July 21, 2022
All through the Scripture (and human history), we have been reminded by God to give thanks. This is not a selfish request from our God, but something our Creator knows must be habitual if we are not to lapse into a grotesque caricature of what He designed. God knows that without this continual practice, we will misplace our affections, aim our worship at ourselves, and ruin our lives and our nation.
Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, God reminded them to give thanks and told them why. Years later, Hosea, the prophet, stands before a nation that has forgotten their God and reminds them of how this occurred. Look at the progression for them (and for us). It’s not complicated, but it is deadly.
1. God is the only Lord and Savior
"Yet I have been the Lord your God since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except Me, for there is no savior besides Me." (Hosea 13:4)
2. God cares for us and blesses us
"I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of drought." (vs. 5)
3. We become satisfied, and our hearts become proud, thinking we are the source of the provision.
"As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, and being satisfied, their heart became proud;" (vs. 6)
4. We forget God
"Therefore they forgot Me." (vs. 6)
God knows we are like this, which is why He warned Israel before they went into the Promised land. Without the antidote of gratitude, we gradually worship the creature rather than the Creator. We forget God, which becomes the worst possible scenario.
We can read these truths and nod our heads. Or, we can get on our knees and give thanks. And we must stay there continually, intentionally deferring all the praise to the One alone to whom it is due.
Father, forgive me for my ingratitude. For the days that have passed without a word of thanks from me. Make me daily, humbly aware that You and You alone are the source of every good and perfect gift. Let gratitude be my first thought. When men praise me, may my first thought be of You and Your grace to me. Let my lips continually speak of You, and may those around me see a humble man with a grateful heart.
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