“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

A basic principle of the book of Deuteronomy is this: obedience to the Lord’s commands brings blessing, while disobedience brings judgement. The Lord commands that we teach this truth to our children for it underlies all of life, even today, although the understanding of what blessing and judgement may differ. In the case of Israel, blessing meant land, prosperity and descendants while judgement brought slavery, exile, and the loss of land. For Christians obedience is by faith in Jesus while the blessing of faith means joy, peace, freedom from the fear of death, and the assurance of eternal lifee. Judgment brings discipline and punishment. Yet for the believer there is always hope in the discipline of God no matter how difficult or painful for it is an indication that God has not abandoned us. He will surely show mercy as His children repent and continue in the faith which is rooted in Jesus alone.

As for those for those who reject Faith in Jesus, while they may be blessed with prosperity in this life, judgement for them comes in the form of unhappiness, guilt, slavery to their passions and possessions, the lack of meaning and purpose and, finally, eternity in hell if they do not repent. While disobedience in Deuteronomy was described in terms of worshipping other gods, usually in the form of idols and statues which represented the forces and elements of nature such as rain, storms, the sun, moon, stars and planets, idolatry today comes in the form of materialism, wealth, philosophy, mysticism, sex, pleasure, food, entertainment, fame or anything else that individuals value and seek more than they value God. Trust in such false gods only enslaves people to the desires of the flesh. They will reap disease, sadness, fear and trouble.

Almighty God is unique. He is one. He alone is God. He alone is merciful. He alone has spoken. He alone has delivered us from sin and death through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. Why seek satisfaction in any other god? This is what we must teach our children both in word and deed.