Moses is sternly warning the people that they have to continue to follow ALL of God’s laws. Remember who brought you here.
When I think about the children of Israel in the wilderness I tend to think of all the miracles God performed for them starting with the manna each morning. I forget to factor in the scorpions and snakes. It wasn’t all rosy and sunshine all the time. They had to walk miles and miles carrying everything they owned. There were probably storms of multiple kinds they had to make shelter in. They had no houses to go into when things got tough. They didn’t even have prefab tents like we have today. They had to make tents and shelters out of the available items. They didn’t have corrals for their animals that they could lock each night to keep them safe. And they didn’t have abundant food and water every place they went.
What they did have was God looking after their needs. He provided sufficient food and water for life. He didn’t set a banquet before them each day for them to feast on but they were fed. God miraculously made their clothing last the whole 40 years. They walked 40 years in the same sandals. I’m thinking that the shoes that were outgrown were passed down to the children growing into them next. He blessed the works of their hands. Their herds increased and the things they made, including those for His Tabernacle, turned out exceptional. They had protection from the nations around them. God put the fear of them into the hearts of those who they passed by. And they had direction from God Himself. He led them with a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of clouds in the daytime. He told them how to set up camp. He instructed them in how to care for themselves in many areas. He taught them how to get along with their neighbors. And He wrote instructions for how to maintain their relationship with Him.
GOD did these things, not man. God wants Israel to remember all the good things from their wanderings. He also wants them to remember the bad times too. In remembering the bad times it gives them reminders of Who carried them through those times. The bad times also bring lessons along the way that are necessary for future survival.
Israel learned more in the 40 year journey than they thought. They learned to make do with what they were given. They learned to be grateful for the little things. They learned to stop grumbling about the hard times. They learned to treasure the things of God. They learned that He is their source and only by staying in His will can they expect His blessings to continue. They learned that God had a plan for them and their life worked BEST when they went along willingly with His plans. They learned that God loved them and that was the best lesson of all!
ALL these lessons were scoffed at by the first generation but embraced by the second. Moses wants to make sure they remember these lessons even when things aren’t hard any more. Because they were faithful in the hard times, God is taking them into better times. He wants to bless them for their faithfulness. But He also wants them to continue in His presence. It is almost time to step into all that He has for them. Moses warns them to make certain they take the lessons they have learned along the way with them even now.
God brings each one of us through tough times. He has lessons we are to learn along the way and carry into the next thing He has for us. I’ve shared about my own life how He has used my struggles to teach me things I need for my life now. Those lessons mean more to me sometimes than all the easy times.
One of the lessons I learned as a child comes from my mother. She taught me to find a way around the things that are hard for me. She taught me to find new ways to do things that others could do but I was challenged with. One lesson that springs to mind is when I would wash dishes with my sister. My vision isn’t good, to put it mildly, and my sister was forever throwing dishes back to be rewashed because I had missed something. This was frustrating to say the least. My mom taught me to feel for the particles instead of relying on my eyes. She also told my sister to not be so critical of everything. If it was a small speck, wipe it off and move on.
Lessons like this one taught me to fight through tough obstacles instead of giving up and letting life wash over me. Being a strong willed individual helped there too. So when I found myself on the receiving end of a broken marriage and a single mother of four I decided I wasn’t going to sit back and let the state support me. I was going back to school to be able to support my children. We walked through some serious wilderness challenges during those years but God met me every step of the way. He provided finances for my education. He provided favor with my scholarship applications. He provided housing for my family. And He provided employment when my education was done.
He also provided more obstacles for me to walk through. More “wildernesses” and more “milk and honey” experiences. He is still providing more of each today. My job is to remember all the places we have walked together, take the lessons learned in each part of it, apply them to my daily life, trust Him for whatever comes next, and keep Him the center of my heart at all times.
I didn’t get where I am on my own. HE brought me here. Without Him it all falls apart. That is EXACTLY what Moses is telling the children of Israel. Keep Him the Main Thing and the rest of the things will all work out.
Thank You Father for the ”wilderness” lessons. Thank You for the “milk and honey” time lessons too. You know I prefer the second grouping but I also know that I wouldn’t get to the second group without the first. Thank You for Your faithfulness in both places. Thank You for You music which seems to be my central reminder. I love having a song in my heart that reminds me to look to You for my day. I LOVE that the simplest things trigger a song for me. And then Your Holy Spirit builds on those small triggers until I’m once again focusing on You. This morning it was flowers and You brought me the song of The Garden. Thank You!
I never want to get so “well off” that I stop “needing” You. I have a feeling that even if I had a million dollars I wouldn’t be there. Not because I had some need I didn’t have enough money for or wanted more money but because I would find someone else who was in need and give to care for them. I would use what You had given me to bless others in Your name. I love being able to do what I can to help others now and honestly feel all my needs are met by the blessings You have already given me. Just like Israel, I didn’t get here on my own. YOU brought me here and I want to say Thank You again. Simply and Forever, Thank You.