The purpose of the book of Deuteronomy is to provide the giving of the law for a second time to the children of Israel before they enter into the Promised Land. Before Moses dies, he takes the time to review the law for them so as to remind them of God’s heart for His covenant people. The law spoke of God’s rewards for loving and obeying Him. It also warned them of the consequences for disobedience. The law was not meant to only serve as a “rule book” that dictated their outward behavior. More importantly, it was meant to serve as a reminder of their privileged position in relationship to God.
After Moses death by the end of the book of Deuteronomy, Joshua becomes his successor. He actually leads the people to possess the Promised Land. One of the first demonstrations of God’s presence with them happens as God permits them to cross over the Jordan River. Wait a minute, if I remember correctly, didn’t God reveal his glory when He allowed the Children of Israel to miraculously walk on dry land across the Red Sea? As I recall, He delivered them from Egyptian bondage with signs and wonders. We might also reference that as :evidence” of God’s glory.
This time in Joshua 4:6, Joshua explains to the people why they will use stones to memorialize their crossing over: “that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”
As Moses and Joshua both illustrate to the people, there is significance in remembering. Reflecting upon who God is and what He has already done helps us to recount His glory presently revealed to us. Just as it was to the Children of Israel, so is it to us today that God’s glory can be observed through the power of His Word and demonstrated in His mighty acts.
Now as the holiday season draws near, if you’re like me, you tend to be very reflective. I like to ponder precious memories from the past of loved ones who are no longer here. I also anticipate experiencing the treasured traditions that mark many of my family’s celebrations. This time of the year, many people reflect upon what matters most and realize how much we have to be grateful and thankful for in this life.
One of the best things we can practice is remembering the glory of God. When we remember glory, we consider what it means to encounter the presence of God at work in our lives and on our behalf. We recall and recount specific times we have come in contact with and recognize God himself showing up just for us. In many instances, we also realize without God’s glory being evidenced for us as no other person could have, outcomes may have resulted very differently.
All year long, my blog posts have focused on the glory of God. As I write this final entry for this subject this year, I would like to encourage you to memorialize the events in your own life, this year alone where God’s presence has shown up for you in a significant way. Choosing to remember is a powerful tool that keeps us continually connected to the glory of God. It is important that we reflect with intentionality. We can declare in the words of one of the very first songs I learned to sing, “If it had not been for the Lord on my side, tell me where would I be?”
Today, I am especially grateful and thankful I have the choice to recount, recall, and reflect. I am choosing to memorialize and I shall never forget. I am remembering glory.