“keep your soul diligently…”

“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?  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 4:7–9 ESV)

The most formidable danger that confronts God’s people is not disobedience but forgetfulness.

Before God’s people wander away from his teachings… before their hearts are enticed to follow other ‘gods’… before they engage in outright rebellion against the Creator and Savior…

…they forget.

They forget his mighty deeds. They forget his faithfulness. They forget his promises, his protection, his provision, his patience and his presence. Then they forget his teaching, his instruction, and his guidance.

As “pride comes before a fall”, so too forgetfulness comes before disobedience. Failure to recall precedes the failure to obey. God’s people need to remember. That is why Moses, in his farewell addresses, known to us as Deuteronomy, was adamant that people do whatever was necessary to remember:

“Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you…
You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there…
then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…
Take care lest you forget the LORD your God…”
(Deuteronomy 4:23; 5:15; 6:12; 8:11 ESV; cf. also Deuteronomy 4:31; 7:18; 8:2, 14, 18; 9:7, 27; 15:15; 16:3, 12; 24:9, 18, 22; 25:17, 19; 32:18).

“Diligent Soul” is a call to remember: to remember what God has done for his people, to remember his story, and to remember that we play a part in that story. The Diligent Soul recalls, retells, reenacts, rehearses and recollects one’s experience with the only, true God and regularly reminds others to do the same.


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