Summary: A sermon for Independence Day on Deuteronomy 8! (Outline adapted from material in Pulpit Commentary Volume 3 Page # 157- 158)
Sermon for 7/1/2007- Independence Day
The Daughter Devoured the Mother!
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said: WE have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved these 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 the 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.
A. In 1990 the US Census Bureau reported that there were 39.3 million poor people in the US. But the Census Bureau also reported in 1990 that nearly 40% of all “poor” households owned their own homes; nearly 60% have more than two rooms per person; nearly 60% have air conditioning; 64% own a car; 50% own a microwave; 25% have an automatic dishwasher; and 91% have a color television.
B. Did you know that 1.3 billion people live on less that $1 a day?
C. Did you know that if your income is at the official US poverty level that you are among the top 10% of wage earners in the world? We have the highest household income levels in the world.
D. If you own a home--better off than 95% of world. Largest homes in the world.
E. Highest percentage of educated people in the world, many have college degrees. The computer has made people’s lives more efficient and convenient. The amount of information available and the speed at which it is transmitted has exploded.
F. We have the lowest unemployment level in the world.
G. Our democratic system of government has become the envy and the model for countries around the world.
H. There are about 300,000 places of worship, where anyone can freely worship.
I. The entertainment and leisure industries are flourishing. Luxury automobiles, movie theaters, home theaters, music, sports, amusement parks, vacations.
J. Medical and health care advances are allowing people to live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
K. Many of the poor in foreign countries would love just to eat from our dumpsters.
L. We are a blessed nation. We have come a long way from immigrants with nothing but the clothes on their backs and we have carved out of the wilderness this great nation of ours. We should be applauded. However, this is the problem.
M. This is the same issues that the Israelites faced. In this chapter, Moses is warning the Israelites that when they go into the land of milk and honey to not forget God.
N. How many are forgetting God today? Vs. 17 seems to be a big problem today. It is not that people are atheists or God haters. It is just that they don’t need God.
O. The 1965 film classic, Shenandoah, features a memorable and outlandish prayer. With his eight children seated for dinner, the father, played by James Stewart observes, “Now, your mother wanted all of you raised as good Christians. And I might not be able to do that thorny job as well as she could, but I can do a little something about your manners.” After a forgetful and now convicted son removes his cap, Stewart then leads them in a thoroughly ungrateful prayer: Lord, we cleared this land; we plowed it, sowed it, and harvested. We cooked the harvest. It wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be eatin’ it, if we hadn’t done it all ourselves. We worked dog-bone hard for every crumb and morsel, but we thank you just the same anyway Lord for this food we are about to eat. Amen. On DVD Shenandoah Scene #2 Family Supper
P. Few have the gall to say it outright, but many think the same as this movie father; they see themselves as “self-made” men and women. This attitude was certainly a temptation for the Israelites, so God issued them a warning through Moses.
Thesis: What is so wrong with believing that we are self-made men and women?
I. It is untrue.
A. No matter how much work we have done to get success, we are always dependent upon circumstances, of which we are powerless to bring about or to avoid.
B. Benjamin Franklin wrote an essay called The Ways to Wealth and in it he said: Do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things, for they may all be blasted without the blessing of Heaven.