“be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.” — Deuteronomy 6:12
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? These are the questions that have captured the attention of our generation and culture. These are the issues that have taken the church captive for a ransom that denominations will never be able to pay.
What is wrong with these questions you ask? Everything! They reveal the humanistic focus that we have yielded to in forgetting the God who made us. We live in a day when we have become so self-possessed that God has been locked out of most churches.
We should be focusing on a whole different group of questions. We should be asking: Who is God? How can I know Him? How can my life glorify Him? These are questions of eternal import.
Israel was warned against disobedience and spiritual forgetfulness in Deuteronomy 6. The chief catalyst to their disobedience and forgetfulness is mind-blowing. They would not be disobedient and forgetful because of the barrenness of their lives but because of God’s blessings on their lives!
God said, “Be careful! When you inhabit houses you did not build, harvest crops you did not plant and enjoy abundance that you did not deserve, you will be in danger of forgetting Me!” Abundance can be a dangerous thing.
It is a short step from forgetfulness to idolatry! God warned Israel that once they had forgotten Him, they would soon begin “to go after other gods.” (6:14)
Have not we in America become guilty of the same things? God has blessed our country with unparalleled abundance. It has been almost unexplainable how wealthy our country has become. With prosperity has come ungodliness. Sodom and Gomorrah would blush over our promiscuity.
The tax collectors of New Testament times would not associate with many of the rascals in our government. God has been banned in the public square while his power has been shunned in the church. We have become spiritually forgetful.
How can we guard against spiritual forgetfulness? Deuteronomy 6 tells us:
1. We must not test God. (6:16) If we are to avoid spiritual forgetfulness, we must not presume upon our relationship with God. We cannot take Him for granted!
2. We must diligently obey the commands of the Lord. (6:17) Only obedience’s intense focus will keep us from forgetfulness.
3. We must do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight. (6:18) Only when our walk matches our talk will we live free from forgetfulness.
4. We must drive out the enemies living in the land. (6:19) All weights and sins must be set aside in our lives…or we will forget! (Heb. 12:1-2)
5. We must pass our faith and walk on to our children. (6:20-25) In sharing God’s goodness and truth with the next generation, we will guard against forgetfulness.
Dear Christian, we are indeed living in the last moments of history. I beg you not to approach the climax of all God’s redemptive work with a forgetful heart! Stay true. Stay focused! Stay clean!