Sometimes it seems that, during their sojourn in the wilderness, Israel's relationship with God could best be described by the question, What have you done for me lately? Among many other miraculous blessings, God delivered them from bondage, gave them water from a rock, and fed them with bread from heaven. But at every turn, as soon as they met with inconvenience or difficulty, Israel seemed to think that God had abandoned them. Worse yet, there were times when they even gave into the temptation to worship false idols that they thought might do them more good than the God of the universe.
The lesson we can learn from this is that gratitude is among the most important things in the world when it comes to our worship of the Most High. As they were finally preparing to enter the Promised Land, Moses reminded the Israelites not to forget who had brought them there. The best reminder was the simple act of eating:
When you have eaten your fill, take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
This doesn't just help us maintain a good relationship with God, however. It also helps us in our horizontal relationships—i.e. our relationships with other people. If, as Christians claim, we have received God's love in our hearts and God's blessings in our lives, how can we help but share that love with others? Because God's grace overflows, it only makes sense to spread it around. For can the love of God truly flourish in a person who doesn't share it?
✙ Deuteronomy 6:11b-12
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
✙ 1 John 3:17
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Thank you for your blessings, Lord. As your living water overflows the narrow banks of my heart's stream, help me to direct its refreshment to those who yet languish in the desert of need and the stagnant pools of selfishness.✙
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