Imagine for a moment that you are Moses and God has just informed you that you will not be going into the Promise Land. You are standing before the people and this is your last opportunity to speak to them. What would you say?
There are four pivotal elements that Moses gives to the people that enable them to possess the land God is giving them.
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach YOU. Follow them so that YOU MAY LIVE and YOU MAY GO IN and YOU MAY TAKE POSSESSION of the land the Lord, The God of your ancestors is giving YOU.
PIVOTAL ELEMENT #1 - God has a path for your life.
As parents, as grandparents and as church leaders we have to be sure our children, our grandchildren and the next generation know that God has a path for their life. It is something we need to be sure we emphasize over and over again.
Deuteronomy 4:3 You saw with your eyes what the Lord did at Baal Peor. The Lord your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor, but all of you who HELD FAST TO THE LORD YOUR GOD are still alive today.
PIVOTAL ELEMENT #2 - Hold Fast To The Lord
What is Moses communicating here? "Hey, some of the people that started out with you didn't make it this far. There were some of your friends who were on the same path with you, but when times got tough they didn't hold fast to the Lord."
We must prepare our children, grandchildren and the next generation as we are on the path that God has for us there will be right turns, left turns and U-turns. There will be times that we take one step forward and two steps back. It is during those times that we must be sure that our faith is in God. We have to know that we know that although it doesn't seem like you are making progress God will take you to your destination. It may mean going around the mountain just one more time.
Deuteronomy 4:5-6 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that YOU may follow them in the land YOU are entering to take possession of it. YOU OBSERVE THEM CAREFULLY, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations.
PIVOITAL ELEMENT #3 - Observe Carefully The Things You Have Been Taught
When they went into the land God had given them they still had to take possession. They still had to do the things they were taught. Notice that Moses said it will show your wisdom. Wisdom is the application of the things you are taught.
When our kids were growing up we would give them instructions. Whenever they wouldn't follow the instructions we would ask them a question. Is that a wise decision or a foolish decision? They must have heard that question a million times. Our goal was that when they became older this question would echo in their hearts. It would be a guiding force for them living a life of wisdom.
We must encourage our children, grandchildren and the next generation to carefully observe the things they are taught.
Deuteronomy 4:7 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.
PIVOTAL ELEMENT #4 - Don't Forget The Things You Have Seen God Do
The people had seen God do some incredible things. He fed them manna supernaturally. He fed them quail supernaturally. He led them in a cloud by day and a fire by night. He parted the Red Sea when their backs were up against the wall. God told them to always tell their kids all the things that God had done for them.
We must teach our children, grandchildren and the next generation to remember the times God shows up and shows out when life takes the right turns, left turns and u-turns.
When David and his men returned to Ziklag after war they find that their wives and children had been taken. The city was burned down. It said David and his men cried until they could cry no more. Then David encouraged himself in the Lord. My guess is that David reminded himself of all the times God showed up and showed out. He got up, took some men with him and got their wives and children back.
Deuteronomy 4:10-13 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when He said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that THEY may learn to revere me. YOU came near and YOU stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with back clouds and deep darkness. Then the Lord spoke to YOU out of the fire. YOU heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to YOU His covenant.
PIVOTAL ELEMENT #5 - Teach Them To Hear God's Voice For Themselves
There was a time when the people were so afraid of God they told Moses to listen to God and then come and tell them what He said. Once Moses told them what God said they would obey Him. How many of us know that didn't work at all. They often found themselves doing the opposite of what God told Moses.
One of the greatest things we can do as parents, grandparents and church leaders is to teach our children, grandchildren and our church family how to hear God for themselves.
I think Moses knew this was his last opportunity. He knew in order for the people to go possess the territory that God had given to them that these were five elements he wanted them to remember.
Our children are grown and now have families of their own. Their spouses have a heart to love God and serve God just as they do. They did very well in choosing their spouse. We are blessed beyond measure.
As I look back these are the five elements that have played a part in them possessing the territory the God is giving them.
I encourage you to keep these five elements before you. If you are a parent, grandparent or church leader they are critical in their ability to go possess the land God has given them.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words that I command YOU today shall be on YOUR heart. YOU shall teach them diligently to YOUR children.