As we gather with family and friends around the table this week to give thanks, the irony of Thanksgiving Thursday and Black Friday in America is not lost on us. America has seen great prosperity. Even if we don’t feel wealthy, the truth is we are among the world’s richest nations. We are so privileged and yet so dissatisfied. In Deuteronomy this week, Moses warns God’s people about the dangers of prosperity:
He found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings, so the Lord alone led him, and there was no foreign god among them… But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; you grew fat, you grew thick, you are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation…Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten the God who fathered you. Deuteronomy 32:10-12, 15, 18 NKJV
What a harsh word! But one I believe we need to hear. We have been given so much. We can echo the Psalmist who says: You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance. Psalm 65:11
His paths drip with abundance. As we walk in His ways, the channels are open for Him to bless us. Deuteronomy reminded us there is blessing for obedience and curse reserved for disobedience. Certainly there are days when we don’t see the immediate blessing; we walk in obedience and still have trouble. Perhaps in those days God is testing us, refining us as silver… but in the end He promises to bring us out to rich fulfillment in this life or the life to come (see Psalm 66:10-12).
What is our response to all these blessings? Do we, like the Israelites, take and take, become fat and forget God? Or do we learn from their mistakes and heed the Psalmist who prays:
God be merciful to us and bless us and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God. Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy… God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him” Psalm 67:1-4, 7
We ask for blessings, not to line our pockets, but that His way may be known on the earth! We are blessed so that we can be a blessing.
This week as we recount His blessings in our lives, let us ask Him how He would have us use those blessings to bless the nations. Let’s join our hearts in lifting up our strong God this week. May this song by Meredith Andrews enrich your worship this week. Strong God by Meredith Andrews
Kelly lives in Kampala, Uganda with her husband Josh, and her children, Caleb, Seth and Elizabeth. She works with World Gospel Mission, Uganda focusing on the University Discipleship Ministry and making her home a place of rest and refreshment for others.