Keep Your Soul Diligently
Deuteronomy 4:9 (ESV) -- 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—
I planted and maintained a garden for about ten minutes during quarantine and the COVID shutdowns. We had extra time, and with the food shortages that happened at the beginning, we thought we may need to have some sort of food production backup. I laugh as I write that because of how terrible of a gardener I was. It was hard. The maintenance required to keep the garden healthy and productive is unreal. You must weed it, pick the vegetables at the right time, keep it watered, and tend to everything happening with the garden.
It requires work to maintain a healthy garden. This is a perfect analogy of the principle our passage discusses today. Moses is writing to the people of Israel. He is exhorting them on obedience to the Lord. He says this, “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—”
Notice his first exhortation, “take care, and keep your soul diligently.” What does this mean? This means there is a watchful, active work that takes place in order to maintain a healthy soul. Much like the garden, our soul needs constant tending to or it naturally grows wild. Our garden naturally grew weeds and went wild if we neglected it. Our souls are the same. They drift toward sin and rebellion. We must keep a close watch on our souls, and guard our hearts.
Moses says the neglect of their souls will cause them to forget the goodness and favor of God in their lives. You can’t pass to your children what you’ve forgotten. You can’t proclaim the mercies of God and His provisions for your family if you’ve failed to remember. This is why the keeping of our souls must be a daily battle.
How do we keep our souls? We seek the Lord each day, coming under His Word. We pray and pour out our petitions to Him. We confess sin and repent each day, bringing people we trust and know to help us stay the course. We commit and connect to a local church that preaches the Word. These, and other helps, are means of grace God provides to help us keep our souls.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does it mean to keep our souls diligently?
- Why must we actively keep our souls?
- How do we keep our souls?
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