That is the setting of the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a book of remembrances. The word “remember” appears repeatedly throughout the book. Chapter by chapter the command is given to do what the name Deuteronomy suggests - Remember!
The Children of Israel were commanded to remember that they had been slaves in Egypt until God redeemed them with His mighty hand (Deut. 5:15; 24:18). They were commanded to remember the long forty-year journey through the wilderness and how God led them and fed them along the way (Deut. 8:2-3). They were told to remember how God kept their clothing from wearing out (v4). Talk about a miracle! Their clothes endured the forty-year journey through rough terrain, and in the end looked as good as new.
Like Israel camped along the banks of the Jordan, we stand upon the threshold of a brand New Year. Similar to Israel’s experiences in the new land, we have strongholds to conquer, battles to fight, a few giants to take down, and victories to win in 2016. There are possessions to possess. There are faith adventures just ahead. It promises to be an exciting New Year.
But before you cross over into the new, pause to remember. That’s the message of Deuteronomy. Take some time to reflect on your experiences and God’s faithfulness in the past year. Remember how God brought you through the tough times. Think of all the things He not only kept you through, but kept you from. Remember all of His blessings, big and small.
The discipline of remembering not only makes us thankful for what God has done, it makes us hopeful for the future. It gives us confidence that the God who was there in all our yesterdays will be there in all our tomorrows. And He will.
May I suggest that sometime before you ring in the New Year, you get alone with God and remember. Find a quiet place to deeply reflect on the year 2015. Then reverently store the old year away like you would a precious keepsake, and go forward into the New Year in the strength of the Lord.
Pastor Todd Weston