Tell the stories
Day: 11 | Plan: Deuteronomy
Today's Reading: Deuteronomy 11
Deuteronomy 11:7 (NIV) “But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the LORD has done.”
My grandfather was a pastor for many, many years. Few people know the name H.T. Henderson, but hundreds upon hundreds of people know the name of Jesus because of his ministry.
When he tells me his stories, I’m proud of him, sure. But I am amazed by God. My grandfather’s story is a God-story. Jesus gets all the credit and glory. I didn’t get to watch most of his ministry. I didn’t witness what God did through him week in and week out. So he tells me. Listening to his stories is always time well spent. Because of his stories, my faith is stirred.
This is the charge Moses gives Israel. Tell stories that build faith in future generations! In Deuteronomy 11:1, Moses says to love the Lord and keep His law and commands. In Deuteronomy 11:2, Moses says that Israel must remember that their children did not experience the awesome things God had done. There is a message here for both generations—those who have witnessed God’s miracles and those who have not. These stories are profitable for both!
To God, it seems that their seeing the miracle doesn’t matter. (Cool sure, but nonessential.) Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” God builds our faith on things we hope for, on things we’ve heard about, not necessarily on things we see. In these first verses this is Moses’ plea: revere God’s words and retell His works.
Moses seems to link steadfast obedience to God’s ways with regular remembrance of God’s works. Notice an important factor about what Moses calls them to remember—God’s protection and God’s righteous justice. Deuteronomy 11:3-6 notes the miracles of God, yes. But these were miracles of judgment on those who oppose God. Fear of the Lord and His righteous anger toward sin are healthy motivators for obedience. As believers we may be safe from the eternal penalty of sin, but not the temporary consequence of sin. We don’t just tell the highlight reel of success and victory, but also struggle, conviction or perseverance.
Moses also teaches that sharing our testimonies is an imperative—not just for our faithfulness but for the faith of future generations. No doubt our kids (and their kids) will experience the goodness of God themselves, but why make them wait? Why make them wonder? We can fill the gap between expectation and experience by sharing our stories of seeing God work in magnificent ways for us!
Remembering fosters our faith. Remembering the Lord’s previous faithfulness helps to cement future obedience for ourselves and others! And I would love for my kids to have cemented faith! Deuteronomy 11:18-20 gives the mix for this kind of cemented faith—teaching our kids about God throughout our days and activities, whether at home or out and about. And God gives a “so that” promise in Deuteronomy 11:21. We will live in His presence and promise as a result.
Your God-story, what He’s done in you and for you, matters to someone. Maybe a lot of someones! Our testimonies teach future generations to watch expectantly for God’s faithfulness. Generations who have walked with God look back in gratitude; future generations look forward in hope.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I want to return to You, to remember You. You are faithful. You are good. I can look back to see big and small ways that You keep Your promises. Today I choose to remember, and in remembering I promise to repeat Your goodness to others. To help those who are in seasons of waiting hear a real life story of how true Your words are. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Moses’ messages throughout Deuteronomy have a theme of obedience or keeping the law. Much... Read More
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