Most people seem to be busier than ever. They always have something to do or some place to go. It is possible to become so involved in the details of living that we fail to set up any real purpose in life. We need to stop, to take time out, to ask ourselves: “What is this all about? What am I doing? Where am I heading?” We need to examine the way we live and focus on the basics.
There came a time like this for the children of Israel. They had passed through 40 long years of wandering and hardship in the wilderness. Now they were about to enter the land that God had promised to them. They looked forward to a time of greater comfort. They were eager to get started.
Moses, their leader, stops and calls them together for a time of self-evaluation. And he gives them some reminders and warnings. He spoke God’s Word to them and they were told to have those words on their hearts.
We have the same words of God and they are to be on our hearts. Parents, do you know how much your attitude toward God’s Word affects the attitude of your children? Children are often like little mirrors that reflect the attitudes and habits of their parents. If parents don’t value God’s Word, children won’t either.
So God told parents to have the Word of God on their hearts. What can God mean to your children if he means nothing to you? Moses told parents to do something with the Word of God, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home.” All parents feel responsibility to feed, clothe and protect their children. Unfortunately, the responsibility to teach God’s Word is one responsibility they don’t take seriously.
A CBS news report said that 60% of Americans couldn’t name even 5 of the 10 commandments, or name the four Gospels. Why don’t Americans know the Bible better? They have not been taught. How can parents expect their children to know the Bible when they make no effort to learn it themselves? How can children take God’s Word seriously if the parents don’t?
The Israelites were about ready to enter the Promised Land. They would take over the crops and fields, the cities and houses. They would eat and be full. Moses tells them that when this happens they will be tempted to forget the Lord.
That is what happens today because we are so busy making money and spending it. We are busy with appointments, practices, and plans. We can easily forget the more important things. Being so busy, we can forget the Lord and his Word. This is the Lord who loves us and died for us, who is responsible for the good things we have. So Moses said, “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord.”
(Pastor Marc Frey is the pastor at Peace of Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool (WELS) New Carlisle, OH www.peaceofoursavior.net)