"Lest we forget: From Egypt to Canaan"Bro. Ron Rupé
9/2/2001 11:00 AM
This is a wonderful description of the land, the spiritual land, that God has brought us to. Just as there was fruit in the land of Canaan, there is fruit in the spiritual land. These are the fruits of the Spirit. The spiritual land is our salvation experience with God. God has brought us to a wonderful place. It is a good land. We can be happy and enjoy this land. Are you bored? Maybe you're not in this land yet. "For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills." Each of these are lively waters, not stagnant or murky. God can give us a fresh, running, springing fountain in our soul. The land we came from was a dry and thirsty land.
"All my life long I had panted
For a drink from some cool spring
That I hoped would quench the burning
Of the thirst I felt within."
This was our experience when we were lost in sin, but, thank God, we have found it - salvation! This is a land of plenty. It is a wonderful land. We won't be hungry here. Are you hungry? If you are, it is not God's fault. He's spread a feast on the table. The land of sin is a land of famine.
"Feeding on the husks around me
Till my strength was almost gone
Longed my soul for something better
Only still to hunger on."
This is a description of what the life of sin was like. Eating husks, but longing for something better. Thank God he can bring and has brought us to a better land. It is a wonderful place to be. Everything we have is multiplied. When God has done all this for us, do we bless him? In this scripture reading, God gives us an admonition:
"When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statues, which I command thee this day ... But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."
The admonition: Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God ... but thou shalt remember that it is he.
You weren't born in this good land. You didn't always live here. We didn't originate from this place. It was not our land from our birth. We came from bondage, from the house of sin. God had to bring us to this land. We need to remember where we came from lest we forget how much he has blessed us and lest we forget the Lord.
We are now with the princes of his people. The Bible says we are princes (1 Peter 2:9), a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. We need to remember that it was not always so. We were poor and we came from the dunghill. He lifted us out of the dust and the dunghill and set us with the princes. It is not a wonder that the psalm begins with praise as it does.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
This describes such terrible people and makes it so plain that these will not go to heaven. "Such were some of you..." This is where we came from, but we have been washed, sanctified, and justified. We aren't these things, but ... we were. God can change the sinner and make them clean. Do you remember?
This describes a wicked world, given to the gratification of the lusts of the flesh and of the mind. Paul describes this to them as a reminder. It helps us to remember what we were like. You used to live for the lusts of the flesh, but not anymore. This is the land we came from. He then shows us where we have come to. He has raised us up together to sit in heavenly places.
We're in a wonderful place, but do you remember that it hasn't always been this way? If we forget, certain attitudes will develop in us. These are attitudes that will bring God's frown on us.
Deuteronomy 8:11, 17
How do you feel about where you are at spiritually today? Do you feel it was by your power that you are here? The obvious answer is "no," but how do you really feel? If you feel this way, it is because you have forgotten.
If we forget where we came from, we could begin to despise others. We could despise them, and forget that we used to be a sinner, too. Jesus came to save sinners.
1 Timothy 1:15
Paul's attitude is worth considering. When we see the lost, we need to keep in mind that Jesus came to save. Do you feel you were the worst? Does your attitude show the lost that you have forgotten what it was like before you came to God?
When we forget where we came from, our worship of Christ will grow cold. If we aren't careful, we can be like this Pharisee, being critical of those who remember and worship. Our worship in and out of service will grow cold if we forget. We could get to the place where we have no water, no kiss and no ointment. If we come to the service without these things, it may be because we've forgotten where we came from.
"Nothing good have I done
To deserve God's own Son
I'm not worthy of the scars in his hands
Yet he chose the road to Calv'ry
To die in my stead
Why he loved me I can't understand
Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from
And where I could have been
Remember I'm human, and humans forget
So remind me, remind me, dear Lord.
We need God to remind us so that we can look on others with compassion.