God is a jealous God. He will not settle for second place. He is not a backup plan. Notice in Deuteronomy 34 that He does not talk about the sinful nature of these “no people.” He does not say that He is glad His people are at least a little bit better than those people. He does not give them a pass because they also give Him some time along with the other gods they have fallen after. He demands their complete attention and dedication. Though they had no qualifications to be His people, He has laid out clearly His qualifications to be their God. Friends, when we grow fat on the things of God, our natural inclination is to turn away from God. I cannot ascribe this syndrome to anything but our Fallen, sinful condition. When the Devil sees that were are experiencing the greatness of our God, his only recourse is to tempt us to give the credit to gods that we had never known, ones that had come recently. He leads up toward being unmindful of the Rock that bore us. We can quickly forget the God who gave us birth—even Christ who gave us the New Birth.
So many believers quickly abandon God when things go well. Their family grows, their bank account grows, their circle of influence grows, and those things become so important that God must get in line and take a number. Now, let tragedy strike, and they run back searching for answers and help. There is very little gratitude to God for all that He has blessed us with. Our hope is often tied to stock markets and politicians—both of which have no power to save. Only Christ deserves our faith and dedication. The old hymn reminds us that Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.
I believe when we lose our focus and shift our priorities, we fall victim to those who are “no people” just like the nation of Israel. So many churches today have fallen victim to this temptation. Israel saw the gods of the nations around them. They had gods that supposedly did everything for them. They had many gods and Israel only had One. So they tried to add to their stable of deities. Churches today look around them and see that the world serves many gods—the gods of money, sexuality, prestige, and political correctness. These are tempting gods indeed. They offer worldly popularity and societal acceptance. They have found that with some tweaking of God they can worship at the altar of these other gods as well. The have forgotten that our God will not be mocked. He is a consuming fire who will not give up His place because of contemporary trends or political analysis. He has said, I the LORD do not change (Mal 3:6). What this tells me is that a condition of being blessed is faithfulness to God and His Word. When Israel forgot this they were abandoned.