Remember The Wilderness

James Reston was a syndicated columnist for the New York Times for more than thirty years. In his final column for the newspaper, he wrote: “In America, we have learned something about how to deal with adversity since the great Depression, but not much about how to dea … More

Prosperity

Is it harder for you to maintain a proper relationship with God in prosperity or in hardship? Why?  Moses doesn’t want Israel to forget God and be proud of their own attainments once they get in the promised land (v. 1). He reminds them of how they had learned humility, how God had proved their faithfulness and how He had revealed what was really in their hearts (v. 2). It is so easy for us to start thinking that life is based on material things but things never satisfy. The more we get the more we want. Real life comes from total commitment to God, discipline and hard work.

Israel had been in a situation in the wilderness where they had to completely depend on the Lord for their food and water (vv. 3-6). Now they were going into a land that had an abundance of water and agricultural products (v.v. 7-8). Moses warns them that prosperity may cause them to stop depending on God. The one thing that will help them to not forget God is to not stop praising Him. Failure to praise Him will lead to forgetting Him and the next step will be to start worshiping other gods.

One of the major differences between the nation of Israel in the Old Testament and the church in the New Testament is that God promised Israel temporal blessing and He promises us spiritual blessings (vv. 9-11). If we can get this straight in our thinking it will cause us to rejoice rather than to lapse into a backsliden condition.

Application

The one thing that will cause me to worship the gods of this world is to stop praising God for who He is and what He does.

Deuteronomy 8:1-10 (English Standard Version)

"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."

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