If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Kings 20, Hebrews 2, Hosea 13, Psalms 137–138. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can’t do all the readings today, read Hosea 13.
Temptations await us at every point in our lives, in every circumstance in our lives. When we are discouraged or suffering or just discontent, we will be tempted to blame God or to reject him completely. But when we are prosperous, thriving, excited about the future and happy with the present, the temptation we face is to forget God. Israel faced all of these temptations and vast numbers of people in the nation surrendered to them throughout the history of the nation.
Although the people of Israel complained a lot about the Lord, the truth is that God was very good to his people. He led them out of Egypt and called them to worship him exclusively (v. 4). He provided for them in the desert—a place hostile to human life (v. 5). Yet verse 6 says, “When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” Ungrateful for what the Lord did, forgetful of how badly they needed his divine intervention, they took credit for surviving on their own for verse 6 says, “they became proud.” Whenever we think we have succeeded on our own, we think we can continue to succeed on our own. We buy into the myth of self-sufficiency, so we do not praise God for what he’s done and is doing in our lives, we do not worship God based on what he has revealed to us about himself, we do not ask God for help to serve him today, we do not look to God for wisdom in the decisions we make, we do not think about God and what he wants to do in the future. This is the temptation we face when times are good.
Israel and Judah encountered these temptations as unbelievers, for the most part. There were people who worshipped the Lord from the heart but most of God’s chosen people forgot him because they never knew him in the first place. This is why God brought severe judgment on them (vv. 7-16). Although they had his word, his covenant, they rejected him and put their faith in other gods. Although we have come to know God by faith, we still encounter the temptation that verse 6 described. It happens when our prayer life diminishes during good times; we stop praying altogether or pray token prayers only. As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a good time for us to remember the Lord and evaluate our relationship to him. We need God far more than we realize and it glorifies God when we live in dependence on him.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we’ll talk scripture again tomorrow.