Have you ever heard the phrase, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? What does it mean?
That children or young people tend to behave like their parents. It happens all the time. And it is not just that we look like our parents, or sound like them, but that we tend to have similar beliefs as our parents, and we have similar ways we act on those beliefs. Of course, this is not always the case. Most of us are at least somewhat different from our parents, and some of us are very different from our parents.
But how many of you adults have had that heart-shocking experience, after previously boldly proclaiming that you would never ever be like your parents, you then heard yourself say something that your parents said, or do something your parents did? And it hits you like a thunderclap, “Oh my word…that’s what my mom would say!” Or “That’s what my dad would do.” It’s like this:
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We become like our parents, and we can’t help it. Why? What is going on in this phenomenon? It’s not complicated. Kids spend a lot of time with their parents, and whether intentionally or unintentionally, the thoughts, actions, opinions, and behaviors of parents rub off on their kids. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even friends, you too can have a great influence.
That is a reality check. It means that we simply will influence the next generation. How we spend our time among our young people matters. They will become like us. And that is what Moses turns to in Deuteronomy 11.
Deuteronomy Chapter 11 is a transitional chapter in this book. It serves as a clear reminder to the people of Israel that they have a covenant treaty with their God, Yahweh.
There are seven sections in this chapter, and this week we briefly survey each one. In each section Moses wants the people of Israel to do something, and he always gives them a rationale for why he wants them to do that thing. In each section, let’s look at the action he wants them to do, and see if we can discover his rationale.
The first section is verses 1-7.
What is the thing he wants them to do? He tells them in verse 1: Love God by keeping his…commands always.
What is his rationale for wanting them to love God by keeping his commands? We find that in verses 2-7. He starts with the word, “Remember”. “Remember God’s majesty,” Moses says, “God’s mighty hand, his outstretched arm.”
Then he repeats a phrase. Do you see it? In verses 3-6, he says this phrase in each verse: “what he did”. He is talking about God, what God did. Put that word “Remember” from verse 2 together with the phrase “what he did” repeated in verses 3-6, and you get a clear message from Moses to the people: “Remember…what he did!”
- Verse 3 – What he did…in Egypt
- Verse 4 – What he did…through the Red Sea
- Verse 5 – What he did…in the desert
- Verse 6 – What he did…to the disobedient
Remember what he did! And what did God do? Moses is saying, “He saved you, Israel! Over and over, he saved you.”
Then in verse 7, Moses sums up this concept by saying, “with your own eyes you saw the great things the Lord has done.” In this section, then, Moses is saying, when you look back over your life, and you remember God’s faithfulness and provision in your life, you’ll be motivated to show your love for him by keeping his commands.
How about you? What has God done for you? Take some time today to review your life. Remember what he did. Make a list, even if it is a Top 5, and write it out, just like Moses did for Israel. And spend some time thanking God for what he did. Allow that Top 5 to inflame your heart with love for God.
What does this have to do with the phrase, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? Stay tuned!