I finally made it to Psalm 103:2. And, oh, how I love the Word!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits!
I have been having so much fun using BibleGateway and the ESV. There is such depth to all that is revealed in His Word when I am able to begin to see all the connections and layers. Such as, just what are God’s benefits anyway? Here’s the trail I followed by checking out the references from this one line:
“And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:10-12
We are given such beautiful pictorial clues in the Old Testament accounts of God’s dealing with the children of Israel of what our faith experience can be today. As Moses and then Joshua were leading the Israelites from Egypt through the wilderness and eventually into the Promised Land, there were many instructions about how and when and what their inheritance would look like.
God’s provision was absolute. However, their ability to experience God’s provision required their following His instructions and acting on their proclamations of faith. The evidence of their faith was primarily demonstrated in the physical realm – real estate, physical wars with their enemies, earthly kingdoms.
“Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 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, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.” Deuteronomy 8:11-16
The evidence of our faith is primarily enacted in the spiritual realm. Our promised land has to do with a personal relationship with God and His promised indwelling of the Holy Spirit, putting on the full armor of God for effective spiritual warfare, and living under the protection and authority of King Jesus.
We have an inheritance in Him that is demonstrated through our humble service of love and gratitude for His redeeming power in and through us. We live by grace and we die to ourselves by grace – that His glory can be revealed through us. There is nothing we can do to earn any part of God’s work in our lives. He gifts us with Himself!
For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift? 1 Corinthians 4:7
I don’t know about you, but I am forever grateful that He supplies in such abundance all that I need so that I will not forget all His benefits!