To the first-time Bible reader, Deuteronomy may appear repetitive. Much of the material in this book might be viewed as a rehash of sections of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. But for the careful reader, it is obvious that this is not needless repetition. In the narrative flow, a generation who experienced the exodus from Egypt has died during the forty years in the wilderness. Now their children and grandchildren are the adults who are about to enter the land that had been promised to their ancestors.
Moses warns they are about to be given, “a land with large flourishing cities [they] did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things [they] did not provide, wells [they] did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves [they] did not plant.” An abundance is about to be received that comes from God’s provision, not their own labor. “[W]hen you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).
Even those who have experienced God speaking from the mountain and providing for them for forty years are in danger of forgetting. But their children and grandchildren will be especially at risk. The radical worldview shift of their exodus must be passed on intentionally to subsequent generations.
I have been catching up reading your blog posts. In October you referred to discussions about children’s education, and subsequently you made good points regarding David, Goliath, Saul, and God. I like the approach you have taken in the blog posts.
It sounds like there may be an effort underway to incorporate some of these points into a new or modified curriculum for children. Is that correct? If so, what more can you tell me about it, or who should I contact to find out more?
May God bless,
Bob, I am writing these blogs in hopes of helping the readers, who are involved in children’s education and/or who are parents/grandparents, to think about how we pass on the Word to our youth. I have seen some indicators that others are recognizing this need, also. In an earlier comment, my daughter refers to some curricula that she feels does better on this front. Her name is Rachel Cook. I also read an article recently that discusses a new project being developed by Phil Vischer, whose popular kids television series VeggieTales pushed a values-centered approach to the Bible stories (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/10/23/veggietales-creator-brings-gospel-centered-biblical-theology-to-kids/).
My second goal is to help missionaries and evangelists realize the need for a slower, worldview shifting approach to discipling people to faith. Our modern, hyper-efficient strategies do not work. They produce syncretism, because they do not address our deepest being. Worldview is originally shaped in childhood. Maybe a better understanding of that process will help us ground future generations better, but also help us realize the best ways to reach people with diverse worldviews that conflict with the kingdom of heaven worldview Jesus presents.