Read Deuteronomy 1
Focus on verse 5
Everyone has a history. To deny one has a history is to deny that one has lived. Some of us have a relatively mundane history, other a more colorful past, but we all have one, and the more informed and at peace we are with our history, the more likely it is that we will celebrate the good parts, and not repeat the bad parts.
In today’s reading we begin the book of Deuteronomy, which is more or less Moses farewell speech to the nation he has led now for a little over forty years.
In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him in commandment to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying, “The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. (v. 3-6)
The book of Deuteronomy is Moses reminder to the people to love and obey the one true God. He begins in chapter one with a short history lesson, reminding the people how they got to where they are. How their parents’ fear and lack of faith in God’s ability to give the land to them led to their rebellion resulting in a lifetime of wandering in the wilderness. Moses reminds them of how God remains faithful in spite of their unfaithfulness in preparation for what lies before them at this time. In the days ahead, Joshua will lead the people across the Jordan where they will face their first test of faith… the walled fortress of Jericho.
Though our lives are separated by thousands of years of history, it is interesting how similar the faith tests we face are to theirs – it would seem though the names and faces have changed and circumstances might be different, the faith issues are very similar. We still face challenges of faith that cause us to freeze in fear instead of moving forward in faith. And God, as he did with Israel, allows us to make these choices and we in turn are bound to endure the consequences of our choices, and in the midst of all our mis-steps, He remains faithful to His promises despite our unfaithfulness to Him.