So, yet again, this chapter opens with a litany of Israel’s history—how they were slaves in Egypt, how God brought them out with signs and wonders, how God cared for them in the desert, and how they defeated all the nations who have come against them thus far. And I’m thinking, how many times have we heard this already? Do the Israelites have short-term memory loss? Why does Moses keep going over this again and again and again?
Aha, herein is more evidence of God’s relationship genius. Because it’s either that or He’s a broken record. (Hint: it’s the first one.) What are relationships, after all, except a living connection between two people based upon a history of memories? Isn’t that really what constitutes a friendship or intimate relationship? A connection that is formed over time as two people share experiences in a wide variety of circumstances.
In the case of my husband and me, I can trace the start of our relationship all the way back to a single look. That’s it. At that point, I didn’t know anything about him (except that he was staring at me), and he didn’t know anything about me (except that he liked the way I looked in my outfit). That was a rainy night in England. Fast forward nearly 18 years, and we’re married with two kids, living in America. How did that happen? One memory at a time. At any point along the way, one or both of us could have decided that we’d had enough and didn’t want to make any more memories together. A lot of people do that. It’s called "breaking up" or "ending a friendship." Instead, we decided we quite liked making memories together, and now, we keep the bond strong by making new memories as well as reminiscing about the old ones.
That’s what God is trying to do with the Israelites, over and over. He is trying to remind them of their shared history. Once again, this isn’t one of the heathen gods—faraway, distant, non-existent—that men had to make futile searches for. No, He chose them. He loved them. And His recounting their history was one of His simple ways of strengthening the bond between them.
It works in my life. The moment I am tempted to be anxious or worried over one of life’s circumstances, all I have to do is think back on my life and remember that God has never let me down. Not even once. Have there been disappointments? Sure. Have there been things that I wish hadn’t happened? Yup. However a look back over history shows me now how all of those things were working together for my good. And when I remember that, I can trust that God is also using the things I may not like that are happening right now.
So, as you think back over the last few months of your life, where do you see God? Can you see all the ways He’s been working? Are you excited about what's ahead? Just as He went through the litany of Israelites’ history with them, God is anxious to go over His past with you so you will not forget Him going forward. He is looking forward to a wonderful future with you!