Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. (Deuteronomy 8:2 NLT)
Some say that the Book of Deuteronomy could be called the book of remembering. Over and other again, before he departed from this earth, Moses told Israel to remember. The past is always the key to the present and future.
Memory is a fantastic thing. Recently I connected on Facebook with an acquaintance that I had not seen or even thought about for over sixty years. He mentioned us playing basketball together, and instantaneously, I remembered him in that context—and retrieved stored data from the recesses of my mind. God wants us to recover information from our past to help us navigate present or future situations.
Moses knew his people’s tendency for their hearts to stray, their minds to wander, and their emotions to deceive them. When trials and temptation come our way, and they always do, we engage them by remembering God’s faithfulness in the past. When the Prophet, probably Jeremiah, was afflicted, he said this, “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:21-23 NLT). Embedded in the memory of this Prophet were experiences that made these statements true. In his time of need, his memory of God’s faithfulness sustained him.
If we choose to dwell on God’s faithfulness in the past, he will turn perplexities into peace and fear into faith.
The image is used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing