What does it say?
Yet again Moses warns the people to remember what they have learned through the 40 years in the desert and to beware of the pride of self-reliance (Deu 8). Then, Moses makes application to the future (8:7-20) when they would be established in the land and blessed with prosperity to remember that God is ultimately the source of every blessing.
Preparing Israel for the battles ahead, Moses continues his travel journal, reminiscing on how God led and provided for them every step along the way (Deu 9). He wants them to know that when they finally enter and possess the land it will not be because this is what they deserve for their righteousness, but in spite of being a rebellious people and because of God’s faithfulness to his promises.
Having warned the nation of self-reliance (Deu 8) and an inflated sense of self-importance (Deu 9), Moses now warns them not to violate the third commandment (5:11) by regarding him lightly or underestimating his Person and power. He enjoins them to love God and walk in his ways.
What does it mean?
This portion gives great insight about dealing with the serious temptations of victory, prosperity and peace. Usually, these are the most dangerous moments of life. Moses understands the temptations.
Several highlights appear in our reading. Deu 8:2 gives insight into the reason for trials; 8:18 is a powerful lesson for those blessed with material prosperity. Deu 9:5-6 is the essence of that chapter and directly applicable to us today. Even under the Law, Deu 9:12-22 makes clear that a loving relationship marked by grace and mercy is what God desires and asks of us. Meditating on these four passages listed here takes you to the very heart of this passage.
How will I respond?
Am I tempted to think that blessing and prosperity are due to my superior performance and spirituality? Moses is speaking to me, too! The more I love God and the more thankful I am for all the blessings that he has provided, the less tempted I will be to fall into sins of pride, self-reliance and self-importance. I will never understand my place in the mission, as long as I think the story is all about me, my comfort and material success.
Right now I will stop and spend just a few quiet moments in God’s presence to remember and thank him for his love and blessing toward me. I will read Deu 10:12 and pray this back to God.