Ingratitude Leads to Idolatry

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), February 8

imagesThroughout the Creation Era, God reveals that He is Jehovah-Jireh, “God Who Provides.” He demonstrates His lavish provision in the garden of Eden through trees containing mature fruit that also contain seed, thus ensuring continuing provision for humanity. He anticipates man’s need of redemption when He creates the animal that will be sacrificed to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness before He creates Adam and Eve. He commands Noah to load the ark with seven of every clean animal; from that supply Noah offers to the Lord the sacrifice that prompts God to tell Noah that He will never again curse the ground for man’s sake.

During the Patriarchal Era, God fulfills the promise that He made to Abraham when He gives Isaac to him and his barren wife. Years later, He provides a ram in the thicket as a substitute for Isaac. He provides a wife for Isaac, opens her womb twenty years later, and gives her twins. He provides for His seminal nation during a global famine, when He sends Joseph ahead and installs him as prime minister in Egypt.

He rescues His expanding nation from Egyptian slavery and meets their every need during their wilderness wanderings. In this Exodus Era God establishes three annual feasts or celebrations to remind Israel of His provision (Ex. 23:14-17):

  • The Feast of Unleavened Bread (also called Passover)—Israel’s hasty flight from Egypt is celebrated annually by eating bread baked without yeast for seven days.
  • The Feast of Harvest—Fifty days after the Passover, Israel is to harvest the first fruits of their fields and present them to the Lord in gratitude for His provision.
  • The Feast of Ingathering (also called Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths)—Harvest season concludes with a celebration of yet another year of God’s abundant provision.

Celebrating these three agricultural feasts reminds Israel of God’s provision and blessing to His people and their dependance on Him. Forgetting that God is the source of all that they have leads to ingratitude and thus to idolatry. The children of Israel must never forget that it is God who meets their needs. It is no wonder that Moses commanded God’s people, “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish” (Deut. 8:18-19).

Questions from today’s reading (Exodus 22:16-24:18):

What law does the Lord give in Exodus 22 that galvanizes King David to respond to the story told to him by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12)?

What does this reveal about Bible literacy?

What does the Lord promise to do for Israel when they enter Canaan?

What does this reveal about God and His power?