Remembering the Goodness of a Gracious God
Category : General
Deuteronomy 6: 12 (KJV)
12 Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
It is remarkable how frequently in the Book of Deuteronomy, when God is giving His final summary of instructions to the Israelites, the warning is repeated, that the Jewish Church forget not God and His dealings with them in connection with their deliverance from Egypt. Such warnings strike us the more forcibly, because the people to whom they were addressed had come into the closest contact with God, and had been favored with the clearest visible evidences of His presence.
It is well known, how prone men are in prosperity to forget their benefactors, but especially their supreme One, and their dependence upon him. Hence it was proverbial among the Greeks, that “satiety begets insolence; and power, joined with ignorance, is the parent of madness.” Moses had too long experienced the temper of his countrymen, not to be jealous of their falling into this extreme; therefore, he strongly warns them against the unhappy influence of ease and prosperity, when peacefully possessed of the promised land.
In earthly prosperity, men are apt to forget heavenly things. It is noted that while the animal senses have everything they can wish, it is difficult for the soul to urge its way to heaven; the animal man is happy, and the desires of the soul are absorbed in those of the flesh. God knows this well; and therefore, in his love to man, makes comparative poverty and frequent affliction his general lot. Should not every soul therefore magnify God for this lot in life? “Before I was afflicted,” says David, “I went astray;” and had it not been for poverty and affliction, as instruments in the hands of God’s grace, multitudes of souls now happy in heaven would have been wretched in hell. It is not too much to speak thus far; because we ever see that the rich and the affluent are generally negligent of God and the interests of their souls. It must however be granted that extreme poverty is as injurious to religion as excessive affluence. Hence the wisdom as well as piety of Agur’s prayer, Proverbs 30:7-9; “Give me neither poverty nor riches, lest I be full and deny thee, or lest I be poor and steal,”.
One danger to be apprehended from prosperity is, that a man may thereby be led to forget God as the Author of his blessings, and the Sovereign Disposer of those events which have issued in success. Alienation of heart from God is the result of our fallen state. Should prosperity come upon us unexpectedly, without any previous effort on our part, there is fuel, as it were, applied to the unhallowed fire within, which causes the natural carnality of our hearts to exhibit itself with a force before unknown. Should, however, man’s prosperity in this world be the result of well-directed efforts of his own, there is a temptation lest we should forget God who has given us power to succeed in our endeavors, lest we should attribute to our own strength or wisdom what is due chiefly to Him of whom we have received our all, and to whom all the praise is due. But we may notice other dangers connected with worldly prosperity. There is a security sometimes issuing out of it which is altogether inconsistent with man’s frail and uncertain tenure (Job 29: 18; Psalm 30:6, 49: 11; Lk.12: 16, 19, 21). We should not undervalue the blessing of temporal welfare; it is God’s gift, and ought to be enjoyed with thankfulness in Him. Let us always remember God’s faithfulness, mercy and goodness to us an undeserving people.
Have a great and godly day!