Just before the Israelites enter the Promised Land, Moses recaps their exodus from Egypt, their wandering in the wilderness, the miracles of the Lord, as well as their victories and defeats. This oral history is a summary of the lessons they should have learned during this trek.
Their victories came when God went before them, and they were obedient. Defeat was the order of the day when they went out on their own, or when they fell into idolatry.
We live in a different day. God is no longer as visible as He was for the Israelites. We don't have Moses to go up the mountain and come back with the rules.
The fourth commandment reads something like this: Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land which the Lord is giving you.
And at the end of Moses' recitation of their history coming out of Egypt, he says something very similar. Acknowledge the Lord and keep His commands so that it may go well with you and your children and you may live long in the land which He is giving you.
Acknowledge the Lord and keep His commands. Honor your father and mother.
It will go well with you and your children. You will live long in the land God is giving you. It is a road map for us today.
Faith in the Lord comes first. It is the only solid beginning for anything. Without God we can do nothing of lasting positive value.
Respect is another valuable quality. Respect for parents, family, the world around us. If you treat people with respect, you honor the Lord, because He is their creator as well. Treat all His creation as tenderly as you would your most precious possession. When you look at someone, remember that if that person had been the only person in the world, He would still have sent Jesus to redeem that one. If that person is so precious to God, we dare not treat him with contempt or impatience.
Following these two principles will get you far in this world. But most importantly, as you learn to make them a part of your life, you will feel better about yourself and everything else. There can be no better prosperity than living at peace with yourself and the remainder of the world.
Help us to keep our eyes on You, no matter the circumstances around us. Help us to see that precious soul You love in all we meet.
In Jesus most precious name.