Summary: At the time of New Year resolutions, a resolution to keep remembering our Heavenly Father's faithfulness (of previous years) through 2017 and beyond in order our love for Him is constantly renewed!!!
REMEMBERING TO REMEMBER!!!
Your Bob owes our Bob a Bob, if your Bob doesn’t return the Bob your Bob owes our Bob, our Bob will give your Bob a Bob in the eye...so goes an old tongue in cheek tongue-twister with the word Bob getting repeated not less than 10 times in the same. While Moses that peerless leader of OT times certainly did not want his swansong sermon (after delivering the same - he would disappear atop Mount Nebo-Deu 34:1-6) to be remembered as some kind of tongue-twister, a closer scrutiny of his monumental address (which is preserved in the Sacred Canon under the title Deuteronomy) would reveal that he was constantly using the word “Remember” again and again in it (16 times to be more precise) to press home a point. When we consider at what stage of wilderness journey the children of Israel were at that point of time (remember...oh remember again eh? sic...they were travelling from Egypt to Canaan under his leadership), the word remember becomes all the more relevant, so to speak. Oh yes, they were camped on the Eastern Bank of River Jordan with the “Promised Land” seemingly, just a stone’s throw away. With the mission ”Conquest of Canaan” looming large before them, they more than anything else needed to be reminded of the Lord’s power and faithfulness in shepherding a Nation through the Wilderness journey in the past 40 years so as to emotionally and spiritually strengthen them for the Mission. After all, for the previous generation who had seen with their own eyes (words own eyes used advisedly) all of his powerful miracles in Egypt and beyond, the same task of conquering Canaan courtesy their wavering faith had seemed “Mission impossible” leading to tragic “so near...yet so far” anticlimactic, tragic end (Numbers 13-14).
Much of the audience, Moses was addressing now would hear with their ears (words their ears used advisedly) about all of God’s power and faithfulness (unlike their fathers’ who had seen them) and effect of his message as evidenced by the subsequent events would have the desired positive, salutary effect (Joshua 11:23) upon them even as they took upon themselves the task of conquering Canaan earnestly influenced in a way by this singular address. Talk of faith being generated by hearing and not by seeing... (Romans 10:17)...
With we being poised to enter the New Year after being shepherded faithfully by our good Lord through the previous years, Yours Truly feels inspired to share this message on the Lord’s faithfulness drawing heavily from the Book of Deuteronomy (incidentally after Psalms and Isaiah, it is the most quoted Book in the NT Scriptures).
A Biblical Scholar put a spiritual truth very creatively thus...”God gives and forgives whereas men get and forget”. How true!!! It is this forgetfulness that leads to “cooling down of the first love” (Rev 2:4-5). As much of love is dependent on gratitude (Luke 7:47), it would serve us well to regularly stoke the fires of gratitude by remembering again and again what all the good Lord has done for us faithfully over the years...not just in 2016. That’s what spiritual exercising is all about (1 Tim 4:8). Oh how often, when his spiritual temperatures have plummeted, Yours Truly would be led to seek solitude (Matt 6:6) to revive his spiritual health (unlike in the physical realm...in the spiritual one... good health of a soul and temperature are directly proportional!!! ).
Our Heavenly Father who would not put off a smouldering wick is so faithful (like His love and power, His faithfulness is also indescribable-Matt 12:20) that He has time and again helped me in my weakness by using His Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26) to breathe fire to smouldering embers of my soul.
Unless one is healthy spiritually, where is the question of he/she standing up as a faithful witness for Him which ought to be primary goal of any Christian at all times.
Now coming back to Deuteronomy... the Israelites would soon be living off the fat of the Land flowing with milk and honey with the live danger of becoming “fat and bloated” in turn, concentrating more on the gifts, as it were rather than on the faithful Giver of those gifts. Therefore Moses besides making them “remember” about the Lord’s loyalty towards their welfare in his farewell message many a time, also teaches them a song ...a portion of it with overtones of gentle warning I am quoting verbatim hereunder. The portion is oh-so-explanatory that it ought to serve as a gentle warning to us of the current age too...
But Israel was soon overfed;
Yes, fat and bloated;
Then, in plenty, they forsook their God.
They shrugged away the Rock of their salvation... (Deu 32:15-TLB).
God forbid such a condition coming upon a Christian whose needs have been adequately taken care of at all times by Divine Providence...