“DON’T FORGET GOD” By Pastor YAU
Text: Deuteronomy 8:10-14 November 21, 2010.
1) This is in a cartoon: Something may make you laugh in the Far Side cartoons is “Superman in His Later Years.” It shows the elderly Man of Steel perched on a window ledge, ready to leap, but he looks back and asks, “Now where was I going?” While forgetfulness happens to all of us, and occasional lapses may be amusing or annoying, a lack of memory toward God can be disastrous.
2) This is in real history: With the people of Israel poised to enter the Promised Land and to enjoy all the abundance of it, Moses challenged them to “remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these 40 years in the wilderness.” (Deut. 8:2) And he warned them to “beware that you do not forget the Lord your God.” (8:11) But they did exactly what Moses worried about. When they became prosperous, they forgot their God and all He had given them. This led to the 400 years of chaos, suffering and defeats during the time of the judges.
WE SHOULDN’T FORGET GOD: (8:1-14)
1) He protects us in bad times: “Remember the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these 40 years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you will keep his commands.” (8:2) No time in the history of Israel is more difficult time than the 40 years they spent in the wilderness. In those years, God spread his wings to cover his people through all the dangers of the dreadful desert, the thirsty and waterless land, the venomous snacks and scorpions. Moses asked that people of God should never forget God’s power and protection in their difficult times. We won’t be here today if it were not God’s protection and mercy to keep us safe through the scary times in our life.
2) He provides us in needy times: “He humbled you...then feeding you with manna, which neither you or your fathers had known. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these 40 years.” (8:3-4)If you can remember those times when life was so difficult, basic needs are not met, things are so little and life was so hopeless. Then you remember how did God send His blessings to meet your needs, to fill your stomach and to give peace to your souls. King David went through very difficult time in his life and he said this, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Ps. 103:2)
3) He blesses us in good times: “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, the land of slavery.” (8:12-14)This is a very real temptation to forget God when all we do is smooth and we are rich and famous, then we may forget it is God who blesses us all we have and it is not from our own strength. (8:17)
4) He may retract his blessing: “If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.” (8:19)In this modern days we may not have idol gods to bow down to, but we may have other objects we worship, taking the first place in our hearts where God supposed to be sitting. If we do any of these, God may retract his blessing and his wings of protection and leave us naked and vulnerable exposed to the cruelty of the world. Listen to what Job said to his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” (Job 2:10) When God retracts his blessing, we are done. So, never forget God when things are going well with you, or else.
SHOW GOD WE DON’T FORGET: Here are some ways.
1) Follow all his commands: “Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today.” (8:1) Most parents will tell their children the same thing 5 or 6 times because parents want to make sure their children will listen and follow. God wants us to do the same thing: follow his commands. This is by far the most important way to show God that we do not forget him. Pay close attention to His commands in the Bible and do what He tells us to do. These include our duties to God, our obedience to His teaching, and fulfill his goals in our life.
2) Thank him for his blessings: “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the for the good land He has given you.” (8:10) To praise God means to give thanks to God. We may not receive good land from God, but we certainly have received good jobs, good income, good spouse, good children, good church, good friends and many other good things from Him. Do not forget to praise God, to thank Him for all the good things and good people He has given us.
3) Thank him for your possession: “When you build fine houses and settle down, when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied.” (8:12-13) When we achieved the so called American dreams in material possessions, when we live in nice large houses, drive good cars, wear nice clothes, eat good food and able to travel to places with ease, we need to give thanks to God for his mercy and grace. We also need to remember to give tithes and offering back to God and to show him we do not forget him.
4) Thank God for your health: “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, but it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” (8:17-18)Power and strength means good physical health which is the center of all our work and success. Without good health, we can do nothing and health is the biggest gift of God on us. We have heard and seen many otherwise look and feel healthy people suddenly become ill of serious problems. So, when we have good health, good body and hands to work, to live, to serve God, we need to thank God for this best gift of all.
1) Meaning of Thanksgiving: The meaning of Thanksgiving is to set an occasion to commemorate what God has done for us, what He has given us and to express our heartfelt gratitude to Him. In our day in and day our routines, we tend to forget God and His blessings on us and to take His blessings for granted. Forgetting those who have done good to us is bad, to forget God who has given us all that we have, even our eternal life is worse.
2) Your best for Thanksgiving: The best of Thanksgiving for all of us is the gift of eternal life, salvation from our sins. Everything else God may give us is for temporal purpose, only the gift of forgiveness of sins and eternal life will last forever. This is the most important thing we need to give thanks to God. To those who still do not believe in God, do not have their sins forgiven, do not have the gift of eternal life, I call on you to do this now. Ask Jesus to enter your life, and He will grant you all these for you to have a real good Thanksgiving.