Before You Enter the Good Land…
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land — a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing…
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe His commands, His laws and His decrees that I am giving you this day.
Otherwise, when you eat and drink and are satisfied…then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of slavery.
Deuteronomy 8:7a, 9-12a, 14
Before we moved from Houston, Texas to Hickory, North Carolina, in September 1997, there was a brief period when the plans looked to be falling apart. Having believed God had given us this opportunity, I felt angst.
Yes or no, Lord?
At the kitchen table, a dear friend gripped my arm and said, “The Lord wants to bring you to the good land.”
What good land?
In one swift statement, she’d referenced Deuteronomy 8 and, by golly, spoke true truth.
Because God did bring us to a mighty good land in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, to Hickory, a thriving community awarded All America City several times.
Beautiful country. Four distinct seasons. From multi-colored, vibrant maples, mountain streams that meander along the Blue Ridge Parkway to expansive, sculpted ridge crests painted with various shades of deep purple, iced with snow in the winters.
The expected short jaunt here has stretched to twenty years. During this time, the nest of two children I brought along in 1997 doubled to four by 2001.
The good land.
Depending on who’s experiencing it, God’s provision of ‘good land’ might take on a different look…
~A good health report
~Living closer to family
~Living, um, further from family? 🙁
~An unexpected gift
~Words of affirmation
~A secure job
~A thriving, Christ-centered church
Having lived in this good land a good long while, I understand God’s warning to His people before they entered the good land He’d provided…
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God… (vs 10-11a)
While greedily consuming all His good gifts in this here good land, I’ve also, at times, forgotten the Lord, the Giver of the good land.
The good land Giver.
Easy. Like the Israelites, once I’ve eaten and become satisfied, the need for God diminishes. I tend to become proud and forgetful.
A healthy, daily dose of praise combats that. No way a person can simultaneously praise Him and forget Him.
Praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you.
During the Christmas season, my focus tends to take a hard downward shift away from holy praise and toward the superficial. The ‘gifts to give’ checklist. Things for him, for her, for them. Things with little to no eternal value.
Warning to all good land dwellers: When God brings a privileged soul into the good land but doesn’t receive due praise and is forgotten, He can surely snatch him right back out of it.
How are you faring in the good land He’s given?