Sunday, September 5, 2010

Generosity, the antidote to forgetfulness

Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 14

Read: Deut 8:1-23:11

Verse that stood out: When you have eaten and are satisfied . . . be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God - Deut 8:10-11.

Moses, after telling the people that they will prosper if they obey God, then gives them a warning: Once you prosper and enjoy your prosperity, don't forget God. He can see what's coming. The people will build fine houses, settle down, increase their flocks, accumulate lots of wealth. But instead of growing in gratefulness, they'll only grow forgetful. They'll abound in pride instead of praise. It's a basic truth of life. Faith tends to flourish during adversity, flounder during prosperity.

The antidote to such forgetfulness? Generosity. Give to others (especially to the poor) as God has given to you. Practice Jubilee. "Do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs" (Deut 15:8). Do this not just because the poor need your help, but also because you need the poor. They'll keep you from forgetting, we are all poor and in need before the Lord.

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