Moses reminds the people of all the hard times when God disciplined the people. In this are also the discipline He applied to Egypt to bring the people out.
God doesn’t ever take a person from first moment believer to pinnacle placement in His Kingdom. Each person is taken from where they are when they give their life to Him and slowly and carefully trained in His word. There are good times, great times, tough times, and downright difficult times that we each have to walk through. Even Jesus went through difficult times in His wilderness walking and the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus endured God’s discipline just like we do. Just like Israel did. One of the BIG differences between Him and them is that He was a MUCH quicker learner. He didn’t fight against God’s discipline. Israel fought Him for a LONG time.
This generation is being called on to remember the struggles of their parents and of their youth. They are being called to take hold of those lessons and keep them near as they move into the next place God has for them.
The land God promised the children of Israel is unlike any they have ever lived in before. First of all it is a land that God Himself looks after. It is “A land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year” (verse 12). I wonder what made this land so special to God. Is it part of where He placed the Garden of Eden? HE brought Abraham to this land. It wasn’t somewhere Abraham picked out himself but he found it a good place to live when God brought him there.
One thing God tied with the land and its productivity is Israel’s future devotion to Him. We will encounter this MANY times as we move through the remaining books of the Old Testament. God sends the rain and causes the seasons to be favorable for growing when His people follow His statutes. When they don’t, He withholds the rain. Today Israel struggles with its agriculture for the lack of water. No longer do the grasses on the hillside spring forth without effort or the olive trees tower above the people.
God was giving Israel the chance of a lifetime that was supposed to last a lifetime. Take the lessons of the past, don’t repeat the mistakes of the past, cling to Him with ALL their hearts and receive what He had to offer. This group was ready to make that commitment! And they would as we will see not too far in the future.
But we know more of the story. We know what happens later on down the line when their children’s children turn to other gods. If only… We also know that this wasn’t the end of God’s plan. Jesus would take up where the Law left off. He was able to fulfill the Law where no one else could.
Father God, thank You for Your discipline. You only discipline those You love; Your children. I can be certain if You love me that I will receive Your attention and direction. Funny how tonight I almost didn’t write because things go in my way and time slipped away. I asked You if I should just go to bed instead. You were silent and let me make my own choice but You reminded me of reasons I should spend our time together. I’m glad we did. Our time together is worth it! Keep me always coming back to You for our time together Lord. I need Your discipline in my life, no matter how much I might struggle against it.