Remember the Lord
Open Your Bible
Deuteronomy 7:1-26, Deuteronomy 8:1-20, Deuteronomy 9:1-6, Matthew 4:1-11
BY Beth Joseph
Today I felt nostalgic for my sophomore year of college. It was during this year that God used a friend to draw me to the book of Deuteronomy in a fresh way.
That year, I met a friend (coincidentally named Amen) who had a deeper prayer life than mine. I longed to grow in intimacy with God through prayer like I saw present in her life. While Amen experienced prayer in a way that I wanted to understand, I had grown up in a faith tradition that focused more on Scripture. We quickly noticed that we both had a lot we could learn from each other, and as a result we started meeting every Tuesday and Thursday morning to pray and open God’s Word. The book we chose to start with was Deuteronomy.
As I was learning with Amen and growing deeper in my prayer life, I also experienced Scripture in an entirely new way. Reading the book of Deuteronomy made me want to live a life of obedience. Seeing how much God cared for His people, and observing His intentional provision and gracious patience, created within me an urgency to offer my entire life to Him in worship. Deuteronomy also taught me the importance of remembrance.
In today’s reading, we see Moses delivering an argument for why future obedience matters. Moses reminds his audience of the provision and care of God in their lifetime (Deuteronomy 8:2–3), while also warning them that it is easy to forget His faithfulness (v.14). He also cautions them to be careful of what they expose themselves to (Deuteronomy 7:16,25–26). Additionally, he draws their attention to what they have to hope for in the promised land (Deuteronomy 8:7–10).
Interestingly enough, the blessings of the promised land could possibly distract and lead its recipients into complacency and ungratefulness. Moses warned the Israelites to guard themselves from amnesia—one that forgets that God is the only reason you are at the moment, time, or place that you are. Moses communicates a profound truth here: to remember is to obey, and to forget is to disobey. Moses urges God’s people to understand the possible consequences of forgetfulness (vv.19–20).
Many years later, Jesus uses some of the words from today’s reading in Deuteronomy to withstand Satan’s temptations while in a vulnerable state of hunger (Matthew 4:2–4). Jesus demonstrates for us that remembrance of God’s Word brings victory over Satan’s attacks.
I needed today’s readings. I needed to remember why future obedience matters. And why remembrance is a key player in the effort to obey. May you and I cement in our minds today to remember and “don’t forget the LORD your God” (Deuteronomy 8:11).