KELVIN L. PARKS
On 22 November 2006 at Greater Faith Church-Baptist
We see here in our text Moses giving the children of Israel a stiff warning ... you see they were about to enter the promise land. So we read here in out text [v.12] ... Moses cautioning them to NOT FORGET about God.
In fact leading up to this caution in the preceding chapters ... he reminded them of all the great things that God had done for them. Yet ... [v.11-12] he informs them that they ain’t seen nothing yet.
Allow me to summarize ... so that I can quickly get my point. It is as if Moses is saying you been drinking water from a rock; you been eating manna from heaven but you are about drink some cold water from some wells that you never dug, and live in some houses with all the latest gadgets that you did built,
You are about to do what most fat folks call “some good eating” off of some trees that didn’t even plant.
In other words Moses is telling them that ... you are about to blow up and get some stuff that your credit score did not qualify you for.
Yes like most folks Israel had some bad credit ... and was not deserving of what they were about to get. Yes, their previous credit history reflected that they were unworthy, irresponsible and had an ungrateful attitude ... nevertheless Moses informs them that they are about to blow-up ... and in their blow-up-ed-ness; he cautions them to not forget about God.
And we ain’t no different ... our credit score reflects some late payments of praise; some of us 30, some 60, some 90, 120 days late on giving God some praise for where he has brought you from.
Yet ... in spite of your delinquency, He has allowed some of us, like Israel to live some house that we can’t really afford and some neighborhoods that we know that we ain’t got no business living in. Fenced and gated communities ... and if you look out on the parking lot ... some of us are driving cars that we never imagined that we would be able to afford ... so don’t tell me God ain’t good.
I stopped tonight to caution you this Thanksgiving Eve ... and tell you to be FULLY BEWARE that in your blow-up-ed-ness and in your got-it-going-on-ed-ness that you don’t forget about God.
Well ... lets look real quickly at our text to see if we can find some clues that will help us this Thanksgiving Eve.
1st clue ... [v.11] ... watch the last word of the scripture FULL”
Well ... this words is directly related to prosperity ... Don’t make sense, ok, let me help you. Notice that the first six portions of [v.11] talk about God keeping a promise and giving Israel some stuff that they don’t deserve. But the last 8 words of the scripture starts off “WHEN” ... “when thou shalt have eaten and be full”
In other words ... when you get your stuff ... don’t sit back and rub your belly and suck on your teeth ... and think that it was you ... that supplied that house, that water and that food that you enjoy. Let me drive you home ... watch this [v.12] first word “THEN”
In other words, God is going to bless you with you with some stuff and WHEN He does ... THEN don’t you go acting crazy. In other words, when I hook up with this stuff ... then like momma them us to say ... Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
When you have eaten and are, FULL (when you got your stuff) ... WATCH OUT -- then beware. Let us stick a pen right here and deal with this word “BEWARE” for just about 63 seconds...
Beware means to be on guard. Let me help you ...we see signs that say BEWARE of Dogs ... and when we see that sign ... some us will cross over and get on the other side of the street. Yes, we are on guard just in case ... a dog comes.
That does help you ... ok, try this you go to Six Flags, or the Taste of Chicago ... then you may want to BEWARE of your wallet. You know because of pickpockets.
Men will turn wallet sideways, front pocket, make sure button is secure
Now women ... beware of a purse snatcher ... clutch purse
Not no shoulder but cross the neck
club ... on the dance floor and cant dance
if she leaves it on the table ... eyes on it while dancing
However, Moses ain’t talking about dogs, or about pickpockets ... no, he is talking about prosperity. He is saying, yeah you ate leaks and onions in Egypt, you ate manna, and drink water from a rock in the desert... but God is about give you some stuff ... so beware, be FULLY BEWARE and remember where God brought you from.
Well ... I’m a firm believer that it is something about prosperity ... that cause folks get selective amnesia. Yeah ... prosperity has a way of making folk depend on self-preservation rather than thankfulness and service to God
During times of hurt, pain, and despair, you will find church houses full (cf. 9-11). But when all is going well ...people forget about God. Often times when we get like this ... we are suffering from what I like to call the “when” and “then” syndrome.
You know ... when sometime goes wrong then folks somehow decide to attend Sunday school and Bible study ... you have not seen them in a month of Sundays. Now they come to church 4, some 8 Sundays in a row ... but when that income tax check comes, settlement from the insurance company finally comes through, get that promotion on the job ... it is then that they forget what we said when we are scared. Oh if we can remember what we said when we were scared (promises) ...
Oh yeah ... prosperity more than poverty has a way of causing believers to slip up sometimes ... One would think on the outside looking in that poverty would be the very thing that would push us away from God ... and prosperity would be the thing that draws us closer.
- No it is ...prosperity that has folks believing that they do not need to attend Sunday school.
- Prosperity has a way of making folks think that they don’t have to show up for Bible Study – BEWARE ... be
FULLY BEWARE ... that you don’t forget about GOD
Prosperity gives us selective amnesia because when tragedy happens ... we find ourselves running back to God. Don’t believe me ...
- let momma get sick ... and you ain’t song for years. Folks been begging you to get back in the choir and now you want to rejoin the choir ... quoting scripture like you never quoted before
- Let daddy get sick ... and not only will you show up for prayer meeting, folk ain’t never heard you part your lips in church before – you never said a mumbling word, but let daddy get sick and you want to lead the prayer meeting
Yes ... it is during time of prosperity that we hear our Pastors, pleading and begging from the pull-pit
- Begging for prosperous folks to come to Bible study
- Begging for prosperous folks to come to Sunday School
- Begging for prosperous folks for show up on time
- Begging for Sunday School teachers
- Begging for folks to volunteer in the youth department
- Begging prosperous folks to stand up and be leaders in this church...
It is during times of prosperity that folks finds themselves... not pulling closer but drifting away from the One who threw them the life line while they were in the storm tossed seas.
It never ceases to amaze me how when life gets easy ... faithfulness gets harder. Life gets easy and often times that is when we find ourselves being tempted the most. When life gets easy ... that is when Christians get lazy.
Don’t believe me ask Adam ... he lived in a world of got-it-going-on-ed-ness yet it was during his time of plenty, that he wasn’t on his post which resulted in the temptation of wanting the “one thing” that God said he could not have
Well consider Noah... ya’ll the story he and his family survived the flood and it was during this time of prosperity ... I mean think about it Noah and his family had the whole world to themselves but instead of thanking God after the waters subsided he turned to the bottle ... and instead of “GOT MILK” he GOT DRUNK and cursed his son Ham
How about David ... he did not fall during the time when he was a poor shepherd boy, no he was to busy killing a lion and bear that tried to attack his flock. It was not during the time when he was on the battlefield ... no he was too busy killing 10,000s ...
but it was at height of his prosperity, when he was the King of a nation, when he sat on a throne wearing purple and gold ... instead of being fully beware of God ... he was lazy and drifted into adultery and murder.
Greater Faith ... I stop by tonight to say beware when ends start to meeting. Beware, FULLY BEWARE ... when the going gets good that you don’t forget to say thank you – to GOD
[v.12] “... beware lest thou forget” ... well I got to thinking about this and I am not a rocket scientist... but the opposite of forget is to remember. Contextual Analysis: To cease to care. I got it good now and I ain’t trying to remember those days.
Remember simply means to commemorate; to bring to mind or think again. Well keeping that definition in mind ... I discovered that it is impossible to be thankful without the ability to remember.
I like that right there ... because when I think about Thanksgiving, I can’t help but to remember how things use to be. I believe every now an then, we ought to pause and REMEMBER where God has brought you from...
- Sin to focus on the past
- cf. Lot’s wife
- Don’t live in it ... review it
- cf. side and rearview mirrors of car
Now you may not know nothing about slavery in Egypt, or marching in a wilderness for forty years ... too young to fully understand or grasp slavery in the USA, Jim crows laws or discrimination ... that happened to long ago ... however, I am sure some of you still remember where God has brought you from: Some of you still remember ...
- Sardines and crackers ... may be on a steak budget now
- College ... noodles
- I was raised by my grandparents ... my not had a lot to eat but one thing is for sure we always had a loaf of bread
- Momma I ain’t got nothing to eat...
- Peanut Butter, or Syrup sandwiches ... we ain’t got not syrup
- Well then eat a Ketchup sandwich
- Plenty of times we had to eat cereal for dinner
- And we would be happy and sit right down in front of the TV and watch the Jackson 5, Ormond Family, Speed Racer and Gigantor cartoon ... just as happy as we could be
Yeah ... I don’t want to ever forget my syrup sandwiches. I’m glad that those things are a part of my memory.
Oh yeah ... you see if I lost my mind I would not be able to remember any of that. In fact, mental hospitals are full of folks who don’t know their name ... they can’t give thanks for nothing. Give them a piece of bread 15 sec later, they don’t remember eating it ... let alone who gave it to them.
But God .. old folks use to say woke me up this morning ... clothed in my right mind. And one function of a right mind is a memory.
And if you have a memory then you ought to have some thanksgiving. If you have a memory then you ought to be able to say thank you ... for what you already done for me ... thank you for what you doing for me ... thank you for what you are gonna do for me. Lord, I thank you.
- Waking me up
- Eyes to read your word
- Ears that hear
- Hands that can clap
- Arms that I can raise
- Feet that can go spread you gospel
- Voice that can sing your praises
- Somebody ought to thank him that you are full and not hungry
- Thank Him that you are clothed and not naked
- Thank Him that saved and not lost
- Thank Him for being your way out of no way
- Thank Him that you got shelter and not homeless
- Thank Him for delivering you from slavery to sin to salvation
Brothers and sisters ... this thanksgiving, I caution you that in your blow-up-ed-ness that you beware lest you forget where God has brought from.