Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
Returning from the exile, they could look back at how they had acted when they had first gotten there. Deuteronomy looks back and reviews, thus is also a look forward into how they should do it this time.
And not just them. And not just then. As we move through Lent, we also can review the gifts we have received from God, God's expectations of us, and how we responded.
God said to that ancient people, "I've told you the ways that will lead to a good life for all of you. If you don't do what works, you'll find yourself in trouble."
God summed it up in a way that may seem reassuring or it may seem ominous, "It's your choice."
He's speaking to religious people who had studied the scripture diligently--and still missed the point. Jesus told them (and through them, tells us): "God has told you what is important, but you either ignore it or interpret in a way that is beneficial to you."
The psalmist asks the people to listen: I will tell you things that I heard from my ancestors. I'll tell children about what the Lord can do and has done. The Lord led them through dangerous places, showed them clear guidance of the right way to go, and made sure that their needs were taken care of.
Not only history, not only the glorious deeds and wonders that the Lord did for them then. But also, how the Lord intended for them to respond. They are to remember the teaching and make sure that their children know about what God has done and what they are supposed to do.
What do we tell the children in our congregation about our own experiences with God? Do we notice when God notices us? How have we gotten through dangerous places? How did we know which way was the right way to go? Are our needs being satisfied?
Prayer for Today: Choose a prayer from Joan Stott's website The Timeless Psalms.