Deuteronomy 6:10-25 – Warning Against Complacency


Deuteronomy 6:10-25


Looking ahead, Moses warns that after the people settle in the land, they should not forget that it was God who settled them there. 


With a keen insight into human nature, Moses warns that the Israelites will come to take for granted the houses they did not make, filled with goods they did not gather, cisterns they did not carve and fields and orchards they did not plant. They should remember that it was God who brought them out of the house of slavery in Egypt and settled them in that place. They were not to adapt to the ways of the surrounding peoples in worshiping other gods. 

Interestingly, the Israelites were to take on the identity of the Exodus generation in explaining their relationship to God. If a child disassociates himself from the people, and asks “what do the provisions, statutes and judgements mean to you?”, the parent should respond by assuming a role in the generation that God brought out of Egypt. “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt…” Of course, in the biblical narrative, none of the Israelites that settled in the land were adult slaves in Egypt, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua. That generation died in the wilderness. Here Moses is counseling identification with salvation history. Much as the Ignatian examen would later encourage people to imagine themselves as characters in biblical accounts in order to experience the emotions present in the narrative, the Israelites were to speak, in every generation, as if they were the ones that God brought out of slavery.