Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 8

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-20

Chapter 8

And all the commandments which I command thee this day you shall observe to do, that you may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land. And thou shalt remember all the way the LORD thy God led thee for these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, to prove thee, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not ( Deuteronomy 8:1-2 ).

Now, who was the proving for? "All the way through these forty years of wilderness God led thee to humble thee and to prove thee, to see whether or not you keep the commandments." Not to prove to God; He knew from the beginning, but to prove to themselves. Now many times God puts us through tests not to prove to Him anything about us; He already knows about us, but it is to prove to us. Sometimes we think that we are stronger than we really are. God puts us through a test to show us how weak we are and how we've got to depend upon Him. We can't depend or rely upon ourselves; we've got to rely upon the Lord.

And God will oftentimes just put us through tests to prove us, to show to us our areas of weakness that we would not have confidence in our flesh but that our confidence would be in the living God. So God's purpose was to humble them and to prove to them whether or not they would keep the commandments through the forty years of wandering in the wilderness.

And he humbled thee, and allowed thee to hunger, and he fed thee with manna, that he might know... that ye might know or make you to know; that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds ( Deuteronomy 8:3 ).

Oh, another one that Jesus quoted to Satan, as Satan said, "Command the stone to be made bread". And Jesus quoted this particular verse out of Deuteronomy, "It is written, man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

And thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did your feet swell, for forty years ( Deuteronomy 8:4 ).

Can you imagine that, wearing the same clothes for forty years and your feet not swelling in all of that walking in the wilderness? Boy, that's a miracle. Through the forty years your clothes didn't get old and your feet didn't swell.

Thou shalt also consider in your heart, that, as a man chastens his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee ( Deuteronomy 8:5 ).

Now there are some people today who are despising the chastening of the Lord. They're teaching that you don't need to be chastened of God, that all you have to do is lay claim, make your positive confessions that God doesn't chasten. Well, there are certain ones that God doesn't chasten, according to the scriptures. You read it for yourself because some of you know. I'm on the radio.

For the LORD thy God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and the hills; A land of wheat, and barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranate; a land of olive oil, a land of honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat the bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. And when thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he has given thee ( Deuteronomy 8:6-10 ).

You're to have a thanksgiving. Now the warning though,

Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandment, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command you this day: Lest when you have eaten and art full, and have built good houses, and you're living in them; And when your herds and your flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied. Then in your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage ( Deuteronomy 8:11-14 );

And so the warning that your peril, the national peril will come not during the conquest, not during the development but in the times of national prosperity, there are the real dangerous periods of the history. When you become strong, when you are possessing the land, when you have eaten and are full, when you have an abundance, when you have a healthy bank account, then you are in great danger, the danger of forgetting God. I'm no longer trusting in God. You no longer have to trust in God, you think, because now you've got a bank account, you think. Who knows? You know they could-you could go to the bank tomorrow and they could be locked. What would you do?

We're not to trust in riches but to trust in the Lord. By the time of prosperity is the time of danger because the danger is that we may forget God and we then are prone to attribute our success to something other than God. Well, it's because I was so diligent, it was because I was so faithful, it's because I was so good. And we're prone to see the cause for the blessings to be something other than the true cause is because God is gracious and merciful and God is given us the power and God is brought us into this place. And we forget that it was God who did it for us and we begin to think that we did it for ourselves or it was something of us. We begin to give glory to something other than God for His wonderful goodness for us.

So beware, lest in the time of prosperity you forget God and begin to attribute the success of the nation to something other than God. And thus, you begin the evil practice of worshipping other gods; the gods of silver and gold, the materialistic gods of the world today.

For it shall be, that if you forget the Lord your God, and you walk after other gods and serve them, and worship them, [God said] I testify against you this day that you will surely perish ( Deuteronomy 8:19 ).

God said, "I testify against you, you're gonna perish."

And the nations which the LORD destroyed before your face, as they perish, so shall ye perish; because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD your God ( Deuteronomy 8:20 ).

So the solemn warnings as Moses, as a hundred and twenty-year old man is talking to the people who are about to go in now and conquer the land. "I'm leaving you fellows. My time is limited." He knew that the time had come. And his time is up, he can't cross Jordan; God has told him that. So he's giving them this final charge, final warnings, final instructions before he lays down his mantel and Joshua takes up and leads the people across Jordan in the conquering of the land that God had promised.

So Deuteronomy becomes an important book in the history of the people. All of the warnings are here. As I said, "You can never say that God didn't warn you". God is faithful. We, a lot of times, ignore the warnings but God is faithful to warn us and you have never fallen into any trap of what God warned you the trap was there. You've never stumbled except God warned you the stumbling stone was there. God is faithful to warn us. He warned them, he laid it out even as he warns us.

So, next week we'll continue chapter nine through sixteen of the book of Deuteronomy. Shall we stand.

Great is thy faithfulness, Oh God my Father. Faithful to His word, faithful to His people, faithful to His prophets and if you will walk in His path of righteousness, you will know the blessings of the Lord. For they will surround thee and encompass thee like the air that you breathe. Oh, that men would walk with God and follow after him and commit their lives fully, totally, to obey His will; to be pleasing unto Him. May that be our commitment this week.

Oh God, that my life might be pleasing unto Thee in all that I do and all that I say. "Let the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight Oh Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer" ( Psalms 19:14 ). When I lie down and when I get up and when I sit and when I am writing or wherever, may there be that conscienceness of God and the talking of God and of His ways and of His goodness and of His righteousness, that we might live in the continual presence, conscienceness of the presence of God, and thus, be pleasing unto Him.

God be with you, bless and keep you in His loving grace through Jesus Christ. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 8". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/deuteronomy-8.html. 2014.
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