“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— how on the day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, that I may let them hear my words, so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children so.’ And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud, and gloom. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone. And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and rules, that you might do them in the land that you are going over to possess. (Deuteronomy 4:9-14 ESV)
We are reminded again of our great responsibility to pass along the fear of God and covenant living to our children. Specifically, it is this experience, this eyewitness account, that is to be passed on so that future generations will believe and obey. Later in the chapter we find Moses recounting how utterly unique this event is in the course of history. “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of (v.32)”
The challenge is to help our children picture this in a way that is more real to them than their video games, tea parties, and airsoft battles; and more important as their friends and their fitting in. Because this does not happen in regular experience, it is a hard thing to accept. Modern society does not accept it for this very reason. And yet, the uniqueness of the event is the key. Pass it along parents as the eyewitness testimony that it is.
Are you able to imagine the scene Moses describes?
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Dt 3-4, Ps 71