Here are the passages to read if you want to stay on track to finish the Old Testament this year: Deuteronomy 6, Isaiah 34, and Psalm 147.
This devotional is about Deuteronomy 6.
In this chapter, Moses taught the people of Israel the central idea of God’s law: love him (v. 5). Anyone who loves God will keep his commandments (hmmm... sounds like John 14:15); alternatively, anyone who does not love God will have a hard time obeying the commandments with any consistency. This truth, from this chapter, is probably the best known thing about Deuteronomy 6. If you know any verse in Deuteronomy by heart, you almost certainly know Deuteronomy 6:5.
But notice verses 10-12. In that paragraph, Moses looked forward to the days when the people in front of him will finally have the land God promised them. After wandering impoverished in the desert since they were children, they would finally have prosperity and physical comforts. When that happens, Moses said, “...be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
One of the biggest challenges we face in our walk with God is forgetfulness. We forget the truths of God’s word we once knew so well. We forget to keep following the Lord when life is good. We forget how much God has done for us. We forget the promises and warnings of scripture. Once we forget, we become complacent about our lives, stop fearing God (v. 13) and become enamored with idols (v. 14). If you’ve ever found yourself doing sinful things you thought you’d never do or questioning doctrines you once believed wholeheartedly, you’ve experienced what it means to “forget the Lord.”
The only defense against forgetting and the only way back from it is to consciously remind yourself of and review God’s truth (vv. 7b-9)--who he is and what he’s done for us (v. 12b). We have the Word, the Lord’s supper (“in remembrance of me”), and the people of God to help remind us to keep following the Lord. These are the channels of God’s grace to us; if we ignore them or cut off their influence in our lives, we will soon find ourselves adrift in forgetfulness.
Have you forgotten what the Lord has said and done? After repentance, what steps or methods can you bring in to help you remember the Lord our God?