January 11, 2008


Deuteronomy 8:1-5, 10-11

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert ...
Deuteronomy 8:2


Remember how much you depended on your parents when you were young? If they were Christian parents, they taught you that everything came from God-your clothes, toys, even spinach. And you believed them. You trusted in them and in God.

Today you are older, and you may have a great job, a new car every two years, a cottage at the lake, and a retirement account. You enjoy an abundant life. Did you gain it all by hard work, self-discipline, even self-denial-or did God have something to do with it too?

When we have everything, it's almost impossible to think of living as if we had nothing. What could we do without? The more we have, the harder it is to do with less-and the more difficult it is to trust God fully.

Yet that is what God asks his people. "In the desert, when you had nothing but me, you were totally dependent. Remember that dependence when you get to the land overflowing with abundance. It's all there for the taking. Remember then to depend on me as you did in the desert. Don't forget." But Israel did, and so do we.

Israel knew what God had done for them, but forgetting God is easy when you have it all.

Still, there is good reason to trust God in the midst of overflowing abundance: think of it as training for a time when the abundance may be gone.

Dear God, be with all your children who have little or nothing, and help those of us who have much to acknowledge the Source of our bounty and give freely to others. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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