“In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him in commandment to them…” – Deuteronomy 1:3
Deuteronomy is, for the most part, the final messages from Moses to the nation of Israel before they enter the Promised Land. The book is described as being similar to a constitution for the people.
In the opening four chapters Moses is retelling how Israel has failed, yet also how God has protected and guided them and the grace He has shown over and over. It must have been hard for the Israelites to hear again how they had not listened to God before when He wanted them to enter the Promised Land. But the point Moses is trying to make is not the failure of Israel, instead he wants them to understand the mighty acts of God in saving His people. Yes, they failed and were punished, but God never gave up on His people. He was there with them in those moments. The goal was for them to not dwell on how they failed; the goal was to remember how God was there for them. Over and over in the Old Testament Israel is called to remember all the great things God has done for them. This remembering should give them confidence and help them trust God with their future and follow His ways.
We fail also in our lives as well. Sin gets the better of us and it’s usually in those moments that we feel ashamed and unworthy of God. The last thing we feel God wants is us in our sinful and broken state. But this is when God’s grace shines the brightest; we can see the goodness of God sometimes in the lowest moments of life. It is why Paul can say, “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more…” (Romans 5:20) God’s grace in our lives gives us the confidence to know how God has worked in our lives. Israel could look back and remember what God had done for them; we as well can remember all that God has done for us. Think about what God has done for you. How have you seen God provide? How have you seen God protect? How does the grace of God change the way you live?