Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of March 23, 2008

Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.”

The children of Israel had been wandering for forty years in the wilderness. They are now about to enter the promised land and wars are about to be fought. They need to be encouraged and so Moses does this by reminding them of the great things God has done for the nation. Those who are younger than forty years old will not have remembered the night when the children of Israel were thrust out of Egypt because the first born of Egypt had died. They will not remember feeling boxed in by the Red Sea when the Egyptians changed their minds about letting them go and began pursuing them. They will not have remembered how the Red Sea opened up and became a means of deliverance for Israel and a means of destruction for the army of Egypt. They will not have remembered standing at the mountain that burned with fire and having God speak to the nation from the mountain. But they need to know that heritage in order to believe that the same God who did these miracles for their parents, will do great things for them. Those who were twenty when these things happened would be sixty years old now. They too needed to be reminded of these things though they experienced them in their youth and in many cases would remember them. The fighting men who were older than twenty when they failed to go into the land the first time have now all died except for Caleb and Joshua and Moses. There may be some women who are older than sixty in the congregation but by and large a new generation needed to be reminded of its heritage.

We are told not to live in the past. But the past contains lessons for the future. When we cease to remember where we have come from, we will be more likely to repeat the mistakes of the past. If we are acquainted with the great things that God has done for us and our forefathers in the past, it will encourage us to believe that he can do great things for us in the future.

Many of us have stories that we could and should share with a new generation. Missionaries have written memoirs so that others can be encouraged by the great things that God has done for them. They have included their hardships so that those who come along behind them are not surprised when difficulties arise. Most of us would not consider ourselves missionaries, but we have likely seen the Lord intervene in our lives in miraculous ways that have convinced us of the practical reality and presence of the Lord at those times. We need to share those experiences with a younger generation so that they will be encouraged to be faithful to the Lord. We don’t share those experiences to promote or exalt ourselves but to encourage a younger generation to step out in faith on the God we trust.

Remembering can be good. The new generation needed to remember that God blessed the nation when they were obedient and that even Miriam, Moses sister, was judged when she became self-willed (Numbers 12:10).

Easter reminds us that our Saviour lives and that He is coming again. The Lord’s Supper reminds us that we have a Savior who didn’t ask us to die for Him for us to be saved, but rather He died for us so that we could be saved. We need to tell the stories of our conversions from time to time to remind ourselves and others that God does love us personally. We need to share the stories of the great things God has done for us so that our children will not get discouraged when the spiritual path of obedience and devotion to the Lord gets tough. The God who has done great things in the lives of our forefathers and who has done great things in our lives, is the the same God that can and will do great things in the lives of our children if they will just commit their way to Him (Psalm 37:5).

Bruce Collins

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>