A Little Bit of History.

HistoryEvery now and then I have the privilege of hearing stories about the “olden days”. These past stories of adventure and experience from an older generation often hold a glimpse into a vastly different world from that which we live in today. Bygone are the times of what some of them would call a much “simpler” life. A time when high tech was a simple transistor radio or when penny candy was actually a penny. We all have a story, a historical timeline of memorable and forgotten events that shape the very essence of who we are. Knowing our history is an important aspect to knowing who we are.

The first four chapters in the book of Deuteronomy recount the events in the “recent” history of the people of Israel, Moses reminds them where they had come from and what has happened over the past 40 years of wandering in the desert. He is speaking to a new generation of people that were born in exile due to the previous generations disobedience and ignorance of God’s direction. Moses’ whole point in bringing up their history was to motivate and encourage them to put their hope and trust in God alone for deliverance into the promise land. The people are reminded of God’s law through Moses as he digs deeper into its meaning, significance and importance for their lives. Near the end of the book, Moses leaves them with a stern warning in regards what will happen if they do not follow God’s law. He also leaves them with a word of encouragement and assurance that when they repent of their sinful ways God will forgive them and continue to walk with them.

Moses commands the people to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (6:5) We hear this command again from Jesus in Matthew 22 where he is asked this question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? This is the first and greatest commandment, says Jesus, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Did the Israelites love the Lord with all they had all the time? Unfortunately, no. Their lives, much like ours today were filled with distractions (sin) that tested and often destroyed the bond of our relationship with God. One of the most amazing realities in our relationship with God is the completely underserved gift of grace given through his son Jesus Christ. By the grace of God, we can come before Him every hour of every day with the promise of forgiveness. Do you have that assurance in life? Do you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength?


Tangle of colorful electric wires and cablesNot that long ago I was trying to figure out an electrical problem with my tent trailer. Usually I am pretty handy at fixing things but when it comes to electrical issues and wiring connections, I get lost easily. As I opened the access panel to the electrical system there were blue, green, black, red and yellow wires stretching in every direction. It was a mess and I didn’t stand a chance. Each wire, each connection had a purpose in the function of the working of the trailer, it is through this lens that I read through the book of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy is one of those books in the Bible that have an array of connections and references that “cross borders” within the other Old Testament books and continue right into a number of books in the New Testament. The book of Deuteronomy is quoted over 80 times in the new testament and 365 times in the later Old Testament books, that is a lot of connections. The next generation of believers in Israel at that time were perched at the doorstep to the promise land. Through Moses, God calls the people back to the commitment of living within the guidelines of the law. It was a call to listen and obey his commands so that they may live to see the fulfillment of His promise. God’s promises never fail.

The law God set before his people then and the way we are called today reflect His desire to be in relationship with us. Our God pours out His love into our lives and in return wants us to love Him back. Through God’s divine plan, He uses the life and times of the Israelites to connect us with an example of how to live in a relationship with Him. Like the Israelites, our faith comes with highs and lows and that inevitably puts distance in our relationship with Him. I would challenge anyone who reads the first five books of the Bible and can’t see that God desires a relationship with his people. From the very minute God created Adam till this moment in time and beyond, God will continue to pursue a loving personal relationship with all His people, for this I am thankful.