““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.’” (Deuteronomy 8:11–17 ESV)
When we are in times of relative prosperity, ease, comfort and blessing, we must be aware that we don’t forget the Lord, who benevolently gave us all that we have. Our hearts run the risk of being “lifted up” and forgetting the Lord. Remember, remember remember that God delivered you, led you, provided for you, loved you – even in your rebellion. Beware and remember the benevolence of God and your weak, frail, depravity, “lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’” (Deuteronomy 8:17 ESV). We deserve nothing, not EVEN breath! Everything is a gift from on high, it is not because we unlocked the secret spiritual code, executed better than others, worked harder, were wiser or did something on our own to deserve the good that we have. God’s grace is the reason that you have any of these things. REMEMBER AND BE OBEDIENT OUT OF GRATITUDE FOR GOD’S GOODNESS AND PROVISION FOR YOU!
The people are warned not to say in their heart, “‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land,’” (Deuteronomy 9:4 ESV). If the Israelites were prone to forget God’s miraculous provision even though they had experienced profound miracles, how much more are we prone to forget. The Lord is the One who thrust their adversaries out of the land because of their wickedness and because of His covenant to Abraham. It is “not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land” (Deuteronomy 9:5 ESV). These people are the recipients of God’s grace – unearned, undeserved, unmerited. They are not receiving the land because the followed well enough, trusted deeply enough or were more spiritually attuned. No! They were being given the land because of God’s righteousness, glory and grace.
The goodness in our lives is not because we are awesome & obedient, the goodness in our lives is because God is gracious – we deserve nothing except wrath because of our rebellious nature. The Israelites would have viewed their military victories as a result of their righteousness and God rewarding them for that – this is the same way that we think today, but God completely obliterates that thinking. “Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stubborn people.” (Deuteronomy 9:6 ESV) He reminds them of their rebellion every since He had delivered them from Egypt. We are cut from the same cloth as these ancient people. We readily take credit for the good in our lives as if we deserve them and quickly cast blame (often times on God) for hardships in life.
We must work to remember & believe that God is good, does good and is able to accomplish His purposes. When we believe this then we are able to handle good & bad things because we know that our good Father is sovereignly reigning over all things – even things that we can’t understand. We no longer have to carry the weight of being god in our world because we know that there is a God who is on the throne.