“Only 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
I could tell you lots of stories of how God encouraged Lanaea and I as we were in the midst of seminary and ministry preparation. There was a particular time that especially leaps out at me when I think of those days. Lanaea and I would often find ourselves in a position of financial difficulty while I was in school. Times were often tough and money was often in short supply. We would sometimes receive financial gifts from people who knew our need and wished to help, but one time we received an anonymous gift of $5,000 from someone in our church. We had not made our needs known but the Lord had put us on someone’s heart and they gave us a very timely gift to help us get through a time of need. We were certainly grateful to these unknown friends for their help and were reminded again of the Lord’s provision as we were seeking to follow Him.
In our passage above, the nation of Israel was about to go in and take possession of the Land that the Lord had promised to them. They had been here before 40 years prior but had failed to believe the promises of God for protection and provision. They had let fear win over faith. The Lord had called them to do something impossible in taking the Land from peoples and nations that were, humanly speaking, mightier than they were, but He had also promised to fight for them and be with them as they went. Having failed before to believe the promises of God, Moses was reminding the people to be careful to obey the Lord by trusting His word and promises.
Moses knew that one of the keys to being faithful to God in an unknown circumstance is to recall the faithfulness of the Lord in past circumstances. All of us, no matter who we are, have circumstances and situations where God has done something to show His care and concern for us. From the big things like unexpected and generous provision in a time of need, to the curious ordering of very common events that keep us out of harm, we all could tell stories of God’s past faithfulness to us. In addition to the personal challenge to remember the past blessings of God ourselves, Moses also told the people to tell their children of the Lord’s goodness, that they too may be encouraged as they face the uncertainty of following the Lord themselves.
Are you facing some circumstance that’s too big for you? Has God called you to something that in your own effort and strength is impossible? Be encouraged, God often calls His people to the impossible that He might show Himself by meeting your need. In these times, remember the words of the Lord through Moses. Recall the faithfulness of the Lord in the past to encourage you in what you face today. Also, remember that your children are watching you. Are you showing them to respond to uncertainty in fear or in faith? Are you teaching your kids to fear the unknown or to boldly and confidently trust your God who has promised to be with you no matter what you face?
Make a regular habit of intentionally remembering God’s goodness to you and never neglect to teach those things to your children. The faith of your family will grow as you continue to see the Lord be faithful and true to His word, and as you continue to recall them and teach them to your children.
Grace and Peace.