The People of God, Bible Literacy, and Forgetfulness

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), March 14 

Moses issues a number of warnings to Israel as they prepare to move into houses that they did not build and harvest vineyards and olive groves that they did not plant (Deuteronomy 6:10-11):

Do not forget God. While slavery to the Egyptians had caused Israel to cry out to God, prosperity in the land of Canaan may cause Israel to forget God. Bible literacy will keep gratitude alive as Israel remembers her former years of slavery and God’s great deliverance.

Do what is good and right in the LORD’s sight. Road signs remind people to drive responsibly; so Bible literacy keeps God’s righteous standards before the people.

Do not follow the gods of the peoples around you. Bible literacy reminds Israel of the powerlessness of the gods of Egypt in preventing their departure.

Make no treaty with the Canaanites and do not intermarry with the Canaanites. Bible literacy reminds Israel of God’s promise to judge the Canaanites for their wickedness.

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years. Hunger taught Israel that they could trust the Lord to meet their needs. Both hunger and prosperity are a test. Hunger requires trust, while prosperity requires gratitude. Bible literacy reminds Israel both of God’s provision in the wilderness and their impoverished state as slaves in Egypt.

UnknownMoses unearths the root of forgetfulness, “When you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and your forget the LORD your God . . .” (Deuteronomy 8:12-14). Pride built on top of prosperity is the culprit. Gratitude and remembering are disciplines of the heart and mind. Feeding on God’s Word, therefore, reminds His people, “Man shall not live by bread alone but; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3).

Questions from today’s reading (Deuteronomy 6:1-9:29):

Who does God hold responsible for Bible literacy and what will this require of them?

What does God command Israel to do upon their entry into Canaan to prevent them from falling into idolatry?

How does the LORD describe the people who live in Canaan?

What past failure does the LORD remind Israel of as a warning against idolatry?