“Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:” Deuteronomy 8:11
“Beware”…we need to stay aware of some things, and wary of ourselves. We must keep ourselves aware of God. We must keep in mind just who He is and His Holiness. We should also keep in mind all that He does for us because we know that without Him we can do nothing. (Jn 15:15) We also need to keep ourselves aware of what He can do to us. God will chastise His own. Paul said that ALL that belong to the Father are partakers of the chastisement of the Father.
We must stay wary of ourselves. Never lose sight of the truth that Moses very well knew when he spoke to the people. Men are apt to turn from God when things are going good. We are too easily distracted by the things of every day life. Especially when things are going well for us. We easily forget God when we are not in need. We are also prone to fall. Our old nature still seems to have the strength to make us fail often and we find ourselves too weak in the faith to stand sometimes. And we are prone to forsake what we know to be right for selfish reasons. Men are easily swayed by their own desires and the promise of earthly gain.
When Moses was bringing this message to the people he understood that it was a matter of honest fact that as men prosper, the are apt to forget God. When men become self reliant, they have the tendency to forget God. I have been guilty of this myself, and so have you. We all are at some time or other. And we see two levels that Moses applies this truth. Let us apply these words to ourselves in our day and in our land.
First, I want us to notice that Moses let the people know that he was talking to them. Everyone there knew that he was talking to them. People don’t like that today. Today men are taught not to make too much eye contact when preaching. It makes people uncomfortable to have you look them in the eye when you preach. Some people think that means that you are talking to them.
Notice that Moses used words in this chapter to let the individual listener know that he was the one that Moses was talking tool. Seventy two times in this twenty verses Moses used the words; ye, you, your, thee, thou, thine, thy, etc. It was a personal message from a personal God, to a people on a personal level. He spoke to them first of all concerning their personal lives, on a personal level. In verses 12,13 we see that he addresses them plurastically…as many individuals… examples; “homes, herds, flocks”. We see it here on an individual level. Looking at ourselves and our membership, church attendance, our community; most people do not personally have time for God unless they have a need for God. Oh, yes, this is very true. As long as we are in need we want God, we want prayer, we want to experience His presence and blessing.
As long as our families, finances and physical health are giving us problems we want God,
“Give us God for we are in need.”
But as long as family, finances and physical health are good;
“I have no need, God let me be.”
And we see in verses 19 and 20 that Moses speaks to them on the national level. An on the national level if the population and the economy are in trouble we need God, pray that God will deliver us from this time of trouble…etc. But as long as the population and the economy are doing well we see this battle to keep separation of church and state.
I remember hearing some old timers talking about the midweek service and how it was started as a result of war, and the people of America would meet to pray for our soldiers, and God blessed our nation. America won the war. Every time a war breaks out or a natural disaster occurs we still find a surge of religious activity on a national level. Yet it still subsides faster than it came along. America’s relationship to God in our day reminds me of the men on the ship with Jonah. They had the attitude that everybody should pray to his own god and see which one could help. This tells us that they did not know the one who could.
What do we have today? I will tell you, as a pastor. We have church rolls full of individuals that make up a majority of this nation, and the nation as a whole cries out…
“Pray for my husband, daddy, daughter, son, brother, sister, friend, and so on… who is off at war. And they think so little of their loved ones and prayer that they don’t even come back to church to pray for them. If you are not willing to seek God’s presence and to be where He would want you too, then be prepared not to see your petitions met to your satisfaction.
PRAY FOR US!!!
A THOUSAND TIMES PRAY!!!
BUT DON’T EXPECT US TO BE HERE!!!
Yes, for many, God us just a spare tire, they put Him on when they have a blowout and as soon as the going is smooth again, they try to stuff Him back in the trunk until the next crisis.
It was said by men of another time, “as goes the home, so goes the country.” Do we have to wonder why our nation is in a mess?
God help us to realize before it is too late that we have done what we have been warned not too. “Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God,”