Putting God's Word into Practice…

Deuteronomy 4:9-14 ~ Forgetting to Fear the Lord (Part 1)

on November 2, 2014

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

Take care–watch out, pay attention, be heedful–is a very powerful two-word command.  It is given because what is about to be said is of utmost importance.  I use this phrase often when I am leaving my 15-year-old with my 10 month old.  There are a few directions I want him to follow, and if he isn’t paying careful attention, I can be sure I will get a text later saying, “I forgot. How many ounces was that bottle supposed to be?”

Keep your soul diligently.  Your soul–the very essence of your personhood, the root of your existence–is to be looked after diligently.  Keeping our soul diligently–thoroughly, earnestly, tirelessly, meticulously, zealously, rigorously, carefully–takes time, work, and commitment.  It is a job only we can do for ourselves.  And if we grow slack or weary, our soul will suffer.  This past spring I put together two lovely flower pots for our front porch.  For about the first month, I snipped off the spent buds, watered and fed them diligently.  Then we went on vacation.  They were left untended for nearly two weeks, and when I returned I kind of forgot about them.  Then the August heat had its usual effect.  Needless to say, the flowers died and the pots looked pitiful.  So it is with our view of God when we don’t tend our souls and remind ourselves often of His greatness, His provision, His protection, and His work in our lives.

Lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, lest your memories depart from your heart forever.  The Israelites had seen the glorious presence of the LORD light an entire mountain on fire.  They had heard His real, audible voice.  They had been delivered out of Egypt with great signs and wonders.  They had been victorious in battles against armies greater than their own.  They had seen food fall from heaven day-after-day, year-after-year.  They had seen their sandals last for 40 years and water gush forth from a rock–twice.  They had seen the salvation of the Lord, as a bronze pole was lifted up in the wilderness for them to look upon to be healed from venomous snake bites.  They had some serious memories to maintain and to pass on.

Make them known to your children and grandchildren.  The actions of God must be told from generation to generation.  It is how our children and grandchildren know that He is real, alive and near to His people.  My boys can read about World War II in their textbooks, and it is likely just words on a page.  But when we pass down the stories from my grandfather’s first hand experiences, the battles become real to them.  The victories are magnified and the heroes are glorified.

Why is all of this so important to God?  Because He wants us to fear Him–to have a proper view of Him.  He wants us to recognize His greatness and have respect and awe towards Him.  God wants us to realize His authority over our lives.  He wants us to know that He alone provides, protects and saves.  He wants us to know that He is bigger than our circumstances, our enemies, and our weaknesses.  And He doesn’t just want us to know–He wants our children and grandchildren to know too.

How can I show the next generation the greatness of my God?  What story can I tell today to keep the memory of His nearness alive in the hearts of those I love?  What have I seen God do with my own eyes?


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