July 7 - Deuteronomy 6:10-15

Sunday, July 7, 2013

When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 

Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.

How many of us have received much and somehow decided that we did it all on our own?  Before God brought the Israelites into the Promised Land, he knew that they would soon get comfortable and forget all that he had done for them.

In America, we take great pride in the fact that we can ‘pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps,’ that no one can keep us down for too long, that we are self-made men (women, whatever), that we can have the American dream.  We climb the ladder to success, we believe in the no pain / no gain attitude toward nearly anything.  If you simply work hard enough you can achieve anything you dream of.  We can do it.

But, we forget that we did very little of that which brings us success. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, if nothing else and they on the foundations that came before them.  And … all of our talents, our minds, our passions and our very being … come from God, who brought us to this place.

We live in a land with large, flourishing cities we did not build.  We live in homes filled with things. We drink water from wells we did not dig.  We eat and are satisfied and we forget that all of this doesn’t come because we work eight (or more) hours a day. We are given a gift of life, talent, minds which comprehend tasks set before us.

We must never forget. We must learn to be more grateful.