Monday, December 31, 2012

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Deuteronomy 8
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land… (Deut.8:6,7a

An eventful year is passing by. When we look back, a host of memories, good and bad come to our minds. Year ending is a time of stocktaking and clearance. The passage for our meditation is Moses’ final words to the people of Israel who are encamped at the plains of Moab, just about to enter the Promised Land. Recollecting their life in the wilderness, these exhortations and warnings are given as a guidebook to the people of God to live in a new land. Their prospects in the new land will be determined by their faithfulness to the Lord. They are to remember how the Lord their God led them all their ways in the desert during the past forty years. They have to examine their life and rededicate their life before entering the Promised Land.

We should remember the importance of the Word of God: The chapter begins with a passionate insistence for a careful observance of the Law as necessary precondition for their blessings in the new land. Take care to remember that the Lord God who gave you the land, also gave you commandments to observe. Verse 3 underscores the importance of the Word of God as an essential means for our spiritual nourishment over against all the material things after which we are striving for our sustenance.  Jesus also uses these words to refute the devil while he was tempted. Human life can have no higher wealth and no more necessary sustenance than that provided by the word of God. The word of God should permeate our life that we should be diligent in studying the word and vigilant in observing his commands.

We should remember the providential care of God: Verses 2 to 5 expound the providential care of God as a mark of God’s concern for the people. Their desert experiences are intended for disciplining and spiritual nurturing. Forty years of wandering in the wilderness taught them many lessons fundamental for a meaningful life in the Promised Land. They knew what is hunger; but at the same time they were fed with abundance of food. The divine providence of manna teaches the most important lesson about their direct dependence on God. Remembrance should lead us for a deeper commitment. Verses 12, 13 challenge us for a creative response as recipients of God’s blessings. ‘When you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increases forget not your Lord and should not become proud.’ But rather, humble yourself and use your enhanced influence for the uplift of those who have no influence.

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for all your providential care amidst the tumults and turmoil of the past year. Grant us the grace to receive your blessings in the New Year. Amen.

Rev. Joseph Johnny , New York