These words are your life

They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you
are crossing the Jordan to possess.— Deuteronomy 32:47

How can you make the Bible real to your children? This is a question many Christian parents ponder. But
there is another question that is more important – How do you make the Bible
real to yourself?

Moses gives you a good starting point in Deuteronomy 32. He is saying
his formal goodbye to Israel, the nation he was chosen to lead back
home across the Jordan. For the last 40 years he had led them through
the desert. He agonized with them, prayed for them, interceded for
them, shepherded them. Now it was time for him to remain behind and
send the people on under the care of Joshua. You can hear the entreaty
in his words as he stands before the people one last time.

Moses came with Joshua son of Nun and spoke all the words of this
song in the hearing of the people. When Moses finished reciting all
these words to all Israel, he said to them, Take to heart all the words
I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your
children to obey carefully all the words of this law.
They are not just idle words for you—they are your life. By them you
will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.
Deuteronomy 32:44-47

Moses wants the Israelites to take the word of God to heart. This passage is strikingly similar to
Deuteronomy 6:4-7. Take a moment to compare the two passages.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD
your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These
commandments that I give you today are
to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them
when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie
down and when you get up.

Moses is consistent. He urges them to be dominated by God’s word. He
warns them against treating these words as idle, empty words. The words
of God are life to the people of God. Parents, this is where it starts.
Is the word of God your life? Before you can expect your children to
respond to God, you must lead the way by treasuring the words of God as
your very life. God’s word is life (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Parenting without this dependence upon the Word will leave
you exhausted and your children exasperated. In the next few posts we will look
at the contrast between idle words and words of life in parenting. If you are
going to effectively shepherd your children, God’s Word must be life to you.

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