“Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” 4:9
At this point, the Israelites entire identity is being in relationship with God, and if they miss out on that, then everything else is irrelevant. That is why idolatry is mentioned repeatedly with great emphasis.
“The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God.” 4:24
I love 4:32-39 where Moses is retelling their story and reminds them what he rescued them from. “So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is not other.”
Becoming a Christian at first is hard and primarily based on faith. You’re choosing to believe the stories you read in the Bible or the stories that someone else is telling you about God in their life. But staying in relationship with God is fueled by remembering what he has done.
A few years ago after reading Deuteronomy, I wrote down my story with God to read to myself in times of doubt. I wrote about the times he rescued me from myself, took me in and blessed me with deep relationships and community. I specified the details, the timelines, the people. Remember when the walls were caving in and I opened up an escape door? Protected you, provided for you and exemplified my love in deep, tangible ways? I’ll spare you the exact details, but writing them down to reread is a beautiful gift. When life feels like trudging through mud and you’re trying to remember the way out: read your rescue story with God. It throws water on the flickering flames of doubt and drenches your heart with his hope.
Take a minute and jot down a few times God has rescued you and been with you, keep it somewhere where you can reach it, even if you type it up on your phone somewhere.
What was happening? What were you afraid of? How did God meet your needs? What people did he bring into your life? What did you learn about him?
You’ll notice that often he was providing a solution before there was even a problem. He doesn’t see our story like we do, one day at a time. He knows the beginning and the end and is with us along the way. Emmanuel.