It was time for Israel to grow up! For forty years Israel had known God’s special protection very much like what you provide for your children before they leave home. Manna was provided for them every day. The lived under the safety of the giant cloud that provided shade during the day and light at night. Their clothing and sandals did not wear out. Once the people crossed the Jordan River things would be different.
The Israelites had experienced the direct hand of God in their lives in ways that would never be repeated. Their children would only know about these things if their parents taught them. Here is what the Holy Spirit directed Moses to tell his people as they prepared to enter the promised land:
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. (Deuteronomy 4:9)
Notice the careful wording of the verse – do not let the actions of God slip from your their heart as long as you live. This reminds you of how easy it is to let the beauty of God slip from your heart! As your children grow and mature, they will be learning about the harsh realities of life outside the home. They will sometimes receive unfair or cruel treatment. They will be exposed to other children, teachers, and co-workers who may care little for God’s truth. Your children need the precious things of God that have taken up residence in your heart to be transmitted to their heart. Deuteronomy 6:6 says the commands of God are to be upon your heart. These things of God must be closely held and deeply valued, else they will slip from your heart. If they slip from your heart you cannot give them to your children. This genuine heart-driven transmission of God’s truth provides the worldview that is necessary for your children to thrive away from your home.
Your children need the truth of God conveyed from your heart to know what is important. Your words are to help them build a worldview that is centered on what God says is important. This is the preparation that they need for the turbulent years that lie ahead.
For the sake of your children, don’t let God’s truth slip away from your heart!