Remember the Lord your God Deuteronomy 8

The turning point in the film Excalibur is the day when all the battles are won. There is one land and one king, King Arthur. And Merlin the Wizard speaks in an eerie voice.
“Be silent. Be still. And look upon this moment. Savour it. Rejoice with great gladness. Remember it, always… for you are joined by it. You are one, under the stars. Remember it well then, this night… this great victory… so that in the years ahead you can say: ”I was there that night, with Arthur, the King. For it is the doom of men that they forget.”
It is the doom of men that they forget! The whole of the Book of Deuteronomy is about not forgetting what God has done for his chosen people. Time and again, even five times in this chapter 8, God warns his people that they might forget him and He commands them to remember and not to forget!
2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way
6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7
11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees
14 your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God,
18 But remember the LORD your God,
We all forget things. Over the years I have been persecuted by my children because I forget colours. I simply do not remember things in colour – only in black and white. So I simply cannot remember what colour the wallpapers and the carpets are in the Manse. If I have to describe somebody I can never remember what colour clothes they are wearing. Men are accused of always forgetting dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Apparently there is some special day around this time of the year which husbands and boyfriends get in big trouble for failing to remember. We all forget things
You may know Victor Borge the comedian and pianist. He told a story about a couple going on holiday, standing in line waiting to check their bags in at the airport. The man said to the wife, “I wish we had brought the piano.” “Why?” she replied. “We’ve got sixteen suitcases already!” ” I know, the husband replied, “But the aeroplane tickets are on top of the piano!”
We all forget things. If you don’t agree, hands up who can remember what we talked about from Deuteronomy 6 just two weeks ago! (By the way, it was having Scripture on our hearts.) And so often we forget the ways God has blessed us over the years. We take all those blessings for granted. Deuteronomy 8 gives us a wonderful list of reasons why we should remember God! It is indeed the doom of men that they forget, so Deuteronomy 8 also gives a solemn warning.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
That is the temptation we all fall into so easily. To think WE have created or earned the blessings God has poured upon us. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
But is never is our power or the strength of our hands – it is always God who gives the ability to produce wealth – God who blesses us so much more than we could ever deserve.
6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig-trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
The promised land, overflowing with blessings in abundance. This is a picture of the salvation God has given us in Christ. For us it is a picture of heaven where one day we will lack nothing.
21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

A good land! All the blessings of heaven are God’s gift to us. Sufficient reason by itself to 6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and revering him.
And remember the warning.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God,
But there are many more blessings we should be giving thanks for!
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12
We should spend our lives thanking God for the good land He has given us. The blessings of heaven we will one day enjoy and all the joys of salvation we enjoy now.
Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Here is a picture of far too many people, and even too many Christians, who enjoy so many good things but forget the Lord who gives them to us. So many people with fine houses and large herds and flocks who don’t have time for God as their silver and gold increase and their possessions multiply. So many people too busy laying up treasures on earth that they have no time for treasures in heaven.
We have roofs over our heads. We have cars to drive. Televisions. Computers. Mobile phones. And money in the bank to spend. By any measure of riches, all of us are in the top twenty percent and many of us in the top ten percent of the wealthiest people in the world. We are all richer than even the richest in previous centuries. We should never forget that these blessings are the gifts of our loving heavenly Father.
A verse from the beginning of Deuteronomy 8.
4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.
God not only provides the luxuries of life but the necessities too. Clothing. Footwear. The basic essentials all come from a loving God. We should not take anything for granted!
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God,

And then there is a warning especially for us as Christians, God’s redeemed people.
14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
God rescued his chosen people Israel out of slavery in Egypt. And God has rescued us from the slavery of sin. Jesus has taken the punishment for sin we deserved. Jesus has died in our place on the cross so our sins are forgiven. We are no longer God’s enemies, under God’s judgment. Instead we are God’s children and part of His family the church. But it can even be that some Christians take their salvation for granted so their hearts become proud and they forget the Lord their God.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God,
15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions.
God leads us all every day. And our path through life is much easier and safer and more comfortable than the path the Israelites had to follow through the wilderness. No venomous snakes and scorpions here. Worldwide every year there are just over half a billion, 515 million cases of Malaria, a nasty little bug passed on by mosquito bites. Anything up to three million people die every year from malaria, 90% of them in sub-saharan Africa. Praise God we do not live where mosquitoes do! And praise God for doctors and medicines which can cure us from all kinds of illnesses and accidents! We should take a while to thank God for guiding us through life. For bringing us to where we are today. It is His love and providence which have kept us safe!
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God,
We should be grateful every day that our lives are so much easier than those of believers in some other places and some other centuries. Even today Christians are being imprisoned and martyred for their faith. Praise God for the freedom we still have to worship and preach the gospel. Listen to the kind of life the apostle Paul had to live.
2 Corinthians 11:23 I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
Praise and thank God for the smooth and easy life He gives US to live.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God,
Deuteronomy 8 continues
He brought you water out of hard rock.
As God provided water for his chosen people in the desert, we should take time to thank Him for his provision for us. We need never go thirsty. We always have safe clean water to drink and wash. We live in a world where 2.5 billion people lack clean water for sanitation. Almost one billion do not have safe drinking water. Every 15 seconds a child somewhere dies from water-borne diseases. We should not take clean water for granted. Water – and food.
16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.
Through their forty years in the wilderness God provided food for his chosen people. Manna, bread from heaven, and quail as meat to eat. Food they didn’t have to plant – they just had to gather it up! Ready meals every day! But God provides our food in an equally amazing way. Go to the supermarket and you can be eating vegetables that were picked miles away only yesterday or fruit grown half way round the world! And the Israelites had to collect their manna fresh every day because it would go off after a day. But we have the miracles of fridges and freezers as well as canning and dried foods. We need never grow hungry! God’s provision for us all!
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
So many blessings. Back in the 18th Century John Baillie said “A true Christian is a man who never for a moment forgets what God has done for him in Christ, and whose whole comportment and whole activity have their root in the sentiment of gratitude.” So many blessings. May we never take them for granted but always receive them with gratitude. One more quote to finish with: the words of President Abraham Lincoln’s in 1963 in his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer.
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self- sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Remember the Lord your God. For it is the doom of men that they forget!

About

You may also like...

Comments are closed.