There are Good Times, There are Bad Times: Remember the Lord at All Times

Posted: September 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

When times are bad, when suffering comes, and when nothing seems to be going our way, there is a danger of forgetting God. When times are good, when we have more than we need, during times when things are going our way, we are in danger of forgetting the Giver. In other words, we can fail to believe that God is for us and will be with us when the road is rocky. And we can fail to remember that God is the giver when the gifts are abundant and times are easy.

This is illustrated by two stories in the history of Old Testament Israel. The first story takes place in Exodus 17. After God delivered Israel from Egypt he leads them through the wilderness. In Exodus 17 we read that the people lacked water. How did they respond? Not by remembering (or trusting) the Lord who had just delivered them from Pharaoh, but by grumbling at Moses and putting Yahweh to the test (Ex. 17:2). They were in a time of need and failed to trust that God would care for them.

The second story is found in Deuteronomy 6:10–19. After the famous Shema (6:4–9), Moses begins to unpack what total commitment to Yahweh looked like. The first test (see Daniel Block, Deuteronomy, NIVAC, 192) is whether or not Israel would remain committed to Yahweh after he brought them into the Promised Land and they “eat and are satisfied” (6:11). Moses reminds them of their failure to trust the Lord for water (6:16; cf. Ex. 17), how they failed to believe in Yahweh during a time of need. Now the danger was forgetting Yahweh in times of abundance. In times of abundance we are often tempted to enjoy the gifts but forget the Giver.

Daniel Block summarizes the lesson we should learn from these two stories as follow: “Crises of need tempt people to demand a response from Yahweh, but crises of prosperity tempt them to forget him and to become self-sufficient” (Block, Deuteronomy, NIVAC, 194). Whether we are in times of need or in times of abundance, the challenge is to remember our Lord.

In times of need we should remember he is for us and will care for us; in times of abundance we should remember that all good gifts come down from his fatherly hand.

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