Deuteronomy 8 & Psalm 91

Deuteronomy 8

    “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

    “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.

(Deuteronomy 8 ESV)

Psalm 91

    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
        will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
        my God, in whom I trust.”
    For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
        and from the deadly pestilence.
    He will cover you with his pinions,
        and under his wings you will find refuge;
        his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
    You will not fear the terror of the night,
        nor the arrow that flies by day,
    nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
        nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
    A thousand may fall at your side,
        ten thousand at your right hand,
        but it will not come near you.
    You will only look with your eyes
        and see the recompense of the wicked.
    Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
        the Most High, who is my refuge—
    no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
        no plague come near your tent.
    For he will command his angels concerning you
        to guard you in all your ways.
    On their hands they will bear you up,
        lest you strike your foot against a stone.
    You will tread on the lion and the adder;
        the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
    “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
        I will protect him, because he knows my name.
    When he calls to me, I will answer him;
        I will be with him in trouble;
        I will rescue him and honor him.
    With long life I will satisfy him
        and show him my salvation.”

(Psalm 91 ESV)

Something to Consider

Deuteronomy 8: Moses encourages and exhorts the Israelites to remember and reflect upon God's proven faithfulness throughout their time in the wilderness. What great lesson might we have expected them to learn during this time? The testing in the wilderness proved that their pride still needed to be humbled. It proved their feebleness while proving God's faithfulness. It's astonishing to consider that those born under the oppression of centuries of slavery still needed to be brought low through the trials of the wilderness? Such is the depravity of man. 

We sadly underestimate the pride in our hearts and our desperate need for the Father's discipline. The condition of the Israelites remains our condition today. We are quick to forget the faithfulness of our Lord and even quicker to assume we've earned His gifts. We must beware of becoming so full that we forget the hand that has fed us.

Here Moses provides the formula for faithfulness: Remind yourself and reflect upon the past proofs of God's faithfulness to you. The secret to handling present or future prosperity is to remember your past needs of God's provision. A heart mindful of the Giver will remain humbled by His gifts. The pridefulness of man loses its power when we continually walk in the light of God's past, present, future and everlasting love.