There are countless lessons in the Bible that can be used as barometers to gauge how we are doing in the present age. Remember the New Testament Apostle Paul stated the experiences of Israel, especially from the time of their redemption from Egypt to their possession of the Promised Land, ‘all happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition…’
At end of the 40 year journey after the Exodus Moses summarized Israel’s experiences and lessons learned during those 40 years.
“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes…lest – when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them…and your silver and your gold are 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…” Deuteronomy 8:11-13
One of the primary lessons in the above scripture passage is a warning not to forget ‘the LORD your God’ because it is He who delivered Israel from bondage and promised them great blessings. The meaning of ‘forget’ translated from Hebrew means much more than just a ‘slip of the mind.’ Rather it means to be oblivious of/to, from want of attention. Perhaps the most descriptive synonym is neglect. It is a conscious setting aside.
Also in the above passage the term ‘lifted up’ means self exaltation, haughty, lofty, or presumptuous.
Moses reminded the Israelites that God had tested them in the wilderness by making them humble so they would realize that God was the source of their good fortune. In other words, God provided; the Israelites had not achieved.
“…The LORD your God…who fed you in the wilderness with manna…that He might humble you and that He might test you… then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’” Deuteronomy 8:16-17
One of the major political issues today is the right of the individual to pursue and achieve the ‘American dream’. Each of the major political parties offers their ideas on how best to gain personal status so as to be able to obtain grand material possessions. However, can status or wealth be obtained exclusively by personal efforts and/or by governmental assistance?
“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods…I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.” Deuteronomy 8:18-20
Half a millennium later this lesson was reaffirmed in the wisdom book of Proverbs.
“Every word of God is pure…Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar…Feed me with the food allotted to me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the LORD’?” Proverbs 30:5-9
Many compare the redemption of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt with the American experience of independence from the political and religious bondage in England. That being the case, how is America doing in light of forgetting God?
During the recent State of the Union address President Obama used the singular personal pronouns ‘I’ and ‘my’ more than 100 times and used the terms ‘we’ and ‘our’ more than 150 times.
Two of his more notable statements were, “Tonight, I want to speak about how we move forward and lay out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last…” Further in the address he stated, “I’m a Democrat. But I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed, that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves…”
Now it should be mentioned that President Obama did refer to God in his address. At the end of the speech he closed with these words, “Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.” Invoking God to bless a forgetful nation seems a bit hypocritical. Many are thinking the president’s closing words were but a political token and was far too little too late.