“Lest they depart from your heart”

Chapter 4 of Deuteronomy is a powerful exhortation by Moses, part of his final message before he dies. It contains much that also applies to those trying to remain faithful to Jesus as they journey through today’s wilderness to the promised land of God’s worldwide kingdom, praying with greater and greater urgency, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done”.

As God’s involvement in the affairs of man unfolds and the final intense dramas of conflict and confusion multiply, convinced Bible believers know the visible involvement of God’s intervention is ever nearer. With these thoughts in mind, let us consider what Moses, in his final message, said to the people about their privileged position.

“What nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?” (verse 7). We should apply that to ourselves, gaining strength of mind from the intimacy of the personal relationship with God that Jesus reveals in today’s chapter in John. He told his disciples, “… you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you” (15:3,4). That simple phrase says it all, a most wonderful principle to follow. A heart-felt acceptance of God’s word puts us into a special and wonderful relationship with our Lord and his and our God, a relationship which must grow and grow.

We find the same point in the last message of Moses to the Israelites before his death. Note verse 9 of our Deuteronomy chapter, “… take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children”.

The world is continually influencing us to cause God to “depart” from our hearts. We may have an intellectual acknowledgement of him still in our minds; but can we put God, as it were, into a compartment of our minds and just open the compartment whenever we feel the need to speak and act religious?

Such was the tremendous experience of the impressionable teenagers and children, both in Egypt and the wilderness, that they together with their children born during those 40 years went into the promised land and remained faithful. A dedicated daily reading of God’s word is an essential foundation if we are to do the same.