Deuteronomy 8

The Word Made Fresh

1“If you take care to follow all my instructions, you will live and grow in numbers and be able to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God promised your ancestors. 2Never forget how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years to teach you humility and to find out if you really are the kind of people who will obey the LORD’s orders. 3You were humbled because the LORD forced you to go hungry and then fed you with manna, something you had never heard of, and you learned that we cannot live by bread only but must be guided by the LORD’s words. 4For these forty years your clothes have not worn out, nor have your feet become swollen and sore. 5You have learned that the LORD has been teaching you the way you teach your children.

6“Live the way the LORD your God wants you to live. Follow the LORD’s rules and regulations and be respectful. 7You are being handed a good land, well-watered with streams of fresh water, dotted with springs and cisterns in the hills and valleys. 8It is a land of wheat and barley and grape vines and fig trees and pomegranates and olive trees and honey. 9It is a land where bread will never be scarce, where you will have everything you need; a land where you will find iron in its rocks and copper in its hills. 10You will eat your fill, but don’t forget to thank the LORD your God for it.

11“Never forget the LORD your God. Never fail to keep the rules and regulations and laws the LORD has given me to pass on to you. 12When your bellies are full, and you are living in comfort, 13and your flocks and herds are thriving, and your silver and gold and all your belongings have multiplied, 14don’t just pat yourselves on the back and forget that the LORD your God brought you out of slavery in Egypt 15and led you through the wide wilderness filled with scorpions and snakes. Never forget that the LORD brought water out of solid rock 16and fed you with manna – something your parents had never heard of. The LORD tested you and humbled you, but only for your good. 17Never think that you have acquired all these good things by your own hand. 18Always remember that the LORD your God has given you the ability to succeed so that the promise the LORD made your ancestors would be confirmed.

19“I promise you that if you ever forget the LORD your God; if you ever bow down to other gods and worship them, I warn you here and now that you will be wiped off the face of the earth. 20Just like those peoples the LORD is destroying before you, you will die because you did not obey the LORD.”

Commentary

1-10: Moses reminds them of the hardships they have had to endure, and tells them that God has been testing them to see if they are worthy of the promise. The land they are about to enter is worth all the trials, he says.

11-20: The danger is not the enemies they will face; the real danger is that, once settled and prosperous, they will forget God and forsake the Law.  If that should happen, he says, they will perish in the land like the very people they are displacing.

Takeaway

When you look ahead and see a bright future, never forget that the good Lord has gone before you and placed opportunities in your path. When you’re going through tough times in life, remember that God often uses our hardships to prepare us for something God has already placed in our future.