Fat, Happy, and Ungrateful

Ever notice how when things are going well, people seem to forget about God?

This is one of the reasons why God warns against accumulating wealth. When one does not have everything he needs, he is forced to rely daily on God. But when all the bills are paid, and everyone in his family is healthy, he tends to take his Creator for granted. Things are going well and he is too busy for God. When someone says that he is too busy to do something, what it really means is, “I have other things higher on my priority list,” because everyone has the same amount of time.

Don't believe me? I can prove it. The same person who says that he is too busy to pray, read the bible, or go to church suddenly find the time whenever tragedy strikes.

What happened? Did he suddenly gain more hours of the day?

No. What happened is that his priorities shifted. Because there was an extreme need in his life, he made time to petition God. When a loved one gets sick, we make time to ask God for healing. But while healthy, how much time do we spend thanking God for that health?

The point is that even when things seem to be going well in our lives, we still need God just as much as when tragic events happen in our lives. If one thinks that he provides his own food, just see how long that will last if God stops sending rain. This is why Jesus told the disciples to pray, "give us today our daily bread." He was teaching them that part of following God is relying on him every day for needs. But when we have everything we need, we foolishly think that we provided it for ourselves or that God cannot take it away in an instant.

Scripture backs me up on this too.

When I have brought [the Israelites] into the land flowing with milk and honey, the land I promised on oath to their ancestors, and when they eat their fill and thrive, they will turn to other gods and worship them, rejecting me and breaking my covenant.

And the next chapter reads: 

Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
   filled with food, they became heavy and sleek.
They abandoned the God who made them
   and rejected the Rock their Savior (verse 15). 

Jeshurun is a sort of nickname for Israel.

The story of Joseph and Pharaoh's cupbearer is also applicable. Joseph was wrongly imprisoned and met Pharaoh's cupbearer in jail. He successfully interpreted a dream for the cupbearer and asked that he tell Pharaoh of his plight that he might be set free. But when the cupbearer was restored to his position, he completely forgot about Joseph, because everything was right in his world. Never mind the fact that God had given Joseph the ability to discern the cupbearer's dream which foretold of his restoration to the palace. It was not until two years later that the cupbearer remembered Joseph:

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled" (Genesis 41:9-13). 

When things were rough for the cupbearer, he turned to Joseph for help. But when everything was good again, he forgot about the one who helped him out.

God helps us out every day in ways that we don't even realize, yet sometimes, we forget to give him thanks.

Take a step back this Thanksgiving Day and thank God for all the good things he has given you.

Why Socialism Will Never Work: A Biblical Perspective

Socialism will never work.

Why not?

The main goal of socialism, economically speaking, is for the state to control industry and means of production and then redistribute the wealth to the people (as opposed to private individuals owning the means of production and exploiting workers).

Andra MIhali (CC)

The idea is that, with a state-controlled economy, the need to provide for yourself would disappear, freeing you from the bondage of work. Hence, there would no longer be needy people, right?

In theory.

Retire at 50

Angelina Litvin
How would you like to retire at age fifty? God thought it was a good idea for the Levites:

Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer.

Numbers 8:24-25

So not only did they get to retire at fifty, but also they did not begin service until age twenty-five. That’s a sweet deal. Notice God says that “they must retire from their regular service.” This means they can still help in some capacity (see verse 26). I imagine this is the equivalent of the Wal-Mart greeters. Once you turn fifty, you have to be a tent of meeting greeter.

Maybe they put those yellow smiley face stickers on the bulls as people came in to sacrifice.

Don't forget to grab the Old Testament reading guide I created for you. This is a chronological survey of the first stanza of the Bible with notes by yours truly. I think you'll find it valuable. Just click here to get it for free: How to Read the Old Testament.