“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’ — Deuteronomy 6:20–25 (ESV)
Deuteronomy tells the story of Moses detailing Israel’s history since their exodus from Egypt. Moses is preparing the people to enter the promised land. He wants the people to understand what the Lord has done, as well as the Law He gave them to follow. He says in 4:1, “And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” He’s retelling the law that they would remember it when they enter the land.
In today’s passage, Moses is admonishing Israel, telling them what to do when their children ask the meaning of the testimonies, statutes, and rules that have been commanded by the Lord. When children ask these questions, Moses tells the parents to simply retell their history: they were enslaved by Egypt, the Lord showed signs and wonders through the plagues against the Egyptians, and the Lord set them free. And the Lord gave them commandments, the purpose of which was to preserve the Israelites as His chosen people. Moses commands the Israelites to proclaim the Lord’s glorious deeds to their children.
What does this mean for us as Christians today? We should teach our children to know, love, and walk with God. Moses instructed the Israelites to tell their God-glorifying history. And I encourage you to retell the righteous deeds God has done—certainly in biblical history, but in your own life, as well. As those who lead the young, let us be intentional about regularly talking to our children about our faith. Today, think about ways you can apply this important biblical text to your world.