Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; Who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that He might humble thee, and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, my power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, verses 14-19.
It’s kind of like a high school student who buys a term paper from another student rather than doing their own assignment. They are tickled when the teacher hands back their paper and they have received an A. When the teacher refers to their paper as an example of exemplary work and dedication, they puff up with pride as if they had written the term paper themselves, but they hadn’t.
God knew how human we were. He knew that the Israelites would see all the miracles that He had provided for them in the wilderness and the bounty He provided in the Promised Land. God knew that they would take credit for it, as if they had accomplished these on their own. He also knew that they would forget to thank Him and they would take credit for all their good fortune, and He was right.
Do we do this in our own lives? I have, more times than I care to mention. God has gotten me through many difficult situations and when they’re over, I either forget about what God had done for me, or what is even worse, I take credit for them myself.
Some people make it hard to give God the credit. People have complimented me for particular ideas or actions. I tell them that God gave me the idea or God got me through the particular situation but they argue with me, telling me, “No, god helps him who helps himself.” Well, you already know how I stand on that one!
We can easily fall into the trap of not appreciating all that God has done for us. God can lead us out this trap if we let Him, just like He led the Israelites to the Promised Land.
Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment. Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the Words of the righteous. Deuteronomy, Chapter 16, verses 18-19.
I wish all politicians and judges adhered to rules like these; not that there aren’t some who do. It would make everything much easier if nothing interfered with the political decisions that are made.
I read a book written by someone who used to work in a prison. He talked about how some of the prisoners would deliberately make friends with the guards. Being a guard has to be a thankless job. I doubt if any of the prisoners say, “Thank you so much, Mr. Guard, for keeping me in here to protect society from me.” Anyway, some prisoners manipulate guards by planning to have pleasant interactions with them, standing in distinct contrast to the negative ones they usually encounter.
They get to know the guards pretty well, playing on that particular guard’s sympathy. When the timing is right, the prisoner asks the guard to send a birthday card to his ailing mother, which is against the prison rules. When the guard does this, there is some kind of rationalization that goes on for the guard to justify his actions to himself, since this is an unethical thing to do. Once this happens, the prisoner knows he’s got the guard wrapped around his little finger. He knows that the guard is even more vulnerable to do other things for him in the future. (Remember I said, not all guards or prisoners do this, but it’s an example of how little things can undermine the clear thinking of those in authority.)
Politicians and judges are just as human. So are teachers, for that matter. It’s probably a lot harder for a teacher to flunk a child of a very involved parent who volunteers for room parties and lavishes the teacher with all types of gifts and compliments, on every occasion. I think that everyone in a position of power or judgment might become vulnerable when there are gifts or favors done. I think that God had the right idea when He said, “For a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.” That’s definitely something to think about.
Here are some related passages:
*A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment. Proverbs, Chapter 17, verse 23.
*Many will entreat the favour of the prince: and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts. Proverbs, Chapter 19, verse 6.
Neither shalt thou set thee up any image: which the LORD thy God hateth. Deuteronomy, Chapter 16, verse 22.
I trust God to guide me on this one. I do know from everything I have read that God wouldn’t want me to have a statue of Buddha or a Greek or Roman god or goddess in my house, even if they are just for decorative purposes.
I don’t feel He wants us to pray to any religious article thinking that article is God, Himself. I wear a cross around my neck but I don’t pray to it. It just reminds me of what an important part Jesus plays in my everyday life. I have pictures of Jesus in my house. I get a pleasant feeling when I look at them, because they remind me of all Jesus has done for us. I don’t pray to the picture or think the picture is Jesus.
You and God alone know whether you are being led astray by these objects or not. Let God be your guide on this one. He will give you good instincts, if you let Him.
Because this is an example of how I’ve applied this Bible passage to my life, it doesn't necessarily reflect the whole meaning of the passage.
These are other blogs I felt led to create:
These are other blogs I felt led to create:
This is a connection I've made from this Bible passage. Please share your connections.
Please click on comments below to share your suggestions. Thanks! Debbie