Monday, September 27, 2010

Never forget (DT 31:9-13)

"So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. Then Moses commanded them, saying, 'At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.'" (Deuteronomy 31:9-13)
With each successive generation it becomes increasing more difficult for a people to remember and relate to the events that lead up to the creation of their nation. The times of trials and difficulties, the individual and corporate acts of valor, their choosing to ratify themselves as a nation though the covenants and contracts they made with themselves and God; all these begin to fade from the active memory and become mere stories in a history book. When this happens, a nation is at risk of loosing touch with their past and with who they were created to be and become. The promise and potential that existed at their nations creation is in jeopardy when the people forget their past.

This is, at least in part, why God directed the nation of Israel to regularly set aside times when the people would be reminded of their laws and the covenants they made with God. It was for their protection lest they should forget who they were. The same is true today. My country is now more than two hundred years old and much of our history and purposes for existence has been lost to many of our citizens. For many, we no longer understand why we became a nation and we have forgotten the foundational principals that were the basis of our founding documents and constitution.

For a nation to endure, it must make sure that it reminds and educates each successive generation on the how and why of its creation. It must strive to pass on those principles and covenants that make it unique to each successive generation. It must pass itself on to the generations that follow.

David Robison

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