I once planted pumpkins that flowered like crazy. I was excited because I thought that I’d be able to supply my whole neighborhood with pumpkins since I had so many blossoms. But it was as if the plant gave all its energy to the blossom and had none left for the fruit. I didn’t get a single pumpkin. When trying to figure out why that happened, I learned that even though I couldn’t see it, the roots of my plants were so poor that they could sustain the pretty, decorative blossoms, but couldn’t support the hearty pumpkins.
That’s the picture from Isaiah 17:
“…you have turned from the God who can save you. You have forgotten the Rock who can hide you. So you may plant the finest grapevines and import the most expensive seedlings. They may sprout on the day you set them out; yes, they may blossom on the very morning you plant them, but you will never pick any grapes from them. Your only harvest will be a load of grief and unrelieved pain.” Isaiah 17:10-11 NLT
Looking at this passage, I’m reminded again of what a great cost there is in forgetting God. Isaiah 17 and 18 give a strong message of judgment to Damascus, Israel, and Ethiopia. And verses 10-11 in chapter 17 sum up the reason why they are being judged. They have turned from the only one who can save them. They’ve forgotten the very one who can hide them and keep them safe. Although it may seem they are prospering, it’s all blossom and no fruit.
So, you may think, I don’t forget God! That was my first thought, too, as I read these verses. But as I’ve pondered them more, I’ve realized that I do forget God. I forget him when I snap at my husband, when I see a need that I totally ignore, when I go for days without reading my Bible, when I spend money on things to try to make myself happy, when I imitate the world instead of Christ. I could go on and on. These thoughts have led me to trying something new. When I wake each morning, I ask God to help me remember him in everything I do and say. I know I will still forget God at times throughout the day, but at least I will be more aware that he is at hand and waiting to give me victory over my godless self.