Deuteronomy chapter 6 opens with an incredibly important prayer that Moses taught the Israelites. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, ESV).
Moses had been leading the nation in the wilderness for 40 years by this point. He’d seen the burning bush, then God sent him to the Israelite elders to declare, “The great I Am is here. God is going to move mightily, and your 400 years of captivity and slavery is coming to an end. As soon as I go to Pharaoh and talk to him, I’ll tell him ‘to let my people go.’ God is on the move!”
Can you imagine this man whose heart’s desire was to see the children of Israel set free from bondage, and instead they complained against God? After that, everyone was sent on a decades long trip through the wilderness. If that didn’t make Moses tempted to be cynical about both people and God, I don’t know what would.
The Israelites complained against God and doubted his promises a lot. I don’t know what kind of family you come from, but if you spend a lot of time in a family that is full of doubt and negative talk, that’s going to wear off on you. That’s when you have to do what Moses did. You have to get away from the crowd and get alone with God and pray, “Protect me in that place and in all of the places where I could be filled with these voices of unbelief.”
When we get in this place of closeness with God, away from the cynical voices, our heart will begin to be filled with joy. We must remember who God is in all of his holiness, and then we will remember our love for him. This is part of what Moses is teaching the next generation in this prayer.
When we purposefully remember God’s nature, the faith that remains in us will begin to be built up in our lives, and we will begin to see once again a confidence in the Lord. It’s this confidence that releases the outpouring of God’s blessing.