Get Off Your Pedestal!

It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers… Take care… lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness,.. and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock… You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish… 

“O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven… Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land…’ Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in.., but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord is driving them out from before you.., for you are a stubborn people. Remember and do not forget how you provoked your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day you came out of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord… Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose you above all peoples.” Deuteronomy 7:7-8; 8:11-15,18-19; 9:1,4-7; 10:15

Repeatedly, in preparing Israel for entering the Promised Land, the Lord warns them to keep any ounce of self, any credit, any success, any deserving, any idol or ideal, off their pedestals. He was LORD alone. Puffery and swagger would not serve them well as His children, and would lead only to His discipline and their demise. An ego-erected pedestal of their own righteousness would topple. Beware, remember, do not forget! How graciously God instructs us, and oh, how virulently our pride constructs against Him!

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Israel had staggered under horrendous slavery, yet once freed thought themselves rightful to plenty. We cry out in helpless need, yet when God provides, we forsake His generosity and take credit ourselves. We are a rebellious and stubborn people whom God has mercifully loved and redeemed through His greatness, power, and outstretched arm. May we never forget! (Exodus 1:13-14; Deuteronomy 9:26,29; Numbers 11:1-6; Romans 5:6,8,10)

Quarrels, distrust, and strife come from an inflated sense of self-importance, our own insecurities from our unstable balancing act on self-made pedestals. Would we stop, climb down, and exalt the true Victor?

Lord, may I actively, continually, gratefully remember You, and all You have done for me. To You belongs all glory.

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