The Past Prepares For the Present
Dr. Joe Temple

Review

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8. While you are opening your Bibles to this portion of the Word of God, let me remind you that the setting of the book of Deuteronomy is on this side of Jordan. That is, the children of Israel were camped in the plains of Moab ready to go across the river into the land of Jordan. Before they went into the land, Moses had some things to say to them. What he said is contained in the book of Deuteronomy and you will recall we told you that in the book of Deuteronomy there are three speeches or discourses or messages, whatever word you may want to use. Then there is a blessing, which Moses pronounced by way of prophecy upon the children of Israel. Then there is a song which he wrote, and then there is his own obituary which he wrote with his own hand. That is what you find in the book of Deuteronomy.

The speeches which Moses delivered, which comprise a greater part of the book, he delivered over a period of forty days. We would not leave the impression with you that he was a marathon speaker, that he just spoke constantly day and night for forty days, but this was sort of a protracted meeting, something like a camp meeting that lasted forty days. He delivered these discourses over this period of forty days.

We have already studied the first discourse which is found in chapters 1-4, and we found that in this first discourse, Moses was reviewing the faithfulness of God and the failures of His people. He reminded them how capable they were of failing and reminded them how good God would be in keeping His word.

The second discourse began with chapter 5 and it goes all the way through to chapter 26. It is a rather long discourse, as you realize, and we said that if we were going to give a title to that second discourse, we would call it The Repetition of the Law because he quoted what we refer to as the Ten Commandments . Then he quoted the ceremonial regulations and then he quoted the judicial regulations. The moral commandments were given with exhortation and amplification accompanying them in chapters 5-11. Then in chapters 12-16, the ceremonial law was delivered and in chapters 17-26, the judicial law was delivered.

We discovered there was no change in the moral law because it is principle, and God's law in relation to morals never changes. When we get over into the ceremonial law, we are going to notice some changes because some of the ceremonies which were observed in the wilderness didn't need to be observed in the land. Some of the ceremonies which could be observed in the land could not be observed in the wilderness. When we get over into the last section dealing with the judicial law, we will discover there were some changes made. Just as in our own country we pass laws and then we revoke those laws by legislative means, so the judicial laws were and could be changed. The emphasis we are making on this is that God's moral law stands the same, whether it is in the first century or the twentieth century, but ceremonies and judicial laws change as society grows, matures, etc.

If you followed me up to this point, you realize that when I asked you to turn to chapter 8 of the book of Deuteronomy, we are in the second discourse, the first part, chapters 5-11, dealing with the moral law, remembering that the Ten Commandments were repeated and then the exhortations and amplifications were given.

Introduction

As we look here at chapter 8, there is one lesson that Moses emphasizes and I want to give you that lesson in one brief statement. Then we are going to read the chapter and I trust that you will follow in your Bibles as I read and see if you can recognize this overall lesson that is found in the chapter. The lesson is simply this: In God's dealings with His children, the past prepares for the present. Let me emphasize that again: In God's dealings with His children, the past prepares for the present. If you want to extend that a little, you could say that the past prepares for the present and the future. What you learned yesterday should help you in what you face today and what you will face tomorrow; otherwise, there is no point in your looking to the Lord for His leadership and for His direction.

That is the thought, and we will read the entire chapter and then we will go back and notice what there is for us along that line. Reading from verse 1:

Deuteronomy 8:

1All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.
2And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
4Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.
5Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
6Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him.
7For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
8A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey;
9A land wherein thou shalt eat 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.
10When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
11Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
15Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
16Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
17And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.
18But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
20As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.

Regard All the Commandments

So the chapter comes to an end with this particular exhortation. I would like for you to notice with me first the charge which Moses delivered to the children of Israel. If I were going to give you three words whereby you might sum up that charge, I would give you the word regard , the word remember and the word recognize. God said through Moses to His people in verse 1, if you will glance at it there:

Deuteronomy 8:

1All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.

Notice the word observe. That word comes from a Hebrew word which may be translated by the word regard . The Hebrew word shamar , from which this word observe comes, is often translated, in the Scripture by the word regard , and the suggestion is: “Pay very close attention.” You might like to turn in your Bibles for an illustration of this and for added amplification to the book of Proverbs, chapter 13. In this chapter, you will see an illustration of this particular passage of Scripture to which we refer. Notice verse 18:

Proverbs 13:

18Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Notice the last statement: “…he that regardeth reproof shall be honored.” The word regardeth there is the Hebrew word shamar , which is translated by the word observed in Deuteronomy, chapter 8. So the first thing Moses said to the children of Israel is, “You are going to go into the land, and I want you to regard—that is, observe carefully, pay very close attention to—all the commandments which I command thee this day.” Notice down in verse 2 emphasis upon the words all the way . God is never pleased with incomplete obedience. Somehow you and I manage to rationalize that. We pick out those commandments which are easiest for us to observe or which don't make too many demands upon us, and we observe them. Others we don't pay much attention to.

At the moment, when I am using the word commandments , I am not limiting the word to the Ten Commandments. I am talking about all the Word of God, all of the instruction in the Word. We choose that which is convenient to obey, and that which is not so convenient we rationalize our disobedience. So the first charge was, “Regard all the commandments which I command thee this day.”

Remember the Past

Then if you will look at verse 2, the second part of the charge was remember . Notice verse 2:

Deuteronomy 8:

2And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

“Remember the past.” This might seem a bit contradictory if there comes to your mind a familiar testimony given by the Apostle Paul. He said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” One reads that passage of Scripture and he says, “You tell the folk to remember, but Paul says forget. Isn't there a contradiction?” Well, Paul was forgetting all of his own accomplishments, for if you read that chapter you will discover he listed for you a number of things he had done. He said, “I am forgetting all that. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't count for anything.” But Moses did say, “Remember how the Lord treated you. Remember how the Lord worked for you.” This is what suggests the theme of the chapter that I gave you a few moments ago when I said that the preparation or the events of the past are the preparation for the present or for the future. He said, “Remember what happened to you, and then you will be prepared for the future.”

Recognize Chastening

The third charge is given to us in verse 5, when we are instructed:

Deuteronomy 8:

5Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.

You will notice the word consider . This word comes from the Hebrew word which means “to recognize,” so we have given you three words as mental pegs upon which to hang these thought. First: “Regard carefully the commandments of the Lord.” God said, “This is a new experience for you. You are going into untried territory. Pay very close attention to what I have told you.” Then, “Remember all the things that happened to you, and recognize that in these things, I was chastening you.”

Let me refresh your minds as to the basic meaning of the word chastening . So often to many people the word chastening involves only the idea of punishment and the picture you have is of a person who is disobedient and God continually has to deal with him. Remember, it is not a matter always of punishment. Punishment is included, but that is not the basic meaning. The basic meaning is “child training.” We are all the children of God if we have found the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and so Moses is saying, “Now regard the commandments of the Lord. Remember the path over which you have come, and recognize that these things which God caused to occur in your life were needed for your training.”

My, how much better we all would feel about some of the things that occur in our lives if we would recognize that God has permitted them for the purposes of training and of preparation. I dare say that all of us at some time or other has thought, if we haven't said, “Why did this have to happen to me?” The answer is found in the chastening hand of God. I want you to notice that in addition to God's charge in this chapter at which we have been looking, there is something about God's care for His own. God does care for you. He is interested in you. He wants to provide for you.

God's Provision

As we consider God's care, let me suggest that we look together at God's provision. Notice in verse 3, where we read:

Deuteronomy 8:

3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not… .

Now notice His provision. He fed them with manna which they did not know. If you will look over at verse 16, you will find the same thing emphasized: “…who fed thee in the wilderness with manna which thy fathers knew not.” God fed them. He met their physical needs. I would like to emphasize that twice over we are told that they had never seen this manna and neither had their fathers seen it.

The reason that I would like to emphasize that is that recently I read an interesting article that the Bible scholars, along with folks who study horticulture of the land known as “the wilderness,” made an amazing discovery to them. They discovered what the manna is. You know, it has been difficult to know what it is because it was difficult for the children of Israel to describe it, but these folk had made the amazing discovery, and they know what it is. They have discovered that it is the secretion of little insects that fed upon a pomegranate bush. They would feed upon the pomegranate bush, digest what they ate and secrete it, and it left little globules on trees and on the ground and the Israelites came by and picked it up and chewed on it and it tasted real sweet and they ate it and that is manna. That is a tremendous discovery. I am so glad that after all these years, we have found out what manna is.

I trust you know that I am attempting to be ridiculous because that isn't what manna is. It very plainly says in this passage of Scripture that they had never seen anything like that, nor did their fathers ever see anything like that. It wasn't the secretion of some insect; it was God's provision. I emphasize that because remember this: Before God's chastening time comes, He provides for you so that you will know in the midst of the storm that God does care.

I wonder if you noticed something in verse 3. I never will forget the first time I noticed it. I had read this passage of Scripture many times over and for some reason it never struck me as it did one day. Look at verse 3: “He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee…” You can read the passage: “He suffered thee to hunger so that He could feed thee.” Do you know why some people don't know that God answers prayer? They have never been in a place where they particularly needed Him, where they could even ask Him for anything.

I don't have any objection to people having lots of money. I think God prospers those who are His own, and He prospers some more than others for reasons known to Himself, but I would hate to be in the place where I would miss the blessing of trusting the Lord. I may have given you this illustration before because I give very few illustrations, and when one makes a point, I usually reuse it. I remember years and years and years ago when I first came to Abilene, I had a very dear friend and we used to pray together about the needs related to the work. We used to pray particularly about the radio ministry because that was the main ministry then. Everything you see here, by God's grace, has grown out of that radio ministry. We used to pray for the financial needs, and I remember one time we needed five hundred dollars by the next twenty-four or forty-eight hours. We just had to have it. Many times we had been in critical situations like that and we would pray together, this man and I, and God would hear our prayers and supply the need. What rejoicing there was when He did.

This particular time I went by as usual so we could pray together. We got down on our knees and we started to pray. From the time that we had prayed in this manner before until the present time to which I refer, God had prospered this man in an unusual way materially, and I don't think we got very far into the prayer until he just stopped and said, “Joe, I can't pray about this.” I said, “What's wrong? It is a need.” He said, “I could write you that check and not even miss it and it is ridiculous to be asking God for it when I could do it.” He didn't do it, but he said, “What is the use to pray about it? I've got it.”

I noticed a definite difference in that man from that day forward, and certainly our fellowship was never the same again because our fellowship had been a fellowship of prayer and there wasn't any need to pray. I want to say to God's glory that He has been very gracious to me and my family, and as I have said, many, many times, I have never wanted for anything. He has supplied my needs, but I have never had anything. I mean by that, that every time I have asked Him, He has met my needs. Did you notice what I said? I said that every time I have asked Him, He has met my needs. I aways qualify that statement with another statement—my needs as He sees them. You know, sometimes I can get an exalted opinion of what I need and He never meets those; but He knows my needs, and He has never failed. I wouldn't exchange the experience I have had in trusting the Lord for all the endowments there are in the world.

This is a beautiful thought to me: “He suffered them to hunger in order that He might feed them.” Notice there in verse 3 and verse 16, as we have emphasized, “He fed them with manna.” If you will glance over to verse 15, He did something else for them. Where there was no water, He brought forth water out of the flinty rock. You see, if there is a need and there is nothing available to meet the need, God will miraculously meet the need. Yes, the manna was miraculous; the water was miraculous. If you will glance down at verse 4, you will find another way in which God met their needs. He not only met their needs with food, but He met their needs with raiment. I never read verse 4 without thinking how much ahead of man God is. We are just now getting into the area of permanent fabrics, but God was way ahead of them. In verse 4:

Deuteronomy 8:

4Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years.

Notice the first part of that statement. Moses said, “Now, you remember what God did. Remember how He cared for you. He fed you with manna and He gave you water out of a rock, and remember that the clothes with which you left Egypt never did wear out.” Let that sink in. That is a tremendous thing. I don't know how long you wear your clothes. I wear mine a long time. I can usually tell when it is time to quit wearing them if they don't have any holes in them, and that is when they begin to get shiny. They begin to get frayed around the cuffs. But these clothes that God provided for these people never did get old those forty years. They were perma- pressed.

Did you know something else about them? I wouldn't want to say that they were elastic, but they were more than a three-way stretch. Did you notice what was said here in this passage of Scripture? Here is a little baby who comes out of Egypt. He has on whatever little babies wore in those days, and those clothes grew right along with him. When he grew into a little boy, they were big enough to take care of him. When he grew into a man, they were big enough to take care of him.

Of course, the critics read this passage of Scripture and they say that this must have been added by an over-enthusiastic hand because it would be impossible for these clothes to grow along with the children. I don't know why. Man may have come pretty close to doing the same thing in our day, you know. What do you do? You go to the store, and you buy a pair of socks. I remember when you used to have to buy a pair of size 10, 11, or something like that. Now you just go and buy a pair of socks. One size fits all because they stretch to fit the foot. Man has done that. Why couldn't our God do something even more wonderful than that? God provided food and God provided raiment, and did you notice the last part of verse 4? My, how this speaks of God's tender care: “…neither did thy foot swell these forty years.”

This word for swell comes from the Hebrew word batseq , which maybe translated by the word blister . I am going to suggest to you that any meaning is all right, but some of us may walk a long way and never have any swelling feet because the swelling of feet sometimes depends upon the internal condition; but if you have walked very far, you have had blistered feet some time or another and there doesn't have to be anything wrong with you internally to have blistered feet. But did you notice what Moses said here? Moses said, “God took such good care of you that you didn't even get blisters on your feet.” Think about that—being on the march every day for forty years and never getting a blister.

The reason this thrills my heart is I don't have any trouble believing God's Word. The folk who have trouble believing His Word wonder how in the world that could be. The answer is, “My God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think.”

Provision to Learn Dependence

Here is the lesson I would like for us to get. God not only provided for them just so that their needs would be met. Oh, their needs were met, but that was not the primary reason. What was the purpose of God's providing for them in this fashion? Let me suggest two reasons for it. One of them is found in verse 3: “That they might learn dependence upon God.” Notice:

Deuteronomy 8:

3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; [notice this carefully] that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.

This is a familiar passage of Scripture because you will recall it is the passage that Jesus quoted from the book of Deuteronomy when He was withstanding the Devil. When the Devil said to Jesus, “Turn these stones into bread,” Jesus gave him this passage of Scripture. He said, “It is written, man doth not live by bread alone.” The emphasis which is usually put upon the passage is that we need spiritual food as well as material food and that is certainly true. There is no question about that, but I believe the basic meaning of the passage is different from that. If you will look at the passage again, you will notice that the word word is in italics. That means that it is not in the original text. The translators have put it there thinking it will help our understanding of the passage. Sometimes it does, but I believe in this instance it takes a little away from it because this passage is not only emphasizing—and I have no argument with that—that you need to live spiritually as well as materially, but this passage of Scripture could read literally, this way: “But by everything that proceeds from God doth man live.” Do you see the emphasis? It is dependence upon God.

God could have fed the children of Israel any number of ways in the wilderness. He could have said, “Park right here for a season and plant your corn and your wheat and whatever else you can grow, and I will make it grow.” He could have done that, but you see, they would have been tempted, as we are going to see, to think that they did it. So He met their needs in a way that they had to say, “This is from God.” That is why God provides as He does—that our dependence might be upon Him. That is why He lets us get into shape physically, that he does sometimes, that our dependence might be upon Him.

Provision for Thanking God

There is a second reason and that reason is found in verse 10, where he said:

Deuteronomy 8:

10When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

Why does God provide for us, His children? So that we can bless the Lord for what He has done. I wonder if we do. We sit down at our tables and we have our blessing, if we want to call it that—say grace, return thanks, whatever your phrase is. Most of us do it most of the time, but don't you sometimes feel like you are just repeating a lot of words, sort of perfunctory. You know you should do it, so you do. I wonder how long it has been since your heart is just overflowing with thanksgiving for God's goodness to you. That is why God puts us in the place where He has to provide for us.

Chastening to Know Your Heart

We have looked at God's care and now I would like for you to look with me at God's chastening of these people, remembering as God prepared them for tomorrow, He is preparing you for your tomorrow. He is caring for you so that if you get into real dire circumstances, you will remember that He can care for you. If He has done it once, He can do it again. Look at the chastening which God brought into their lives, remembering that they were told, in verse 5, to recognize the reason for the chastening. Look at verse 2:

Deuteronomy 8:

2And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.

He led them through some humbling experiences and He proved them and He did it for a reason. What was it? There it is in verse 2: To know what was in their hearts. Wait just a moment. He didn't lead them through these chastening experiences so that He could know what was in their hearts. He knew. The Lord God sees the heart. He doesn't need anybody to tell Him what is in my heart, and He doesn't need to put me through a special test to see what is in my heart. He already knows, but He had to lead the children of Israael through this wilderness experience, as He has led me through wilderness experiences, and as He has led you through wilderness experiences, in order to show you what is in your heart because the Bible says, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked,” and the question is asked, “Who can know it?” The suggestion is, no man can know it. You see, you may say, “Why, I am equal to anything.” Well, you have never faced that. You don't know whether you are or not, so God may let you go through something a whole lot less to show you how weak you are. On the other hand, you may say, “I don't know what I would do if a certain thing happened. If such and such happened to me, I just couldn't stand it.” So God lets you go through something that you can stand to prove to you that you have more depth to your faith than you thought you had.

The Scripture reminds us that He who faints in the day of adversity proves that his strength is small. So God leads us through some of these chastening times to let us know our shortcomings and even our strengths.

Chastening Shows His Love

There is another reason God chastens us as He chastened the children of Israel. Look at verse 5:

Deuteronomy 8:

5Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.

This passage of Scripture must be interpreted in the light of what you find in Hebrews, chapter 12. Turn there in your Bibles because the Scripture must always interpreted by the Scripture. What was it we read there in Deuteronomy, chapter 8? “As a father chasteneth his son, so does God chasten you.” The Holy Spirit explains what is meant in Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 6:

Hebrews 12:

6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Do you see the reason God chastened the children of Israel, the reason God chastens us? To show us His love. To let us know that we belong to the Lord. This is a good proof that you belong to the Lord, if you are chastened of the Lord. If you never feel the chastening hand of God in your life, then you might wonder how much God loves you. Now, don't jump to conclusion and say, “Well, I've never had any terrible tragedy in my life, so I must not belong to God. God doesn't love me.” Keep in mind the meaning of the word chastening. It is “child training,” and it doesn't always have to be something drastic to be chastening.

Chastening for our Good

Go back to Deuteronomy, chapter 8, and notice the third reason why God chastens. He chastens to show us the condition of our hearts. he chastens us to prove His love. Then down in verse 16, He chastened the children of Israel and he chastens us for our good. Notice verse 16:

Deuteronomy 8:

16Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee,all of this we have looked at, but now notice this statement to do thee good at thy latter end;

“To do thee good at thy latter end.” That is another reason I say that God prepares in the past for the present—“to do thee good at the latter end.”

God's Concern

One last thing I would leave with you and that is, as we have noticed God's charge and God's care and God's chastening, I would like for you to notice with me God's concern. It was not yet evident how well these Israelites have learned their lesson, and here they were, ready to go into the Promised Land, and God was concerned. We have already noticed the snares which are related to a life of prosperity if an individual is not on his guard, and God was concerned that these people He had led so long and for whom He had cared so tenderly would fall into the deception of the Devil. Then He would find it neccessary to discipline them.

What was the deception? Look here at the paragraph which begins with verse 11:

Deuteronomy 8:

11Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
12Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein;
13And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

God said, “I am concerned that when you get into the land and everything is running smoothly, you will become self-centered and you will forget Me. Instead of My being the very center of your life, you will be the center of it and everything will revolve around you and yours.”

It is sad, but it is true that a great many folk live self-centered lives. When God blesses, then they lift themselves up. Look down at verse 17 for another suggestion. Really, this is the result of this self-centeredness. In verse 17:

Deuteronomy 8:

17And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth.

So God's concern was not only related to their being self- centered, but it was related to their self-deification as well. He said, “If you start out on this track of saying, ‘I am the most important person around here,' it won't be long until you will be putting yourself in My place and instead of giving Me any credit for anything that is done, you will say, ‘I did it all. With this mighty arm, I did it'.” And God said, “I'm concerned about that because if that happens, if you are so deceived, then I will have no choice but to discipline you.”

Sometimes people get the idea that God loves to discipline His children. I say this, speaking of God in human terms for the purpose of our understanding: God worries. I know that is inconsistent with deity, but quite often you will find the Bible speaking of God in human terms in order to convey thoughts. You can't imagine God's getting weary. The Bible says that Jesus did, so I say to you that God worries that you and I will fall into the snare of the Devil and then He will have to do what He doesn't want to do. He will have to discipline us because we leave Him no choice. Look at the paragraph which begins with verse 18:

Deuteronomy 8:

18But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Let's pause there for just a moment. A lot of men say, “God hasn't done anything for me. I have earned this with my own hands.” God says, “Wait a minute. I have given you the mental ability and I have given you that physical ability to get power and to get wealth, and don't you ever forget it.” Verse 19:

Deuteronomy 8:

19And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
20As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.

Conclusion

God said, “I am concerned that when you get over into the land and you are blessed like I quarantee you I am going to bless you, that you will forget Who it is that blesses you and you will boast about it and say that you did it.” God said, “I want you to know that when that day comes, I am going to treat you just like I did these nations that I have driven out before you.”


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www.livingbiblestudies.org