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All of you stand today before the Lord your God: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Israel, your little ones and your wives. (Deuteronomy 29:10-11)

Jewish tradition states that these words were spoken by Moses on the last day of his life. If that is so then these words are incredibly important considering they would be his last impartation to the people he had led for forty years. It bears noting that these final statements come on the heels of the frightful warnings given in the previous chapter, meaning that, in all likelihood, the people were alarmed. So then, according to Jewish commentators, Moses wanted to assure them that, despite previous sins, they were still standing before the LORD — God would not abandon Israel.

Even with their many missteps, He had not forsaken them in the past nor would He forsake them in the future in spite of sins that may be committed. That God would administer punishments for sin was not to suggest He intended to destroy them; to the contrary, punishments were always intended to provoke repentance and restoration. Evidence of His good intentions for Israel was that, as they prepared to enter the land of promise, young and old stood before the LORD. He had kept them through all of the trials and hardships. Rather than diminishing, they had grown and were continuing to grow and multiply.

I would think that most of us, at one time or the other, in the midst of hardship and difficulty, may have been tempted to think that God had abandoned us. I know I’ve wondered at times if He was just too angry and exasperated with me to continue to bother with me. Nevertheless, I’m still standing — and so are you. In spite of our many mistakes, we’re still here ready to go forward, and not because we are so strong and determined, but because He is so merciful and long suffering. So let’s start our day with this reminder of His good intentions toward us: as it is written, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Blessings and Shalom,  




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