“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.” — Deuteronomy 8:10
If you’ve been involved in Christianity for more that two weeks, you’ve probably sat around the dinner table with other Christians and prayed before you ate. This is a good practice, for reminds us that God is the source of all the good things in our life. However, I think our practice of praying before a meal can become nothing more than a religious habit, especially when we are in the presence of other Christians. To be honest, the only time I ever pray over a meal is when I’m with someone else. Otherwise, I just jump right in and eat.
Although I believe that gratitude for the gifts of God needs to be a 24/7 attitude, I find I’m usually grateful on a ½ /1 basis. That is, about a half hour one day a week. Then I go and stumble upon Deuteronomy 8:10 and I feel like a worm.
Deuteronomy is the farewell address of Moses to the Israelites. Deuteronomy means “repetition of the law,” since God gave all the commandments to Moses at Mt. Sinai in the first year of the Exodus. Since most parents get really serious when they repeat something to their children, I figure God was very intentional about helping us learn the lessons found in this book.
Deuteronomy 8 is God’s reminder that we are to remain in an attitude of gratitude, and He encourages us not to forget that He brought us out of our desperate situation and into a place of abundance. God commands us to give thanks after we have eaten, otherwise “your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God” (8:12). Moses goes on to warn, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (8:17).
It’s the “after” part that I keep stumbling over. Continue Reading