By David Chaniott
I could fill a book with stories of my siblings getting me into trouble. It is a bit harder for me to think of a time my parents got me into trouble. Once, my dad took me and my brother fishing in a drinking water reservoir. It was a great fishing spot—until a game warden showed up and kicked us out, threatening to arrest my dad. My dad’s mistake only cost me half a day of fishing. In Deuteronomy, Moses addressed a people whose parents cost them a lot more.
Before they crossed over into the promised land, Moses reminded the Israelite people of their history and God’s faithfulness. This moment marked the end of a forty year struggle in a desert wilderness. Their lives in the wilderness were the result of disobedience—but not their own disobedience. It was their parents’ sin that started their forty years of wanderings.
But their parent’s story was part of their story as a nation. Before they moved forward into the promised land, they needed to be reminded of their history. Moses begins by reminding them of the consequences of sin and disobedience. But his address isn’t just a reminder of how their parents failed. His teaching instead focuses on God’s providence for His people, and how God had been faithful—not only to their parents, but to them.
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this immense wilderness. The LORD your God has been with you these past forty years, and you have lacked nothing” (Deuteronomy 2:7).
There is no question in this story that God has kept His promise to these people, and that He will continue to keep His promises to this new generation and beyond. Whatever their ancestors had done, they had not ruined God’s plan for His people. God was still providing and blessing and guiding them. His anger had burned against the men and women who balked at inheriting the home he offered them. But He never stopped offering Himself or moving them toward that promised home.
Like Moses’s audience, we too can be sure of what God has promised. Our blessings and our inheritance are found in Christ (Ephesians 1:3–14). We can hold tight to His promises, remembering the ways our God has already been faithful both to past generations and to us.
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