For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land … When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 8:7, 10-11 (NIV)
Shortly before my husband and I and our two small children left our hometown Houston to make the valiant move to the foothills of North Carolina—leaving friends and family behind—I was equal parts excited and equal parts uncertain.
Okay, maybe 20% excited, 80% scared to death.
In a weak moment of no-way-can-we upend-our-lives, a dear friend directed me to this passage in Deuteronomy 8, saying very pointedly,
“God is bringing you to the good land.”
A Lone Star girl at heart, this was enlightening. (Who knew there was good land outside of Texas?)
Her tone rang with certainty, an endorsement of sorts.
Rousing enthusiasm from those who were familiar with western North Carolina lowered my scared-to-death percentage until I was quite ready to make the change.
The more I pondered the move, the more I recognized God had called us to do good works he’d prepared in advance. (Ephesians 2:10)
And when we arrived, settled into a two story rental home near Lake Hickory … y’all, the beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains! The people! The slower pace of life! The joy of four distinct seasons seen in leaves of gold and winters of white!
This good land did not disappoint.
I reveled in it.
But therein lay the problem.
In no time, I got comfy.
Indulging in a literal feast for the senses, ideal neighbors, friends for the kids, a new church home, and … I began to forget.
Forgetful of the One who’d extended His gracious hand and gave me these good gifts.
Gifts aren’t limited to the material, tangible. Because I’ve prayed for situations to improve or chains to be broken. And when answers arrived in my favor, amounting to a virtual flowing stream of relief, I’ve responded like that entitled child on Christmas morning who snatches the gift with nary a glance of gratitude at the giver.
Thus, God’s instruction and warning to his people: When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God.
That good land God had promised the Israelites pretty much describes the land where I live.
A land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. (vs 7-9)
In a land like that, it’d be incredibly easy—almost unavoidable—for Mary to forget the One who gave all these luxuries.
I know because I have. I know because I do. I know because it’s likely I will again.
He doesn’t ask his people to remember the stuff. Because the stuff is good. He warns them not to forget about … Him.
Knowing our forgetful tendencies, God could justifiably withhold these good things. But the problem isn’t in the abundance.
It lies within.
When our bellies are full and our hearts are satisfied, God calls us to praise him and remember his immutable goodness. It’s a ready source of sustenance for times of scarcity.
May we Forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2
When have you experienced God’s good land and forgotten Him? What did it take to remind you of His provision?
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