The children of Israel were about to leave the immediate protection of God’s special care. In a way it is not unlike when your own children leave your home and face the hostility of a world that has little love for God.
For forty years Israel had known protection very much what like you provide for your kids. 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. God shielded them from having to provide these basic necessities, just as you provide special care for your kids now. And like with your children this care was coming to an end. Once the people crossed the Jordan River things would be different. The challenge for the parents was to make sure their children remembered that God would always care for them in new ways once they left the safety of his immediate special care.
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.
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 from the heart. Notice the careful wording of the verse – do not let the actions of God slip from your their heart as long as you live.
God’s word must dwell in your heart. (Colossians 3:16) God’s truth must flow from your heart!
How easy it is to let the beauty of God slip from your heart. Your school-age children are learning about life outside the home. They will sometimes receive unfair or harsh treatment. This is where the teaching of Deuteronomy 4:9 makes the difference. Your children need the precious things of God that have taken up residence in your 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. 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 in order 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.
Don’t let God’s truth slip away from your heart!