You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (NIV)
Read: Deuteronomy 8:1-20
Consider: Have you noticed how easy it is to turn to God when things are going badly, yet so easy to forget him when life is treating us well? This was exactly the same for the people of Israel. When they were in slavery in Egypt and later during their wanderings in the wilderness, they were willing to turn to God and seek his help. God continually intervened for them to get them out of Egypt, to provide them with food and water, and to rescue them from their enemies. Did this make them any more faithful in their devotion and love for God? Obviously not, as each time when things were going well they were unfaithful to him and ignored his commandments.
When reading through the book of Deuteronomy the word ‘remember’ occurs time and again (in fact sixteen times). God knows our inclination to seek his help in times of need and to forget him during the good times. Even worse than that is the pride we may have in thinking that our successes are down to ourselves and our innate abilities. You’ve probably heard the expression where someone is described as a ‘self-made man or woman’. The world regards these people as successful and the people themselves may believe they’ve made it due to their own hard work and commitment. Let’s not understate the need for hard work and commitment in all aspects of life. However, the Bible does gives us another perspective on success.
In Deuteronomy 8:11-14 we read: Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Notice that the Israelites were warned to ‘Be careful that you do not forget …’ and also when things are going well ‘… your heart will become proud …’ We need to be equally careful today not to let pride fool us into thinking our successes are purely down to us and forgetting what God has done for us over the years.
But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Pray: Father, may we continually remind ourselves of your grace that you have poured out on us. Help us to keep a true perspective on our successes, never forgetting whet you have done and are doing in our lives. Amen