Deuteronomy 8 : 7 - 17, For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest -- when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end -- then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.' NKJV
God takes great delight in the prosperity of His people. Consequently, when God created man, He provided everything they needed. In fact, if you read Genesis 1 - 2, you'll see that God supplied all of man's need even before man realized there was a need. After man sinned in the garden, we see that it was God who sacrificed the first animal to cover the nakedness and shame of man. God was introducing the beginnings of the Levitical system of Priests and sin offerings for man's sin, and He did this before man had even the slightest clue of what it was all about. However, we won't fully understand all that God did for Adam and Eve, as it pertained to their sins and His killing of that first animal, until we read about the Pascal lamb in Exodus. Even after all that God had promised Adam and Eve and after God had provided their every need, before they knew they had one, they still turned their back on God.
I realize that the scripture for today's word is lengthy, but it is to prove a point. God warned Israel through Moses not to forget Him after He had blessed them with the fulfillment of every need in their lives. God not only provided for them, but in the wilderness where there were no grocery stores, or fast-food chains to get food, God provided them with manna, not from the earth, but from heaven. Is it not amazing how God first provided man with food from the ground, but in the wilderness, He brought bread down from heaven. God also provided them freedom from the bondages of man. If all this were not enough, God was about to give them their own land which they would possess. Although other inhabitants occupied the Promise Land, God was about to evict them from the premises because of His love for Israel. The Israelites were about to inherit houses they didn't build, vineyards they didn't have to plant, and wells that already existed. All of this, God did because He loved Israel.
God also warned Israel not to forget Him and all the goodness that He had deposited into their lives by ignoring His commandments. After we've seen all the examples that are offered in the Word of God where the Lord was so gracious toward both the nation of Israel and in individuals who had favor in His sight, you might tend to think that Christians wouldn't follow in the same footsteps of forgetting God or His Word.
Grace is the greatest gift that God has given to mankind. Through God's grace, we have been forgiven without going to hell. We have been redeemed without dying for our sins. We have been cleansed from sin and guilt without shedding one drop of our own blood. We have been given the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live a holy life before God because apart from Him we can do nothing. All God asks of His people is that we keep His Word and hide it in our hearts that we might not sin against it. He asks us to keep His Word so that we won't forget that it is the Lord, who has given us the power to obtain the wealth. Even so, it seems in every generation, many forget the Lord and all of His goodness and begin to exalt "self" as God.
When we honor and keep the Word of God in our daily living, it will keep us rooted and grounded. Once a Christian turns from the Word as their source of life, they soon become prideful and begin to get lifted up because of the blessings in their lives that were the result of God's goodness. I don't know where you are reading this in the world today, but in America, many have forgotten and turned their backs on God as their source. Many have forgotten the Word of God and gone after other gods just as Israel did in the Old Testament.
Let me end this personal time of devotion with a question. Have you forgotten the Lord by ignoring and disobeying His Word? Grace can only work when we remain submitted to the Word of God. There is no other written document that can attract and release the power of God's grace but the Word of God. If we forsake God's Word because of the blessings of grace, then we, too, will go astray from God. Please pray today for the hearts of believers who have strayed away from the path of righteousness like the prodigal son, that God would grant them repentance. God is very much in the work of reconciliation and restoration of His people. The Lord blesses us when we're cast down, and He will restore us when we get lifted up and fall away. God is good.
Thank You, God,
Pastor Asa Dockery