Lest We Forget
The book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ final charge to the nation of Israel to remain faithful to the Lord as He leads them into the Promised Land. A new generation has risen up and through the book of Deuteronomy, Moses repeats the law that God handed down to His people. One of the key themes that reoccurs throughout this book is a call to remember the Lord. In Deuteronomy 6, Moses challenges parents to keep God’s word before their children so they might know Him and serve Him and understand that it is the Lord who has provided for them. Right after this exhortation to parents, Moses warns this new generation about remembering God’s blessings as they enter this new land.
“Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” (6:10-12)
Moses is concerned that when this new generation of Israelites enter the promised land and have their fill of all the wonderful things that God is providing for them that they might allow their pride and self-sufficiency to blind them to the fact that it was God who was blessing them. They needed to remember that the same God who brought them out of Egypt was the same God who was leading them and blessing them with these wonderful things they did not work for. This cycle of God blessing Israel and then Israel forgetting God is repeated throughout the rest of Israel’s history. We see this especially in the days of the judges where God would bless His people, they would be obedient, and shortly after they would forget the One who blessed them.
It isn’t hard to see how easily this can happen to us today as we experience God’s blessings. We are a blessed people, not only physically but even more so spiritually. Do we take God’s blessings for granted? Do we enjoy them and cherish the blessing and yet fail to recognize and honor the One who has blessed us? Another danger to be aware of is the “self-made” culture we live in. We seem to think that because we have achieved some level of success in life that it is all by our own doing. Rarely is that ever the case! Our pride blinds us from seeing the people who helped make our accomplishments a reality.
When we receive and enjoy God’s blessings it is not by our own doing, it is by His great love and compassion. We come before Him empty-handed with nothing to give except a broken and messy life through our own sinful choices. Let’s not forget where we came from! Let’s not forget the One who brought us up from the miry pit of sin and set our feet on solid ground. Let’s not forget that the reason we stand where we are today is because of the Lord. He is the giver of every good and perfect blessing (Js. 1:17).
Moses’ warning in Deuteronomy 6:10-12 remains pertinent for us today as we travail through this life. Let’s not only watch ourselves lest we forget the Lord but let’s also pause today and give careful thought to how the Lord has provided for us and taken care of us and then express our gratitude to the Lord as we humble ourselves before Him in prayer.