When I was reading through Deut. 8, I divided it into three sections-Remember, The Dangers of Prosperity, Don't Forget. Now if someone asked me if I would like to be prosperous, I am sure I would say yes. Who wouldn't? The Israelites were getting ready to leave the wilderness and enter into the Promised Land where they would be prosperous. God would provide for them here just as he did for their 40 years in the wilderness. There would be streams, wheat and barley, fig trees, olive oil, and honey. They would have nice homes and large flocks. There would even be silver and gold. Sounds great. But two things are said in the midst of all these beautiful descriptions. The first is "When you have eaten your full, be sure to praise God." (vs10) The second is that they are not to be proud and forget that God rescued them from slavery. God knows people and knows how quickly we forget.
I feel God has blessed our family throughout the years with wonderful places to live, great opportunites, amazing friends and family, and many other things. I must admit there have been times when I have forgotten where those things came from. It is easy to forget to think these things are my doing. There have also been times when I have been distracted by all these things. During those times, I have neglected spending time with God because I was too busy doing or taking care of things. Deut. 8 gives me two things that will fight against this. The first is praise. When I spend time in praise, the focus is on God and not on me. It helps me have "a high view of God and an accurate view of myself". (a quote from a former BSF leader) The second is remembering. When I remember what God has done, I am less tempted to take credit for something I did not do. It is only through God that we have the power to be successful. (vs.17) I am reminded that I was a slave to sin but God rescued me. I am also reminded that all I have is His. I am thankful for the blessings He has given. Lastly I am aware that with blessing comes responsiblity. God often talked about blessing Israel so that they could be a blessing to others. I want that to be lived out in my life.
Dear God, Thank you for your blessings. May you bless others today through me. May I see opportunities to serve and love others. May I not forget to remember and praise you daily. Amen