By Way of Reminder

By Way of Reminder

By Way of Reminder


The book of Deuteronomy is the fifth and final book written by Moses. In it Moses reminds the people of Israel, as they prepare to enter the land of Canaan, of how God has dealt with them over the past forty years as they wandered in the wilderness. [He also reminds them of how they have dealt with God during that period of time.]


A journey that should have taken them eleven days (1:2-3) took them forty years. It was because they had rebelled against God’s instructions when He told them to enter the land and begin conquering its inhabitants (1:26-27). Though they had God’s assurance that He would be with them and that He would give them the victory over their opponents, they were afraid and refused to go. Because of this, an eleven day trip took them forty years!


Moses reminded them that during the period of wilderness wanderings [during which they were actually guided by God] God had provided for their needs. In Deuteronomy 2:7  he assured them that during that period God had seen to it that they lacked nothing. In 29:5 he reminded them that neither their clothes nor their shoes had worn out during their wanderings. (imagine this – in forty years of travels their shoes and clothes had not worn out!) This, in and of itself, was a miraculous event. But this isn’t all the amazing news of which they were reminded. During a forty year march, their feet did not even swell! (8:4)

God’s care for them and provision for their needs had been amazing and astounding. Despite these facts they regularly murmured, complained, and spoke out against God, claiming that He was trying to destroy them.  Apparently taking one’s blessings for granted is not a fault that is limited to modern times.


While it is easy to sit back in relative comfort and criticize the ancient Israelites for their failure to recognize the blessings that were given to them so freely by their loving God, I should step back and take inventory of my own attitude. How many times do I take the bountiful blessings given to me by my loving heavenly Father for granted? It is so easy to overlook the things He has given me when I focus on something or somethings that I do not possess, but think that I should have.


A short list of blessings from God that I often take for granted includes, salvation from sin, my brothers and sisters in Christ, my relative measure of health, my relative degree of wealth, my family, my friends that I cherish, another day of life. I just noticed how many times I used the word “my.” This just reminds me that I am privileged to view things as “mine” even though they are merely on loan from our gracious God. My daily prayer should be that I recognize these and countless other things as ways that God provides for me.


Patrick Hogan

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