Growing up in southern Ohio and now living in Michigan, we have a lot of fruit that grows throughout the summer. Watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries are all great during this time of year.
But summer fruit doesn’t last. You can freeze or can it to enjoy it later. But nothing beats watermelon during watermelon season or strawberries during strawberry season.
There’s a valuable lesson we can learn from summer fruit: Appreciate God’s blessings now.
It is easy to complain about what we don’t have and forget all the things we do have. We can allow the negative to overtake the positive. Just like one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, we can allow the few things in life that aren’t going good to spoil the many things that are going good.
God blessed Israel. But Israel forgot the God who blessed them. Because of this, God warned them, through a basket of summer fruit, that the blessings would end.
“Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.” (Amos 8:1-2)
In Hebrew there is a rhyme of words. ‘Fruit’ and ‘End’ sound alike. Just like ripe, summer fruit will end, the nation will end. The end was coming because they forgot God.
To help the Israelites remember God for their blessings, they were commanded to bring a ‘basket of first fruits’ to God (Deuteronomy 26:1-10). This became an annual summer festival called ‘Feast of first fruits’ or the ‘Feast of Pentecost.’ As Christians, we are no longer commanded to celebrate this annual event to help us remember God in the middle of our blessings. But I discovered three reasons to remember God in the middle of our blessings.
1 – Remember God’s blessings now, because the end is near.
The basket of summer fruit reminded the nation of that the end of their nation of Israel was near. Assyria would soon capture the ten northern tribes and scatter them.
Our blessings often have an end. Just like food in our pantry, they will expire. Have you ever had to through out food because the expiration ate is past. I have. I feel like it is not only a waste of money but also a waste of good food. I should have enjoyed it while it was still good. Remember God’s blessings now. Don’t wait until they are gone. By then it’s too late.
2 – Remember God’s blessings now, because it will never be this way again.
God had blessed Israel many times, but He soon would no longer bless them. They would never again have these blessings.
Have you noticed that it is difficult to enjoy the moment? In summer it’s too hot. In winter it’s too cold. In Spring it’s too wet. In Fall it’s too windy. When we’re single we wish we were married. When we’re married we wish we single. When we have young children we wish they would grow up. When they grow up we wish they would get out of the house. When they get out of the house we wish they would bring the grandkids back to visit. When we’re young we wish we were old. When we’re old we wish we were young.
We can spend all our life wishing for things to be different. Instead, we should thank God for the season we are in right now and suck out all the blessings today has for us. Remember God’s blessings now. But don’t let blessings crowd out God.
3 – Remember God’s blessings now, because you may not get another chance.
God was going to leave Israel. This was their last chance to get right with God. Within 30 years of Amos’ ministry, Israel would be gone.
We often live our life as if we have endless tomorrows to do things. But one day, it will be our last day. We will not get another chance. So remember God today for His blessings today. You may not have a next time. Things change and you can’t get it back.
So what does it mean to remember? In Deuteronomy 26, the people brought their fruit to the priest and confessed that it was God who has blessed them. The priest set the fruit by the altar. Then the people spoke to God, rehearsed all that He had brought them through to the point of blessing. Then they enjoyed God’s blessings.
Can you recognize that your blessings are due to God? Then I encourage you to thank Him. Enjoy your blessings today. Don’t wait until tomorrow.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have much for which to be thankful.
If you are not a follower of Jesus, I hope you will thank God for what He has done for you. And receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Do it today. One day, the summer will be over and it will be too late.
What are you thankful for?