God's Grace and Loving Purposes: Deuteronomy 8:5-9:22

Deuteronomy 8:5‑9:22  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Deuteronomy 8:5-9:225Thou 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. 1Hear, O Israel: Thou art to pass over Jordan this day, to go in to possess nations greater and mightier than thyself, cities great and fenced up to heaven, 2A people great and tall, the children of the Anakims, whom thou knowest, and of whom thou hast heard say, Who can stand before the children of Anak! 3Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee. 4Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee. 5Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people. 7Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord. 8Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you. 9When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: 10And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the Lord spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. 11And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the Lord gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. 12And the Lord said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image. 13Furthermore the Lord spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 14Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they. 15So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. 16And I looked, and, behold, ye had sinned against the Lord your God, and had made you a molten calf: ye had turned aside quickly out of the way which the Lord had commanded you. 17And I took the two tables, and cast them out of my two hands, and brake them before your eyes. 18And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread, nor drink water, because of all your sins which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. 19For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the Lord was wroth against you to destroy you. But the Lord hearkened unto me at that time also. 20And the Lord was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time. 21And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount. 22And at Taberah, and at Massah, and at Kibroth-hattaavah, ye provoked the Lord to wrath. (Deuteronomy 8:5‑9:22)
There were not only things to remember about the wilderness journey, but there were things to consider, too. There was a loving purpose in all God’s ways, for just as a parent has to punish his children (or should!), so the Lord had dealt with His people. In God’s dealings with us it is well to remember these things, for there are three ways we can look at the chastening God sends. We can despise it, or perhaps we might faint under it, but the right way is to be exercised by the trial, so that we learn the needed lessons through it (Hebrews 12:5-115And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 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. 9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:5‑11)).
After “remembering” and “considering” these things, it then says, “Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him” (verse 6). This is the proper result, but sometimes when reminded of what God says, and having even spent a little time considering it, we then fail to walk in it. May the Lord make the truth we know more practical in our lives!
All Comes From Him
These exhortations are all in view of the good things the Lord had in store for them in the land of Canaan. It was a place of plenty, where there was no lack of anything, for the land was good, and it was rich in minerals too. But even in this there was a danger, for they might begin to boast that it was their own wisdom and strength that made them wealthy, forgetting that they were once only slaves in Egypt when the Lord delivered them. Then, too, it was He who gave them the strength to work the land, and harvest the crops. All came from Him, so they had nothing to boast of in themselves. The chapter closes with a solemn warning that if they did not obey His voice, but went after other gods, He would cause them to lose the good land He gave them. Indeed this is what happened to Israel in God’s government.
In the ninth chapter the people are told that they should always remember that the Lord had not given them the land of Canaan because they were better and more righteous than those nations who were dwelling there, but because He had promised it to their fathers, and He is ever faithful to His Word. They did not need to be afraid of the power of their enemies, for even though there were giants in the land, God was going to give it to them.
Moses’ Intercession
Moses then, by God’s Word, reminds them that he had interceded for them when they had fallen into idolatry at the time the law was given. He had received the tables of stone on which the ten commandments were written, but when he found them worshipping a molten image, he had broken the tables at the foot of the mount. If he had brought them into the camp it would have meant certain judgment upon all because of their sin. He therefore interceded for the people for forty days, having neither meat nor drink, and God graciously came in on their behalf. In what could they boast then? Their very existence was a monument to God’s grace, for they had deserved only judgment. And as we look back over our own past, must we not say it has been grace all the way too? Must we not exclaim with the apostle Paul, “By the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:1010But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)), for His grace excludes all boasting on our part. God’s grace and love will be our endless theme in heaven, and Israel’s theme on earth, to the ages of ages.
Further Meditations
1. Why did the Lord give the land of Canaan to Israel?
2. Intercession for the Lord’s people is one of our great privileges as Christians. Where do we read of Christ’s intercession for us? Under what circumstances are we to intercede for other believers.
3. As you consider the subject of intercession you would no doubt be encouraged to listen to the Audio CD Christ’s Intercession as High Priest and as Advocate by R. Thonney.