Relax and clear your head. Listen for the voice of God. What is God saying to you today?
Deuteronomy 4:1-14 (NRSV)
So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the LORD your God with which I am charging you. You have seen for yourselves what the LORD did with regard to the Baal of Peor—how the LORD your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, while those of you who held fast to the LORD your God are all alive today.
See, just as the LORD my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy. You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children—how you once stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, “Assemble the people for me, and I will let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me as long as they live on the earth, and may teach their children so”; you approached and stood at the foot of the mountain while the mountain was blazing up to the very heavens, shrouded in dark clouds. Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, which he charged you to observe, that is, the ten commandments; and he wrote them on two stone tablets. And the LORD charged me at that time to teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy.
I love the movie, The Lion King. Maybe you remember the scene when Rafiki, the baboon, begins pestering Simba from the trees by singing an annoying little song. Simba has lost himself, forgotten who he is, blaming himself for his father’s death. But Rafiki tells him that his father is alive and asks Simba to follow him. They arrive at a lake and Rafiki tells Simba to look into the water. Simba says he only sees his reflection, but the baboon says, “Look ha-a-arder. He lives in you.” Simba’s reflection changes into his father’s and he hears his father’s voice, “Remember who you are. You are my son.”
Moses is commanding the people to remember the statutes and the ordinances of God. By doing so, he is reminding everyone, the young and the old, that these statutes and ordinances teach us to remember who we are and whose we are. “But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children” (verse 9).
When we remember and listen, our lives bear witness to the world around us of our God who loves and does not forget us. When we remember well, God uses us to bring others to the truth. When we remember God and God’s faithfulness, we will keep hope, even in the moments of greatest despair.
We thank you, O God, for the words of hope that you have given us. Help us to be diligent in remembering them and living them. Help us to hear them more clearly so they may remind us who we are and whose we are. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Go with God.