Moses, the lawgiver, is speaking to the Tribes of the Israelites. These are very important teachings which still apply today to the Israelites and the Gentiles.
“Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers. 2 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the Lord your God chastens you.
6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 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. 10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
11 “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— 17 then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’
18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.
Commentary: Deuteronomy 8:1-20
A warning against a spirit of independence (chap. 8)
- An exhortation to remember the wilderness (8:1-6)
8:1. This introductory verse reminded the Israelites again that the gifts of life and fertility in the land . . . promised by God did not come automatically to believers but were by-products of obedience. The wilderness experience was designed to produce both obedience and faith in the nation. The people were told to be careful to follow every command from God.
8:2-3. When Moses said that God tested the Israelites in order to know what was in their hearts he was using an anthropomorphism. God, of course, already knew what was in their hearts. The point is that their obedience or disobedience had to be proven in history.
God led them into the desert where they had no alternative but to trust Him or to murmur against Him. In the desert they could not produce their own food but had to depend on God for food and thus for their very lives. When Moses reminded them that they did not live on bread alone he meant that even their food was decreed by the word of God. They had manna because it came by His command. It was therefore ultimately not bread that kept them alive but His word! ”Bread alone”, that is, bread acquired independently of His word, could not keep them alive.
This was why Jesus refused Satan’s temptation to turn the stones into bread when He was in the wilderness (Matt. 4:3-4). Jesus knew that God had not decreed those stones for His food, and also that His Father would provide food apart from the Son’s working of a miracle at the suggestion of Satan (cf. Matt. 7:9).
8:4-6. The Lord disciplined Israel by making her depend on Him for everything: food, water, and clothes. Since all these were provided by His decree the only logical response was to observe (obey) the commands of the Lord, following and revering Him. ”Revering“ translates a word that means fearing, that is, fearing to disobey the One who is so
An exhortation not to forget God (8:7-20)
8:7-9. In contrast with the severity of the wilderness these verses describe the abundance of Israel’s new land. It was abundant in water (essential for crops as well as for sustaining animal and human life); in agricultural produce including grains (wheat . . . barley), fruits (grapes, figs, pomegranates), oil from olive trees, and honey; and in minerals. (Iron and copper have been discovered in the hills south of the Dead Sea.) The people then would lack nothing (cf. Ps. 23:1).
8:10-18. Moses then spelled out the danger inherent in abundant prosperity. Whereas in the wilderness they had to depend on God for the necessities of life, their newfound prosperity might conceal their need for the same dependence. Moses prescribed a sure antidote for this danger: praise the Lord your God. In fact failure to praise Him for His blessings was a step toward forgetting God and then disobeying His commands.
An Israelite who ceased to praise the Lord sincerely would find that his heart had become proud (v. 14) in his abundance (vv. 12-13; cf. Hosea 13:6). He would forget (cf. Deut. 8:11, 19; see comments on 4:9) the miraculous deliverance of Israel from Egypt . . . the land of slavery (cf. 5:6; 6:12; 7:8; 13:5, 10; Ex. 13:3, 14; 20:2) and the wilderness (cf. Deut. 1:19; 32:10) with its venomous snakes (cf. Num. 21:6-7) and scorpions. (This is the only reference in the Pentateuch to scorpions in the wilderness wanderings.) Such a person who did not remember God’s provisions of water (Ex. 15:25 , 27; 17:5-7) and manna (Ex. 16) in the desert would be inclined to credit his own ability (my power and strength) for his wealth, when in reality it was as much a gift from God as the water out of hard rock had been in the wilderness. The provision of manna was a test, to see if Israel would depend on the Lord’s word (cf. comments on Ex. 16:4). Such dependence is humbling (cf. Deut. 8:3). The people could avoid pride in their wealth and strength if they would constantly remember the Lord and the lesson of the wilderness: all of life is a gift from God and nothing is possible apart from Him (Deut. 8:18).
8:19-20. Just as failure to praise God would lead to forgetting Him, so forgetting Him would lead to worshiping other gods. That in turn would result in certain destruction (death). If Moses’ audience wanted an example of national destruction all they needed to do was to remember the nations the Lord destroyed, namely, the kingdoms of Sihon and Og (2:26-3:11).
Note: The common denominator in this message is God. All people share God and Jesus for a while. But only believers can share God and Jesus after this life, forever and ever.
Where there is no sin, there is no wrath, but there will always be faith, hope, love and holiness. Therefore those who have faith, hope, love and holiness will always be found in Jesus’ Book of Life.
God is testing you every day and has given you the right to make your own choices. Do you know which ones are the right choices in Gods mind?
Fear God, love God, honor God, and trust God with all your heart, mind and soul and you will receive and experience the promises of God’s blessings in His time.
Prayer: Father in heaven, hallowed is Thy Name. I praise You for Your Son and the Holy Spirit. I praise You for Your grace in sending us Your wisdom about “Remember the Lord Your God.” I praise You for the opportunity to be a child of Yours. Please bless those who have read this writing for they too are seeking You righteous truth, love, wisdom and understanding.
May God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit and Christianity be our guiding lights, our safety nets and our inspiration for loving happiness in all of Your kingdom. Father into your hands I commend my spirit. Not my will, but yours be done. Please come Lord Jesus.
I pray in Jesus sweet name and to His glory through the power of the Holy Spirit,