Friday, September 16, 2011

Beware, lest you forget the Lord! - September 16th, 2011

“So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name.
Deuteronomy 6:10-13
History and Context:
Deuteronomy is Moses' final words to the Israelites. In it he recounts the law and challenges them to stay with Yahweh and not stray to the gods of the surrounding nations. In parts of the book it implies that God already knows they will stray to foreign gods and admonishes them, ahead of time, to return to Him when that happens. Since the Hebrews did not have a form of writing in Moses's day, this book was actually written down around the time of the exile in Babylon. It was passed down orally through the years until a set of scribes wrote it down.

The Text:
The Israelites are finally going into the promised land and things are finally going to be good. Up until now this generation of Israelites had been raised in the wilderness and had been required to rely on God for everything. Their food appeared every morning in the form of manna and half the time their water miraculously came out of rocks. Now they were going into a land in which everything was already prepared for them. They would have the opportunity to use wells, vineyards, and olive trees which someone else had put the hard work into preparing, and Moses knew that it would become easy to forget the Lord and stop seeking Him since they would no longer have a direct need for Him. His warning is not to forget the Lord but to continue to fear and serve Him.

The Challenge:
This is very similar to the situation which today's western society is in. Our countries were founded on God and on Christianity because at that time we needed Him, but now we have grown and prospered so much that we no longer need Him and we have begun to forget Him. Now we are wondering why our economy is in a recession. One thing that is very clear in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, is that when we move close to God things are always good, when we move away from God things go bad. It's a simple principle yet the human race can't seem to remember that. Whenever things become good and comfortable we forget the One who made it good and comfortable; we begin to think that we did it on our own and we turn away from the Lord. At that time, as the situation worsens, God sends men and women who are seeking Him warning the people to turn back to God. So here I am in this generation warning you in the words of Moses; "beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out (...) from the house of bondage." It's time for us as individuals and as nations to remember the Lord! It's time for us to turn back to Him!

The Prayer:
Lord, I choose to remember you, I choose to seek your face and to continue to fear, respect, and honor you! Your are my Lord and my God and I will follow you! In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen!

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