In the eighth chapter of Deuteronomy, you find a stern warning from God to the Hebrews. He warned them against forgetting who had been responsible for the prosperity that they had received. Verse 17 reads, “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth’” (NASB). Later in verse 19, God says, “It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you shall surely perish” (NASB). If we read through the entire Old Testament, we find that time and again the Hebrews failed to heed this warning.
It is important to note that the Hebrews never denied God. In fact, they prided themselves on being His chosen people. However, they did forget that their God was a jealous God and they sought after other gods. Their forgetfulness brought God’s discipline upon them over and over.
There is an important lesson to be learned here, as we enter into the Thanksgiving season. This is the season for us to reflect upon our blessings. We are the most powerful nation in the world. Our poor would be considered middle class in most of the third world nations of the world. God’s fingerprints are all over our success. From our inception to the present, God has clearly blessed us.
Unfortunately, from all appearances, we have made the same mistake the ancient Hebrews made. We seem to have forgotten who is responsible for our strength and wealth. We give lip service to our God but our actions show that we are prideful about our accomplishments. Like the Hebrews, we have not denied God but we have allowed Him to become irrelevant to us, while we chase after the gods of power, prestige, pleasure and possessions. If we do not come to our senses and return to the God who has made this a great nation, we invite His discipline upon our nation.
You may ask, what can I do. You can make sure this Thanksgiving season that you and your family give God His proper place around your Thanksgiving table. Take time to give Him the thanks that He deserves. Remember that everything that you have comes from Him, either directly or indirectly. You can reaffirm His place in your life and turn from the gods of the world that seek your affections. You can give Him your thanks and give Him first place in your life. If enough people across our country will do that this Thanksgiving season, God may relent and we may avoid the discipline that is sure to come, if we continue down the path that the Hebrews of old followed.