Moses was telling the people of Israel what God had said to him. “Be careful to observe all the commandments. I enjoin you today, that you may live and increase, and may enter in and possess the land which the Lord promised to your fathers.”
Moses pointed to his head and said, “Remember how for forty years now the Lord, your God, has directed all your journeying in the desert. … “ Moses pointed to his stomach and then to the sky. “He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unknown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord.”
Kneeling down with his hands raised toward God, as if in prayer, Moses said, “Therefore, keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, by walking in his ways and fearing him.” Then Moses stood up and spoke as loudly as he could.
“For the Lord, your God, is bringing you into a good country, a land with streams of water, with springs and fountains welling up in the hills and valleys … where you will lack nothing.”
The people clapped and talked happily with each other, as they imagined the place Moses spoke of, a very different place from their lives in the desert. Moses allowed his people to dream for a short time, and then he motioned with his hands for them to be quiet and to listen again.
“But when you have eaten your fill, you must bless the Lord, your God, for the good country he has given you. Be careful not to forget the Lord, your God, by neglecting his commandments and decrees and statutes which I enjoin on you today.”
Moses was afraid some of the people might forget God’s commandments when their life became easier and more pleasant in the land of God’s promise, so he reminded them of what God had already done for them. “(Remember) who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery; who guided you through the vast and terrible desert; … who brought forth water for you from the flinty rock and fed you in the desert with manna … that he might afflict you and test you, but also make you prosperous in the end.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:
1. Why did Moses call the people together?
2. Why did God send manna?
The first person who tried to collect information about the history of the lands of the Bible was the French General Napoleon Bonaparte. In the late 1700s he brought scientists and other experts to study the land, its architecture and the history of its people. Over the next 100 years, many of the strange alphabets and languages had been solved, and scholars were able to read the written records of the ancient cultures. Archaeologists uncovered pots, carvings, jewelry and other objects that told them how the people used to live. By studying the different tools and materials that were found, scholars have been able to trace the history of their use and development over time. A calendar was once found that had been made around the time when Solomon was king that told about the time to plant and harvest different crops. Drawings on walls and stone tablets showed kings and queens as well as everyday workers. Scholars are always trying to learn more about our Biblical heritage.
St. Bernardino (1380-1444) was an orphan at the age of seven, but was fortunate to be raised by an aunt who loved him and provided him with a good religious and academic education.
When the plague struck his hometown in Tuscany, Italy, Bernardino worked with a group of men who provided care for the sick and comfort to the families who had lost loved ones. After the plague passed, he spent many months recovering from exhaustion.
When his health returned, he knew God wanted him to join the Franciscan Order. When he worked as a missionary to Milan, his sermons attracted large numbers of people. From there Bernardino traveled across Italy, usually on foot, preaching the Gospel wherever he went.
In 1430, he was appointed vicar general of the friars of the Strict Observance. His leadership produced a strong emphasis on theology and church law. Before he died, Bernardino was credited with many miracles. We honor him on May 20.