There are moments in your life when you’re on the cusp of something new. Perhaps a period of hardship is finally coming to an end. Maybe something long-awaited has finally arrived. It could be that you’re wrapping up one chapter of your life to begin a new one. In those moments, it’s good to pause and remember.
In the book of Deuteronomy, just as the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land after a grueling 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses calls his people to remember. Below are six things that Moses (and one thing that Joshua) tells Israel to keep in mind as they move into a new chapter of their history.
Remember What and Where you Were
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 5:15).
It’s good to look back and remember where God has brought you from.
Remember God’s Past Works
“[Y]ou shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out” (Deuteronomy 7:18-19).
Remember what God has done in the past gives us confidence that he will continue to be faithful in the future.
Remember God’s Sweet Discipline
“And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:2-3).
In verse 16 Moses tells them that God humbled them in this way “to do you good in the end.” So God’s discipline, though hard, is precious. Remember it.
Remember that All Good Things Come from God
“Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).
The good you’re on the cusp of enjoying will not be of your own doing. It is God’s good gift to you. Remember that.
Remember your Sin, and Remember that God Remembers His Faithfulness in Spite of It
“Remember and do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD” (Deuteronomy 9:7).
So much so, Moses says, that God was ready to destroy them (9:8).
Yet, when Moses fell prostrate before God and begged him to remember the covenant he had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God didn’t destroy them. He was faithful even though his people weren’t (Deuteronomy 9:27-10:2).
Remember that God is Both Savior and Lord
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today (Deuteronomy 15:15)”
God said that he redeemed his people and therefore commands them. The God who saves you is the God who rules you. Don’t forget that.
Remember the Hope that is Before You
“Remember the word that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land’” (Joshua 1:13).
As you look back on God’s past faithfulness, be encouraged to know that he will continue to be faithful in this next step. As he fulfilled his promises in the past, trust that he will fulfill his promises in the future.
As we stand on the brink and look forward to what’s ahead, may we, like the Israelites, pause to remember.