“Watch yourselves very carefully”
Today we have a remarkable set of meaningful readings. In Deuteronomy Moses commences his final exhortation to his nation; in Proverbs, the final chapter is taken to be an exhortation from the mother of Solomon (Bathsheba), a message that at the end of his life, he failed to follow.
In John, we have now reached the point in his gospel where he records in detail the intense personal encouragement Jesus gave to his disciples before his arrest. He tells them,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away …” (15:5,6).
The wonder of this abiding (living) is that it functions both ways! Let us all meditate on this!
The message of Moses is rather similar, illustrating that the Divine challenge to human beings to overcome their lower nature – is by making sure they come closer to their Maker – and stay there! This message is the same throughout Scripture. Moses tells them,
“take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart … Make them known to your children and your children’s children” (4:9).
Our world is presently doing a lot of reminiscing about the Anzacs – but we ourselves can and should say, “Lest we forget” on our spiritual wavelength! Or could it be that the ‘batteries’ in our spiritual radio have not been kept plugged in?
Note what Moses goes on to say,
“watch yourselves very carefully … beware lest you act corruptly …” (verses 15,16).
They are going to be surrounded by idol-worshippers! Different kinds of idols attract us today!
Sadly many of the children and descendants of those who entered the promised land did act corruptly. Then, to our surprise and wonder, Moses is inspired to look way into the future and speak about that!
“When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice. For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not … forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them” (verses 30,31).
May we all “watch ourselves very carefully” especially as it is increasingly clear we live “in the latter days” as we watch the events in and surrounding God’s holy land and the miracle that his people have returned there. How soon now Lord?