Never Take God for Granted
“‘For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.”’
Moses, recorded in, Deuteronomy 2:7 esvbible.org
Never, ever, take God for granted.
Moses is recounting, revisiting, reviewing, recollecting and reminiscing about Israel’s forty years of wilderness wandering.
They have, during those years, fallen into several catastrophic periods when they have taken God for granted.
Now, soon, Moses will be gone and, under new management, Israel will enter The Promised Land.
When we, the followers of Jesus, reflect on our history with the Lord, how often have we taken Him for granted, or how often do we continue to take Him for granted?
Moses was always aware of what God had done, and was doing for His people.
“I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet.” (Deuteronomy 29:5)
No one makes sandals like that anymore.
We may have done many things in the church over the years, or maybe we’re known for, and best at, doing one thing in the church for many years.
The temptation is always there to take some of the credit, maybe most of the credit, for good things that have been accomplished.
Moses gave all the glory to God.
When we take the credit we take God for granted.
Consider for a moment what God has done, is doing, and will yet do in our lives.
1. He has, all along, had a plan for our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Our lives do not play out by chance, or luck, or karma, but by the divinely ordered will of God. We are not subject to coincidences.
2. He has, all along, been protecting our lives.
Just as Israel was guarded day and night during their four decades of real close acquaintance with the dangers of the wilderness, God was always protecting them, from the beasts and their enemies.
3. He has, all along, been providing for all our needs.
Paul knew about this provision, and even wrote about it, to encourage the followers of Jesus in Philippi:
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Note the phrase, “every need”. Nothing is left out, excluded, or forgotten.
4. He has, all along, been preparing for our future.
Jesus made this promise to His followers shortly before His arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection:
“‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.’”
So, just like Israel in the wilderness, sometimes we grumble, sometimes we complain, sometimes we disobey.
Sometimes we are are indifferent and ungrateful.
Yet, because we are His people, His children, He is always faithful.
Moses would soon mention this again.
“‘Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.’” (Deuteronomy 7:9)
Isaiah celebrated God’s faithfulness centuries later.
“O Lord, you are my God; / I will exalt you; I will praise your name, / for you have done wonderful things, / plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” (Isaiah 25:1)
And so, also, says Paul, writing to the Christians in Corinth.
“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)
He has a plan for us, He protects us, He provides for all our needs, and He is preparing even better things for us.
He is to be honored, and glorified, and praised, and obeyed.
He is not to be taken for granted, ever.
Soli Deo gloria!