Summary: As the Israelites enter Canaan, God warns them not to be so lost in their abundance that they forget that it is God who gives it to them.
Deuteronomy 8:7-18 “Antidote”
For those of us who have worked hard and put in long hours, it is easy to look at our accomplishments and our possessions and pat ourselves on the back. We discover, when we do so however, that our self-centered pride rears its ugly head and we begin to forget the giftedness of life.
The prophet Micah calls us to walk humbly before our God. How is this accomplished? How do we celebrate God’s love and grace through both the good and bad of life.
IT’S EASIER WHEN IT IS TOUGH
The Israelites had been very aware of God’s grace for forty years. God had provided them with food and water. The clothes and shoes of the wanderers had not worn out. God had led them with a pillar of fire and cloud. When they entered into the Promised Land they God’s presence and provision would be as obvious to them.
When things are tough, we become very aware of our need for God’s presence and movement in our lives. Our prayer life increases. We may feel the need to attend worship services more regularly. Certainly this was true for us as a nation after 9/11. We thank God for answered prayers and rejoice at the help that we received to go through the difficult times.
The hard part in our relationship with God is when things are going well. We tend to forget God when this happens.
God invites the Israelites to acknowledge God’s grace in the midst of their prosperity. They were to verbalize reality. It wasn’t just because of their intelligence or hard work that they had what they had. It was also because of God’s grace and provision.
Being thankful and giving thanks to God is another way that we evade pride and are able to walk humbly before God. We say grace before a meal to remind us that the food we eat is a gift to us from God.
Giving thanks to God in both good times and bad times, not only acknowledges God’s presence, but reminds us that God is active in our lives. Consistent thanksgiving helps us cultivate an attitude of gratitude in our lives.
It is ironic that the good times of our lives can be the most difficult in our relationship with God. It is so easy, when things seem under control, to forget God’s grace.
Giving thanks nurtures our relationship with God, knocks down our pride and enables us to walk humbly before God and others.