Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Then He said to me, “Get up, set out leading the people so they may go and possess the land I promised to give to their ancestors.” Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you except to revere him, to obey all his commandments, to love him, to serve him with all your mind and being, and to keep the Lord’s commandments and statutes that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10.11-13
Deuteronomy is a call to remember. Moses gives the Israelites his final words to encourage them to remain faithful. He is recalling here in the previous verses how he had spent another forty days and nights on the mountain in essence redoing the stone tablets with the ten commandments written on them. Do you remember why they had to be redone? Because the Israelites had sinned by making a graven image while Moses was on the mountain the first time. In his anger, Moses had broken the first tablets. In less than forty days the Israelites had forgotten the importance of who God is and what he wants of us. As humans, our memories are so short. We forget so easily. We need constant reminders. I sometimes enter a room and have already forgotten what it was I went in for in the first place. Reminders are important. Focus is important. Moses tells the people where their focus needs to be. What it boils down to is loving and obeying God. You would think we would not need reminders for that. But, like the Israelites, without the reminders we, also, forget. We allow the enemy to get too close. Some are swallowed up without ever realizing what has happened until it is too late and the way back seems too long. The daily reading of God’s word helps me to keep my focus. Participating in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday helps me to keep my focus. Prayer helps me to keep my focus. These things today help me to love God and to obey him.