This Week's Scripture & Reflection: Deuteronomy 8:11-20
It's always intriguing to hear about the humble beginnings of some of the world's top-ranked professionals across the widespread career spectrum, including sports, business, media and entertainment, and even cooking. It's even more pleasing to see some of these renowned individuals remain incredibly humble in the midst of so much success and to hear how they never forget where they started and the friends and family who aided and supported them throughout their journey.
As the new generation of Israelites prepares to cross the Jordan River and enter into the Promised Land, Moses spends ample time recalling God's commandments to them, as well as dispensing specific instructions and warnings regarding their conduct. Moses persistently warns the Israelites not to forget the Lord their God by disobeying His commandments. He warns them not to forget the One who rescued and delivered them from Egyptian slavery, who led them through the wilderness for forty years due to their own unbelief, and who clothed and fed them with manna from Heaven and water from the rock. Moses warns the Israelites that if they fail to obey God's commands and remember all that God has done for them, they will surely become proud and boastful in themselves once they experience the great wealth and abundance of the Promised Land, foolishly believing that they produced all the wealth themselves.
The temptation to forget the Giver of all good things (cf. James 1:17, Acts 17:25) and the One who has and continues to deliver us from all affliction (cf. Psalm 34:19) is ever present, especially when we step into the new: new opportunities, new wealth, new success. While faith demonstrated through diligent work is certainly required on our end, it is God who divinely provides, blesses, and increases! By giving thanks to God in everything (cf. I Thessalonians 5:18), we resist the temptation to assume all the credit because we've cultivated a consistent practice of deflecting the glory off of self and sending it up to the One who truly deserves it. By recording and meditating on our history with God, we preserve our minds with consistent accounts of His faithfulness, thus enabling us to recall and speak of His goodness at any time! May we never forget not only what God has done, but also who He is! All other gods pale in utter comparison to Him!