By Christin Ditchfield Lazo
A Reading from Deuteronomy 8:11-20
11 Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. 12 When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, 16 and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. 17 Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. 19 If you do forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord is destroying before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
In Greek, the word “deuteronomy” means “repetition.” In the Bible, the book of Deuteronomy is a repetition or rehearsal of the story of God’s people — where they had been, how far they had come, what God had taught them and brought them through.
They would need the reminder. Life was about to get so much better than it had been, and it would be so easy for them to forget all the lessons they had learned. It would be easy for them to forget just how desperately they had needed God’s help — how they depended on him for his deliverance, his salvation, his protection and provision. How he had been there for them, every step of the way, throughout their journey. And if they forgot, they would fall away from him, and fall into sin. They would rewrite their history, with themselves as the heroes, themselves as their own saviors — and it would lead to their ruin.
So they told the old stories again and again — told them over and over to themselves and to their children and their children’s children. Reliving the highs and the lows, the failures and the victories. Remembering — through it all — God’s steadfast love, his enduring faithfulness, his unending mercy and grace.
Thousands of years later, we, too, remember. We repeat and rehearse their stories, as well as our own, so that we, too, will never forget how good God has been to us, how good he continues to be.
Christin Ditchfield Lazo, M.A. (Bible and Theology), is a best-selling author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host, passionate about calling believers to a deeper life of faith.
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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer
Today we pray for:
Church of the Transfiguration, Vail, Co.
The Diocese of Bungoma (Anglican Church of Kenya)