He did all this so you would never say to yourself ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. (Deuteronomy 8:17+18 NLT)
Relate: A popular sentiment in pop culture is, “Don’t forget where you came from.” Reading Deuteronomy 8, we see that Moses was way ahead of his time in this respect. He clearly knew the importance of remembering where you have been on the path to where you are going. He reminds the people of Israel repeatedly to remember all that God had done for them, and he especially warns them not to forget God when they are prosperous.
The repetitive nature of this chapter is not without cause. The Israelites were constantly doubting that God would meet their needs during their time in the wilderness. It seemed that no matter how many times God showed up in a miraculous way, they still doubted he would do it again the next time a problem arose. They would turn their hearts and their minds back to Egypt, and, at one point, they even created a new god. This might by why Moses felt it necessary to remind them of where they have been and where they were going.
The purpose of Moses’s message was to spur the people to obey God’s commands. He reminds them that God has always kept, and will continue to keep, his promises. Moses’s words are meant to encourage the Israelites to live with this same commitment in return.
React: I am not so different from the Israelites in the desert. I can find myself forgetting to trust God when times are hard, and I can find myself complacent in my praise for all he has done to bring me to a place of peace when things are going well. A complacency in my heart can often lead to a lax attitude about following the guidelines for living put in place by God. However, when I recall God’s great faithfulness, it lightens the burdens of living. It also inspires me to pursue righteousness.
Obedience is a natural outcome when we focus on all that God has brought us through and all that he is bringing us to.
Dear God, please help me to never forget the many ways that you have given me success. Help me to keep my focus on you, so that the yoke of living will be easy and the burden light.