Read Deuteronomy 8:10-18
10 When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
11 “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. 12 For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, 13 and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! 14 Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. 15 Do not forget that he led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock! 16 He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. 17 He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ 18 Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. (NLT)
We tend to forget God at two particular times: when things are going really badly and when things are going really well. Which covers quite a few of our days when you come to think of it! When things go badly, we can be overwhelmed by circumstances and resort to panic, leaving God out of the picture.
Our passage today focusses on forgetting God in the good times. Those ancient Israelites were to be given a land rich in resources. They had easily let go of God when in the wilderness, now they were warned not to let go of him in the land of milk and honey. The temptation was to start believing this was a reward for good behaviour, a human achievement. Who needs God when things are going our way?
Our faith is essentially a remembering faith. In times of darkness we remember God’s promise to be faithful and good. In better times, we remember God has seen us through the tough times and is with us in these good times. At no point do we succumb to utter despair or proud self-sufficiency.
Remembering is our way of recognising we live in a God-shaped world. Our way of realising that we are on a journey and that we do not travel alone. We dare not forget to remember.