**And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. ** Deuteronomy 8:2
I think I’m falling in love with the book of Deuteronomy. I used to dread it. It seemed like Moses just repeated himself over and over again. Chapter after chapter. But this time through, reading it slower, with more care, the Lord is speaking to me through it again and again. There are several treasures in this whole 8th chapter. But, today, we will talk about just this 2nd verse.
**…thou shalt remember**… It’s a good idea to stop and think of all the good that God has done in our lives. Like how He has lead us so far away from the life we used to live. From the pain, the sin, the heartache, the scars…whatever it was like for any of us. It would depend on how many years each of us has known the Lord. But the more years we have known Him, the more we should be able to see.
Like the days of sorrow that have now passed and turned into joy. The days of failure and disappointment that taught us so much of wisdom, grace and mercy. The days of miracles in the midst of the impossibles. The transformation of a dark and disturbed heart to a cleaner, more peaceful and grateful one.
We need to take the time to remember our days in the wilderness and how Faithful the Lord has been. Because what happened or is happening in our lives wasn’t and isn’t random. It wasn’t good or bad luck. It was on purpose, for a purpose.
** ..to humble thee, and to prove thee, and to know what was in thine heart…**
Not for the Lord to know our heart, but that we would know it. So that we would be reminded that we didn’t save ourselves. That we really truly needed to be saved from ourselves. That on our own, things would not have turned out well. We needed to be humbled. Because, let’s face it, deep down we all think we are ‘God’s gift to mankind’. We all think we know better than anyone else, that our way is the best way. Pride and arrogance are deeply ingrained in every human heart. So, the Lord has orchestrated one event after another to help us see that we need to deal with that pride. And we need to recognize that HE is the only One who is always right, and not us.
** whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. **
In the midst of this testing, this revealing of our hearts, do we keep His commandments? Do we ‘love God above all else, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength’? Or do we love ourselves above all else? Our opinions? Our preferences? Our choices? Our priorities? Our needs? Is the desire of our hearts more important than His desires?
And the second commandment? To love our neighbor as our self? Do any of us really do that? Does anyone in our life get as much attention as we give ourselves? Do we think of others’ needs as continually as we think of our own needs, and wants?
So often, I have read about these 40 years of wilderness walking and asked myself, “why didn’t these people of God follow the Lord better? Why were they always messing up?
But now I know why. Because they are just like us. Flawed. Weak. Broken. In need of transformation.
And they needed a better memory. They should have taken more time to remember all the good the Lord had done for them. To remember how bad things were in Egypt. To remember that not one day in the wilderness was as bad as all those days back in slavery and heart poverty.
Just like we should remember. We should remember the pain and the emptiness of not knowing the Lord. We should remember the hopelessness. Remember the heartache.
And then remember God’s goodness. His kindess. His forgiveness. His mercy and grace.The clean slate that we start each day with.
His blessings. A home to live in. Clothes on our back, and so many more in the closet!
Food on our table.
Family. Love. Life.
We should remember that life with the Lord is so much better than our life without Him. No matter what trial or heartache we are facing today.