Sabbath School Lesson for November 27-December 3, 2021

Overview for Lesson 10

Moses repeatedly told the Hebrews to remember things. This week we’ll look at what, why, and how they were to remember events that involved…

  • the Flood (Sunday)
  • the Exodus (Monday)
  • their idolatry (Tuesday)
  • their prosperity in Canaan (Wednesday)
  • their former slavery (Thursday)

After repentance, it was important for God’s people to pause and remember…

  1. our freedom from our sin-laden past,
  2. the loving God who continually supports us, and
  3. the future He promises to all who remain faithful.

Memory Text: ” ‘Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.’ ” Deuteronomy 9:7 NKJV

Basically, we are all called to remember, and not forget, God’s intervention in our lives, both corporally and individually. God was especially interested in preserving the covenant relationship He made with the children of Abraham. He has longed ever since the Garden of Eden to restore all that was broken when Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

Through God’s patient and forgiving mercy, we are asked to remember all that our Father has so lovingly done for us, despite our persistently rebellious behavior and attitudes.

There is no doubt that God remembers His covenant promises. The problem lies with our tendency to forget His promises by neglecting to faithfully follow His requirements. His commandments are designed to preserve our relationship with God, in spite of Satan’s attempts to draw us away from Him.

Sunday: Remembering the Rainbow

The word “remember” is first mentioned in Genesis 9:8-17. The rainbow that appeared in the sky after the Flood included God’s promise to remember not to destroy the world by water again. Noah and his family desperately needed this reassurance after their harrowing experience in the ark.

Of course, we know that God does not have a capacity to forget, but He speaks in language that humans can readily understand. Because, unfortunately, we are often guilty of not remembering what we should. Thankfully, God always remembers. We need to remind ourselves even now that God never forgets His promises. He is always the faithful one in our relationship.

It is man who forgets what God has done. Over time, most of the world has forgotten the Flood. They don’t even believe that a world-wide Flood happened. Just like they did before the Flood, we allow the laws of nature and science alone to dictate our actions and beliefs, instead of relying on the trustworthy word of God.

This is not to say that science hasn’t benefited humanity along the way. God definitely works through the laws of nature and often scientists themselves. We need to understand these laws as much as possible, in order to take care of ourselves and the planet. Knowing all the while that God is not limited to the laws He put in place.

Our forgetfulness is dangerous when we forget just how powerful God is.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Genesis 9:15, 16

  • Why was the rainbow such an important sign for Noah and his family after the Flood?
  • How has the world forgotten the Flood, and how does this affect our relationship with God?

Monday: Concerning the Days That Are Past

Not only was God faithful in bringing Noah’s family through that horrific, worldwide Flood, but He also brought the Hebrews through hundreds of years of slavery and deprivation in Egypt into a land that would bring them years of prosperity.

In Deuteronomy 4:32-39, Moses implored his listeners not to forget all the signs and wonders that accompanied that experience. In the midst of fire, they heard God’s voice. With awe and gratitude, it was definitely a time to remember what God had done for their people. In verse 37, it was said that it was because of God’s love for their fathers that they were delivered and were about to be given the Land of Promise.

This mighty hand that delivered them had been working for them ever since they were created (Deuteronomy 4:32). Yes, going all the way back to creation, we see the hand of God at work for those who love Him.

With the many saving acts of God, He only asks one thing of His followers (Deuteronomy 4:40). They must keep His commandments. And the reason is clear. It’s because they were for their own good. Life goes so much better, both then and now, when we uphold His holy, moral law.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 4:32

  • How far back can we go to see God at work on man’s behalf?

Deuteronomy 4:33, 34

  • How does the story of the Exodus inspire us even today?
  • What kind of miracles has God done in your life?

Deuteronomy 4:40

  • What alone did God ask them to do and what would be the result?

Tuesday: “Take Heed…Lest You Forget”

It’s relatively easy to think back and remember all of God’s promises and miracles in our behalf. But, it’s rather painful sometimes to recall our past life of misdeeds, or even just our neglect of God.

In the case of Israel, it was their idolatry that they must not forget. If they would remember all the unpleasant consequences of their pagan worship, perhaps they would be able to avoid them in the future. Even relating their shameful past to their children and grandchildren would prove helpful and was recommended by God. See Deuteronomy 4:9, 23.

When God told them to “take heed” or “guard themselves”, a singular verb is used, indicating that this must be an individual undertaking. Each person must take it upon themselves to know their history and to share it with younger generations.

When we faithfully share our past, it reminds us of shortcomings that might remain and hinder us from further spiritual growth. It gives incentive not to repeat our mistakes and allows us to see just how much we have grown in our relationship with God.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 4:9, 6:7 and Genesis 2:15

  • Why must we diligently “keep” ourselves, just like Adam was told to “keep” the Garden?
  • When and how should we teach our children?

Deuteronomy 4:23

  • What kind of things or activities might we be worshiping or doing today that could be considered idolatry, and why?

Wednesday: Eaten and Full

Ironically, the time when it’s often hardest to remember God is when we acquire material blessings. The children of Israel would soon be the recipient of many things that would make their physical lives easier. After all, they would inhabit Canaan, “the land of milk and honey”, after years of hardship and toil in the desert wilderness.

There’s something deceitful though about being wealthy in the world’s goods, or even just having a comfortable lifestyle, that makes us turn inward and take credit for our prosperity. We deceive ourselves by believing it was because of our own ability that we became comfortable and wealthy, forgetting it was God who gave us that ability. Moses tried to forewarn them of this human tendency in Deuteronomy 8:18.

Jesus Himself mentioned “the deceitfulness of riches” in the parable of the sower (Mark 4:19). That, and the desire for riches, or even the pressing cares of the world, would tend to make us unfruitful. God cannot use those who are not 100% focused on His will and serving Him. We must not be deterred by anything this world offers or denies us.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 8:10-14

  • What tends to happen when we have “eaten and are full”?
  • How do we keep from forgetting God when this happens, and how does this help us from being deceived?

Deuteronomy 8:15-18 and Mark 4:19

  • What else can we do to overcome this problem?
  • Why is being humble and doing good so important in remembering God?

Thursday: Remember That You Were a Slave

Sprinkled throughout Deuteronomy are reminders that they were slaves in Egypt. The Hebrews were to remember that house of bondage that God, through Moses, rescued them from. See Deuteronomy 5:15, 6:12, 15:15, 16:3, 12, 24:18, 22.

Evidently, it’s not just important to recall our past sins, but also our loathsome condition when we were still slaves of Satan. That former life of slavery may not always be pleasant to contemplate, but it helps reinforce our desire to serve God, the Creator, instead.

The freedoms under God’s rule are totally opposite the freedom that Satan pretends to give us. Paul writes a similar message to the Ephesian believers in Ephesians 2:11-13. He says basically that they should remember that they were once Gentiles in the flesh, strangers of the covenants of promise. With God, they had hope through the blood of Christ.

We should all remember the gift of God that saves us. Not by any of our works, which we may be tempted to boast about (Ephesians 2:8, 9). God’s grace alone has brought us all out of the slavery of sin.

Bible Verses to Read and Discuss:

Deuteronomy 5:15

  • Why do you think it was important for them to remember that they had been slaves?
  • Why was it mentioned while Moses was repeating the Sabbath commandment? What does the Sabbath have to do with slavery?

Ephesians 2:8-13

  • Why can’t we boast about our good works?
  • How has Christ brought you out of slavery?

Friday: Final Thoughts

Moses was at the end of his life when he told the Hebrews to remember all the things God had done and would do for them. Indeed, it is also in our senior years that we tend to contemplate our past life more and give more thought to our future.

Ironically, elderly memory banks don’t always serve as well as they used to. But even those with severe memory problems often recall the past more readily than current circumstances.

We should not wait till we are seniors, however, to remember and share our past with younger generations. It is the only way our children. or anyone. can benefit from our experience.

Those who share are also blessed and strengthened. God’s acts of mercy and promises for our future with Him are reinforced whenever we express them. Such witnessing opportunities should be brief, personal, and God-centered. People of all ages should definitely look for more times to remember and share with others what God has done for them.


Next Week: Deuteronomy in the Later Writings

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