Deuteronomy 4.1-14, 32-40
Have you ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary? Have you ever missed an important appointment? How do you remind yourself of things so you don’t forget?
The people of Israel are given two wonderful gifts: the Promised Land (v 1) and the Law (v 2). Both are intended to help them and their children live ‘well’ and ‘long’ in the land (v 40).
Since Pentecost, God’s vision for his people and kingdom has expanded, from ‘Jerusalem’, to ‘Judea’, to ‘the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1.8). The ‘Promised Land’ no longer has defined borders, but it is wherever people’s hearts are open to God’s kingly rule (see Luke 17.20, 21).
Like the people of Israel, we have been chosen (v 34); and so our obligation to live faithfully, wherever in the world we find ourselves, still remains. We are still to live God’s way (v 5) so that people see our behaviour and praise God (v 6; see Matthew 5.16). And, as for the people of Israel, that means not forgetting the God who gave us everything we have (vs 9, 10).
The Law was a constant reminder to Israel of who had blessed them with the wonderful land. God spoke, and now the people must obey (vs 12, 13). They were to encourage one another, and remind each other of what God had done and said (v 32).
Are you living ‘well’? Or are you living a life of forgetfulness, not acknowledging God, the great giver of good gifts?