DEUTERONOMY 6:12: “…Be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Be careful not to forget the Lord! This warning should cause everyone to pause. Was the Lord talking just to the Israelites, or is He speaking these words directly to my heart?
The context of this warning is the Lord’s instructions to Israel as they were preparing to enter into the Promised Land of their inheritance. Moses was reviewing the Law and the Commandments that Lord had given His covenant people. He was also warning them of what lay ahead on their journey and conquest. They would need to fully trust and obey the Lord at every turn to insure their continued victory and blessing.
When we face great trials most of us turn to the Lord. Someone has wisely said, “There are no atheists in a foxhole during battle.” However, what happens when the battle is over? What happens when our prayers are answered? What happens when the struggle is replaced by rest, the battle is replaced by blessing, and the cries of our heart are answered by the sovereign and loving hand of the Father?
In reality, this is where we are most susceptible to falling away from the the Lord. This is the preface of this important warning in Deuteronomy.
- “When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give you — a land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant — and when you eat and are satisfied, be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:10-12 CSB
It is natural to be on guard when we are in the midst of the battle. However, when the battle is over, we tend to let our guard down. Our fervent times of prayer are no longer needed (so we think). Our struggle is replaced with rest, and we can easily become distracted from our devotion to the Lord. In fact, we can even begin to convince ourselves that we had something to do with the victory the Lord has given us. It is when we are at ease and are satisfied that we need to be on alert. We must never let down our guard! We must never forget the One who has won the battle in our lives!
The sobering truth of life is that when one battle is over, the next one is right around the corner. If we allow our devotion and walk with the Lord to slacken during the times of rest, we will be totally unprepared for the coming battle. And worse than that, if we allow pride to replace humility in our lives, we will be at risk of losing the favor of the Lord at our moment of need. It is not that God will forsake us. Rather, it is that we will have forsaken Him, and in essence attributed His glory to ourselves. We will not meet the provision of the Lord in the next battle if this is our attitude. Instead, we will meet the hand of His loving discipline (Read Hebrews 12:3-12).
This is why the Scriptures call us to humble ourselves. God loves His children. He knows that pride leads to destruction in our lives. Therefore, He calls us to humble ourselves. If we do not, He will lovingly allow us to go through times of struggle that will bring us to humility and repentance. We always have this choice before us. When we humble ourselves before the Lord we do not escape the battle. However, He pours out His grace upon our lives so that we are victorious in all the battles of life. His mighty hand upholds us and sustains us through His greater grace!
- “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:6-10 CSB
I humble myself when I realize that I need the Lord as much in the good times as in the bad times. In fact, in the good times I need Him more! I need to seek the Lord with all my heart when I am sitting by the still waters, not just when I am faced with the raging storm. I need to acknowledge and give audible praise to the Lord as the one who has saved, redeemed, delivered, and kept me from the power of sin, death, and the devil. He alone is my victory. He alone can sustain me.
Lord, this morning I want to acknowledge that You are my life, my victory, my only source of grace and help in time of need. You are the one who has blessed me, provided for me, and sustained me. Today I choose to humble myself before You! I choose to stand against the pull of the world, the flesh, and the enemy through the powerful grace You supply. Today, I choose to worship You!
In Jesus Name!