secondly, when fear would grip their hearts, God said, “If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:17-18).
God didn’t want His people cowering in fear. He wanted them moving forward in His strength. As they remembered what God did in the past to their enemies, it inspired them to face the fierce enemies before them.
Thirdly, God knew the propensity of their hearts to be filled with pride. “And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not” (Deuteronomy 8:2).
Remembering how God brought them into certain circumstances to prove them would enable them to stay humble for future testing.
Finally, God wanted His people to know that everything they had came from Him. “You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
As they accumulated wealth, it would be easy for them to attribute their success to their own hands and to forget God. As they remembered the Lord, they would be made aware that He is the giver of all good things. It would give them grateful hearts.
As we turn the focus from them to ourselves, the time period doesn’t matter, the purpose of life is still the same. God wants our hearts. He wants us to love Him more than anything and anyone else. He wants us to remember, so that we too can worship and serve Him in a way that He alone gets the glory.
Remember what you were before you met Jesus. As you reflect on His mighty power and love in delivering you from sin, you will gladly obey His Word.
Remember, life should be done in the strength of the Lord. You may try to do it alone sometimes. It will end in failure. As you lean on Him and draw from His rich supply, you will conquer your enemies.
Remember how easy it is to become proud, to become self-sufficient, and to think selfishly. It’s your sinful nature and mine, and it is deadly. It will destroy you. As you submit to His tender will, He will renew and create in you a humble heart like His own.
Remember that He is the source of everything good in your life. This will cause you to live a life of gratitude, where He is honored as you are blessed.
May we never forget how great our God is!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel