Deuteronomy 8

Deuteronomy 8

Remember the Lord Your God

“The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, 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. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.

“Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.


Deuteronomy 8 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Remember that the LORD your God corrects and punishes you just as parents discipline their children. 6 So then, do as the LORD has commanded you: live according to his laws and obey him.

Deuteronomy 8:5-6 GNB

We find this same theme in the NT…

Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children? “My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. 6 Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a child.”

Hebrews 12:5-6 GNB

As a father myself, it is more important that my kids are full of discernment and perseverance than comfort and happiness. This doesn’t mean I don’t want them to be happy. It means that my desire for them is to become well-rounded and strong in the Lord. If I allow them to do whatever they want, I have not loved them. I’ve actually set them up to fail. Though disciplining a child is one of the most difficult aspects to parenting, it’s absolutely necessary.

Consider what a lack of discipline leads to. Entitlement. Whining. Disrespect. These are qualities the Israelites were known for in the chapters leading up to Deuteronomy.

When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life.

Hebrews 12:11 GNB

It could be said that those who lack discipline also lack holiness and peace. They have not been taught perseverance so every hurdle in life leads to anxiety and worry. They have not understood responsibility so there is no pursuit of God. Rejecting discipline produces two other undesirable results. First, it does not strengthen us or produce resiliency. Second, we are forced to see our struggles as hurdles that we have to overcome in our own strength rather than snags that God will lead us through. It’s a terrible place to be.

I love that the Hebrews passage encourages the believer to pay attention. Often, when we are being disciplined we resist it and try and find a way out. This passage encourages us to look deeper into our struggles to find out how God is working within. When we seek Him in our struggles, we will see God move in a completely different way than ever before. We will find peace when it makes no sense. We will find purpose when we want to give up. We will find that He has never left our side and is continuing to draw us forward.

Where are you currently resisting the discipline of your loving Father?

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