When your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?” then you shall say to your son: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.” (Deuteronomy 6:20-21)
Remember when your children were young and how their curiosity always prompted a bunch of questions? “What’s that?” or “Why are we doing this?” Apparently, it wasn’t any different 3,500 years ago — kids ask questions. That is especially true if other families in the neighborhood do things quite differently than your family. That is true even more so when your family is trying to live according to Godly standards and the neighbors aren’t. It will probably provoke a child to ask the parent, “Why are we so different?” “Why can’t be do what the other kids do?”
I would imagine that this kind of scenario is what Moses was addressing when he told that generation to be prepared to give an answer to, “What is the meaning of … the judgments the Lord our God has commanded you?” Future generations would see that the surrounding nations did not follow the ways commanded to Israel. Furthermore, the ways of the nations would probably be more appealing and less restrictive on personal will — something that is always attractive to an impulsive child. However, the principle doesn’t apply just to children but to all of God’s children who would wonder “Why do we have to do or not do this?”
And so Moses, essentially, instructs parents and elders to explain why we, as God’s people, are different and set apart. It is because we have been called out of Egyptian bondage — or shall we say, the bondage of sin. We have been summoned to come into the light and be people of light, therefore, not emulating the ways of those in darkness. So the point today is to, first of all, understand why God expects more of us. Secondly, we need to be prepared to give an answer to those who ask, “Why are we required to be different?” We’ll close with this admonition delivered to the faithful by Peter: “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
Blessings and Shalom,