I. am. forgetful.
“Old” age, perhaps? Information overload, maybe? Whenever my daughters ask me to do something, I give them free rein to remind me about it as many times as they need to! In the same way, if I don’t write something down while I’m thinking about it, it’s unlikely that I’ll remember it three minutes later.
Forgetting details like buying milk at the grocery store or what time I need to pick my daughter up from cheer practice can be inconvenient for us. But today I want to talk about a truth that’s important for all of us to remember.
In Deuteronomy chapter six, Moses addresses the children of Israel as they prepare to enter the promised land. In verses ten and eleven, he shares the blessings that await them there.
“And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land….to give thee great and goodly cities….and houses full of all good things….when thou shalt have eaten and be full;”
Sounds like things are going well here! But verse twelve follows with this warning.
“Then beware lest thou forget the LORD….”
When they finally reach the promised land…when they have plenty to eat, and are no longer surviving on manna…when they’re not moving a tent from one camping site to the next, but living in a house that’s “full of all good things”…that’s when they’ll be tempted to forget God.
In the wilderness, they needed Him for daily survival. Yet when they’re living in the midst of abundant blessings, Moses warns them – don’t forget.
They needed to remember all that God had brought them through, the deliverance from Egypt, the miracles in the wilderness. In a day when they might be tempted to look at what they had, and credit it to their own hard work, Moses says “no.” Remember all that God has done, and serve Him.
How about us? What a tragedy it would be, amidst all the blessings in our lives, to forget to give honor and praise to the One who provides it all.
I don’t want to forget how God worked through different situations this past school year. He brought us through some difficult days. He strengthened my faith, in spite of how weak it was in the beginning. Yet how easy it is to let days slip by without expressing gratitude to God for His goodness.
At times we, too, may start to take credit for what has happened. “It’s because I prayed for this” or “Since I’ve been living better, this good thing happened.” Yes, God answers prayer. Out of His mercy and grace, He moves in our lives. He blesses us as we honor and obey Him.
But I deserve nothing. And when the good and easy times come, I must remember to praise Him. Psalm 147:1 says, “Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God…”
By verse 14 of Deuteronomy six, Moses is talking about the Israelites choosing to go after other gods. If we forget to acknowledge God in our lives, we’ll have the same temptation. We’ll want to honor ourselves or find something or someone else to follow after.
On the other hand, just as the Israelites would face many battles before they actually possessed Canaan, so we may currently be in the midst of a trial. Despite all we’ve been given, maybe we just don’t “feel” blessed. On those days, may our minds be filled with the truths that God’s grace is sufficient, our eternal future is sure, and His power is limitless.
As we make this conscious effort to remember what God has done, we can then follow the command of verse seven.
“….thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children…”
In the day-to-day “busy-ness,” let’s remember to teach our children about the faithfulness and goodness of God. We can acknowledge all of our blessings, and give praise to the God who has provided them!
So beware! Be alert to the dangers of forgetting God and failing to praise Him. Then we can avoid the danger of living our lives outside of His guidance.