Monday, April 18, 2011

Deuteronomy 4:9-10, 20, 24, 35, 39 NASB

"Give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life...make them known to your sons and your grandsons.  Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God, at Horeb... For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God... The LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession... To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him... Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments...that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you..."

When they were little, our three girls enjoyed stories and were always begging us to read or tell another again and again and again.  We're reliving this age of delightful wonder and repetition with our grandchildren.  Story telling is a basic means of learning, transmission and entertainment in many cultures, as it was in Bible days, and the book of Deuteronomy is just that--a retelling or recounting of the story we read in Exodus, Numbers and Leviticus.  But in the retelling, there are some fascinating details that are woven into the familiar story, that give us pause and cause for thought. After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the children of those who baulked at Kedesh-Barnea are now the next in line and they are at a border again, but this time eager and ready to enter into the land God has promised.  Moses, with concern, is preparing their hearts by recounting all that has gone before, warning them not to follow in the footsteps of their parents but to trust God's promise, urging them to move in full commitment and obedience all the days of their life. Like the sound of a constant drumbeat, Moses is urgently drumming God's words into their minds and hearts, with the main theme being "See, I (the LORD) have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land...  Go in and possess the land...  Go in and possess the land...  Go in and possess the land..."  With the care and concern of one who had watched over a rebellious people, Moses pleads with these who would now carry the torch to remember the LORD their God.  We can ill afford to take the LORD and the things of the LORD lightly.  Remember His words.  Remember His works.  Remember His ways.   He has put all of Himself into our lives.  Can we do anything less than pour all of ourselves into His?  Pure love demands it, and there is nothing more full of fire than pure love:  "For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."  With God, it's all or nothing.  There can be no rivals. This is radical love!  This is "perfect" love! This is the way it ought to be.  This is the way God intended it to be.  This is the way it can be! Go in and possess the land God has given to His people! 

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