You can find almost anything on the Internet, such as “101 Funny Jokes About Forgetting.” Here’s one.
Three brothers age 92, 94 and 96 live in a house together.
One night the 96 year old draws a bath, puts his foot in and pauses. He yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?”
The 94 year old yells back, “I don’t know, I’ll come up and see.” He starts up the stairs and pauses, then he yells, “Was I going up the stairs or coming down?”
The 92 year old was sitting at the kitchen table having coffee listening to his brothers. He shakes his head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” He knocks on wood for good luck.
He then yells, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.”
Several of the 101 funny jokes about forgetting brought a smile to my face, but forgetting God is not a humorous matter.
As the Hebrew nation was about to enter the promised land, Moses cautioned them to not forget the Lord.
— Deuteronomy 8.11 – Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today.
When we forget God and leave him out of our lives, the next thing to happen will be our failure to follow his guidance.
Jesus didn’t explicitly say, “Don’t forget,” but he implied the need to continually focus on our relationship with him.
He said, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15.4–5).
It is virtually impossible to forget the Lord while we are living in an abiding relationship with him. On the other hand, if we don’t abide in this relationship, it is quite easy to forget what he has done for us.
The greatest Being to walk the face of the earth informs us that to live in a continual relationship with him will produce the best life possible. To live separately from him is a disaster.
Presumption and Forgetfulness
Presumption is defined as believing something to be true with no evidence to support the claim.
It is presumptuous to believe that success is the result of our abilities.
— Deuteronomy 8.12-14, 17 – When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them,
And when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied,
Then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.”
When we forget God’s grace and presume that our abilities have made us successful, we open ourselves to varieties of evil practices.
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. In today’s video, I describe my privileged childhood. I was very blessed to live in the family of my birth.
Suppose I took my privileged life for granted and used it to oppress other people, to increase my wealth or status. I would be classed with the tyrants and evil powers of the earth.
God does not give us gifts and abilities to pad our pockets with money at the expense of the less fortunate.
This is the way God wants us to use what we have been given: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6.38).
When we remember God’s gracious deeds in our lives, we will be willing to give. We can’t out give God and he will make sure we can give to others. That’s the way he works.
The Most Important Reason
The most important reason to remember God’s gracious activity on our behalf is the danger of idolatry.
Deuteronomy 8.18-19 – But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.
If you do forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.
When we forget that God is the One who gives us the ability to prosper, the temptation will be to worship our accomplishments.
There is a downward spiritual spiral that takes place when we forget God. The prophets frequently address the components of what happens when we forget God.
— We forget what God has done for us.
— We presume that success is a product of human abilities.
— We worship what humans can create.
— The powerful oppress the vulnerable in society.
The answer to this downward spiral is to follow Jesus’ counsel to abide in a relationship with him. It is truly the pathway to abundant living.
About This Blog
Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy is an excellent Bible student and lover of God. He has insights on this passage that are quite helpful.
I am indebted to Peter Craigie for his book on Deuteronomy. He both challenges me and informs me of various truths of Deuteronomy.
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