November 15, 2012

Scripture and Commentary, Friday after the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity


Lectionary

Morning - Ps. 54, 61, Jer. 36:20-26, Col. 3:12-17
Evening - Ps. 51, Dt. 8:11, Mt. 26:57

Commentary, Deuteronomy 8:11

The Lectionary for tonight is another reminder that a notation like  Mt. 26:57 means to start reading at verse 57 and continue to the end of the chapter.

One way to "forget" God is to hold an intellectual belief in Him without making an attempt to live a Godly life.  This is what Moses refers to in verse 11 saying, "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping His commandments."  Such people may go through the outward motions of religion while their hearts are far from God.  They may even convince themselves that ideas and actions that clearly contradict Scripture are actually pleasing to God.  Many churches and people of our own time have forgotten God, even as they convince themselves they are doing His will.  Israel had a continuous problem with this throughout her history.  Often she filled the Temple with idols. Sometimes she worshiped God on the Sabbath and pagan idols on other days, prompting God to say, "this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me" (Is. 29:13).

A second way to forget God is to "say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth" (8:17).  This leaves God completely out of the process, and takes all the credit for oneself.  In contrast to this view, God, through Moses, reminds Israel that He gave them the land, the houses, and the power to get wealth (8:18).  Without Him they would still be slaves in Egypt.

What happens if Israel forgets God?  She will perish like "the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face" (8:20).  She will be judged and punished like any other nation.  What happens when a church or denomination forgets God?  It forfeits its identity as God's people and becomes as those without God.

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