“And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.” (Deuteronomy 8:2)
Moses preached to the Israelites as they were about to enter the Promised Land words that are fitting for Thanksgiving Day here in the USA. He warned them of the danger of complacency in the midst of prosperity and peace. God promised to bless them in the land and provide for them in abundance just as He had done in the wilderness. Yet such prosperity would breed carelessness and self-centeredness. As the people relaxed and felt at ease they would tend to be filled with an attitude of independence. They would forget that what they possessed was given them by God and would begin to think that all their own work had brought riches and success.
The remedy to this delusion was to constantly remember that the Lord was responsible for all they had and to thank Him. The community as a whole led by the religious leaders had a responsibility to keep the truth always before their eyes, to hold each other in mutual accountability.
The application to modern day Christians is obvious. Too often we in the church adopt the ways of the people of the world and emulate the celebrities, political leaders, civil servants, the movers and the shakers and all those who and seek praise and recognition for their accomplishments, deeds, talents, and riches as if they were responsible for these. Yet we must never forget to remember that all the blessings we have as well as all our talents and skills are given to us by God. We must never become so self-centered and proud that we forget to thank Him. So as we celebrate Thanksgiving we should thank Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for all we have as well as the grace and mercy He has bestowed on us in and through Jesus.