These are the words that Moses spoke to all the people of Israel while they were in the wilderness east of the Jordan River. (Deuteronomy 1:1 NLT)
The Israelites who had rebelled against God had now all passed away in the wilderness. The only ones left who were 20 years old or older at the rebellion are Moses, Joshua, and Caleb. Moses will not go into the Promised Land. Joshua will lead in Moses’ place. Caleb will go in, even at an advanced age, as a mighty warrior. Before they go in, Moses has some things to share. His words make us most of the book of Deuteronomy. (And you thought my sermons were long!)
"When we were at Mount Sinai, the LORD our God said to us, 'You have stayed at this mountain long enough… Time to Break Camp, Moses Appointed Leaders, Travelled, 40 Days of Spies, Rebellion Against The LORD, 40 Years in the Desert, Heshbon, Bashan, Division of the Land, Moses Forbidden to Cross the Jordan. (Deuteronomy 1:6-3:29 NLT)
Moses begins his recap of the past 40 years by appealing to those who were alive during the Exodus from Egypt. They would have been 19 years old or younger at the time, but they still would have remembered living in slavery, watching the ten plagues, leaving at night, and walking through the Red Sea with water like walls on either side of them. They firstborn boys may have remembered that the tenth plague would have taken their lives, had it not been for the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. They would have remembered encountering God at Mt. Sinai, drinking water from the rock, the beginning of manna on the desert floor, and the last 40 years in the wilderness. Moses reminded them of The LORD’s faithfulness over the past 40 years because they lived during this time and experienced the faithfulness of God.
How about you? Have you experienced the faithfulness of God? Can you look back over the past 40 years (or however long you’ve been alive) and see places where God sustained you, supported you, provided for you, or protected you? When you remember this life of yours, do you remember God?