When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.Deuteronomy 6:10-12 NIV
As Moses delivered the speech this verse comes from, Israel was preparing to cross the Jordan River into Canaan; the land promised long before to Abraham, their ancestor. And he issued a warning to them in this verse. One that many of us need to pay attention to today.
The land they would be taking over was already settled and prosperous. It had flourishing cities, houses, wells, vineyards, and olive groves. So they would be able to move in and use all that the previous inhabitants had established for them. Life would be good. But, when that happened, Moses warned them not to forget the Lord who brought them into the land and delivered it to them.
There is nothing inherently wrong with prosperity. But the danger that often accompanies prosperity is that we forget the Lord. It is not that we forget who he is. But our attention becomes focused chiefly on our stuff. And we begin to place our security in things rather than in the Lord. We forget what he has done for us. And that real security is found only in him.
Where do your thoughts most often turn? What do you most enjoy talking about? If your thoughts and words are most often centered around the things of this world, could you be in danger of forgetting the Lord, placing the things of this world ahead of him?