BIBLE READING: Deuteronomy 3-4
As the Children of Israel are about to embark on the last leg of their long journey into the land of Promise, Moses offers them some very helpful advice to ensure they don’t allow themselves to suffer the same fate as their predecessors. “…take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children…” (Deuteronomy 4:9). Our minds can only imagine all the miraculous things that they have seen and experienced. The manna, the water from the rock, the defeat of their enemies; all wonderful things that God had done for them to get them thus far on their journey. The words that Moses chose to help them to remember is very interesting. The word “keep”, means to “tend or to watch over” as one would with sheep. It is the same word that was used of Adam and Eve and how they were to “keep” the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2.15. The word implies an action that is not just done once, but something that we never stop doing. The implication is that if for one second you stop “tending” or “keeping watch over”, you risk tragedy. We might say to a young driver, “Make sure you keep your eyes on the road at all times.”. Yet then the command is magnified when he adds the word “diligently” to the equation. The word “diligently” means “muchness, with force and abundance”. By using these two words Moses is stressing the importance of them making extra, extra, extra sure that they never keep their eyes off the task of remembering what God had done for them. It is easy to say something along the lines of, “how could they ever forget all of the marvelous deeds that God had done for them?”, but it doesn’t take long to look at their past history to see that they were very likely to forget. Do we not suffer from the same type of momentary amnesia? How many times has God gotten us out of a bind, blessed us or saved us in a situation, only for us to quickly forget when we need Him again? We care more like a “what have you done for me lately” kind of people, rather than a “how could I ever forget” kind of people. I pray that we heed the same advice that Moses gave to the Israelites as we seek to “diligently keep” the things that God Had done for us at the forefront of our minds. I pray that we never forget!