Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?
The downfall of Israel was their constant forgetfulness. The first step in their backsliding was forgetting where they came from. They hadn’t always dwelt in a fruitful and thriving land. They had come from Egypt, a land of bondage and slavery. They had wandered the wilderness, the deserts, the dark and dangerous places. They’d thirsted and hungered and lacked as they traveled on and on. But God had brought them through all that and delivered them out of all that. And as they rest content with their new idols in the land God had given them, He pleads with them to remember.
God was the one who intervened in their lives in that most hopeless state. He was the one who had shown Himself so mighty on their behalf. He was the one who led them. He had fought their battles and defeated their enemies. It was His hand of blessing that had supplied all that they had. He had only done good for them, and still they left Him behind.
We can also begin that dangerous descent down the road of backsliding when we forget where we’ve come from. When we forget that God’s mercy interrupted our sin-filled lives of misery and brought us out of that into something so much better, we venture into dangerous territory. When we neglect to see where all our blessings have come from and refuse to acknowledge God’s presence and His role in our current situation, we begin to fall into an attitude of prideful self-sufficiency. And when we get to a place where we revel in our idols more than we delight in our God, we may have to face the chastening hand of God upon us.
Let’s not be blind to the working of God in our lives. He has done so much for us in simply giving us the gift of salvation and forgiving our sins and offering to us the opportunity to live in Him and for Him. He blesses us above and beyond just that. He is generous to us. He is so merciful and gracious. So how do we repay Him by forgetting those things or neglecting Him somehow in our lives? Let’s not forget all that God has done for us, and let’s refuse to slip back down that path to a life of sin.