- Deut. 1:1-4:40
As Moses is nearing the end of his life on earth he spoke to the children of Israel. The book of Deuteronomy is a collection of the speeches Moses gave during this time. In his first address Moses reminded the Israelites of their past, how GOD had delivered them out of slavery in Egypt, how they had rebelled against GOD’s commands during the journey, and the punishments they had suffered as a result. Moses reminded them of GOD’s promises of blessing if they obeyed Him, and the promises of punishment if they chose to disobey.
It is important that we each take time to reflect on our past. What did I do well? Where did I make mistakes? What happened when I chose wisely and obeyed GOD and my parents? What happened when I chose poorly and disobeyed? George Santayana was a historian who is famous for saying, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." This means that if we don’t learn from the mistakes that we, and others, made in the past then we will eventually make the same mistakes again.
But how can I know what mistakes I made in the past? Sometimes we can know because of what happened to us as a result. For example, if we disobey our parents and they punish us, then we can look back and see not to that again. Other times we can know something was a mistake because of what happened to others when they did that. It is often a lot less painful to learn life lessons from watching other people than it is to go through them ourselves. Lastly, and most importantly, we can know what GOD thinks about a situation by reading His word.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
(Psalm 111:10 NKJV)
Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding. Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
(Prov. 10:13-14 NKJV)