“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. 6 So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
Deuteronomy is one of my favorite books in the Bible, it did not only tell the second generation of Israelites who left Egypt how to obey God’s commandments, it also told them how the Lord have been shepherding the first generation, so they obey the commandments not only because of the punishment may follow if they disobey but also because of the love of God motivates them to love Him and obey Him.
Shepherding people is quite different from shepherding sheep, after all we are different from sheep, our needs are different. In this paragraph, Moses told us how the Lord has shepherd them for 40 years in the wilderness.
- He tests us. We’ll not be able to realize our full potential in a life without tests. We do not like tests, but it is important in revealing who we truly are. Many think we know who we are, no one knows us better but very often our true selves only reveal to us in tests. Knowing who we are helps us to guide ourselves to the goals we set.
- He teaches us. People are ignorant on many things. We think the most important thing is food, but I hope we have truly learnt that we all need God’s words. We spent most of our time to find food and enjoy them, may we also spend a lot of time to understand God’s words.
- He cares for us. He does not only test and teach, He also cares. He provided them with manna for 40 years and at the same time, the clothes they wore did not tore.
- He disciplines us. Some see discipline as a punishment for disobedience, our Father uses discipline to train us to become mature.
- He gives us victory. Our lives do not just fill with tests, teachings, and disciplines, God also gives us victories. In victories, we have to apply all we have learnt previously. Do not forget God, Who have given us all the victories, bless Him.
May we all learn from the great Shepherd in shepherding others.