Many people treat their religion like a spare tyre: they never use it except in an emer­gency. This is tragic because God refuses to be placed in our trunk and only pulled out when we have a problem or face danger.

During the Second World War there was a common saying that “there were no atheists in the fox holes”. This meant that soldiers would turn to God when down in the fox hole with the bullets flying overhead. It also inferred that just as soon as they climbed out of the fox hole to safety, that they forgot God.

Human nature is like this. The children of Israel’s experiences were recorded for our learning as Paul pointed out to us: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition.” Their experiences proved the truth of the two sayings about the spare tyre and the lack of atheists in the fox holes.

Moses warned them against doing the very thing they did: “Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his command­ments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwell therein … then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God … But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish”.

God has not changed His position. He wants our love and attention at all times, not just when we are in trouble. A study of the children of Israel reveals how they did just what Moses warned them not to do: when their hearts were lifted up, they forgot God. Then God would punish them and in their distress they would cry unto Him and He would hear them and deliver them from their enemies. Just as soon as things began to go well for them, the cycle would begin all over again.

What about us? Are we like this? Do we turn to God when we are in trouble and then forget Him once we have passed through the storm clouds and the sun has once again begun to shine upon us?

God will not be pleased with this kind of attitude in us either. We need to learn that, while God is our refuge and strength and a very present help in time of trouble, He is also our God every minute of every hour of every day in good times as well. If He is not, then we find ourselves in the same positon that the Israelites were in. God said to them, “When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land”.

God wants to bless us but He requires our love and devotion to Him all the time, not just when we are in trouble.

God’s message to King Asa is also His message to us: “The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you”.