God is generous. God keeps His promises. God's blessings are intended to make us grateful, humble, and faithful. God is patient and kind. He does not always explain everything He is doing, but He does explain what He wants (Micah 6:8).
The eighth chapter of Deuteronomy is a classic explanation of God teaching us to manage our blessings well. An entire generation of Israelites had failed to do this. Of those who were wonderfully delivered from the bondage of Egypt and brought through the wilderness, only two people were left to enter the promised land of prosperity. The rest had grumbled and rebelled until the LORD declared that their ungratefulness and unbelief rendered them unfit for the blessings that God had prepared for the nation. Forty years they wandered in circles until they all died off, except for Joshua and Caleb. It would be their children who would inherit the promised land of Canaan. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses is giving instructions to the new generation that will receive the blessings and responsibilities of being one nation, directly ruled by God. Moses will reteach what had been said to their parents. He will also give them more, as they look in retrospect at what had happened to the previous generation. This story is the foundation of many other lessons taught throughout Scripture (Psalm 78; 106; I Corinthians 10:1-14; Hebrews 3:5 - 4:11).
Deuteronomy chapter eight summarizes what the entire book is about: "Don't get side-tracked! Don't forget the LORD. He is the whole reason you have the blessings that you are able to enjoy. Be careful to fulfill the purposes for which God gave you those blessings. Remember the LORD!" See Deuteronomy 8:18; 29:29.
The Promise of Prosperity (Deuteronomy 8:1) - Obedience to God's commands will bring three results:
- You will live - The people of Israel would not live as slaves, under the dictates of other men. They would be a sovereign nation, under God. What God offers us is not mere survival. You will "get a life" - a life filled with meaning, purpose, and direction (cp. John 8:12; 10:7-10, 27-28; I Peter 2:25; Romans 6:17-23; II Corinthians 5:17).
- You will multiply / increase - The nation would grow strong as the people multiplied. We, as individuals, will grow in strength and develop grace and skill to serve the Lord (II Peter 1:2-11; 3:18). As we share the love and truth of the Gospel, we will lead others to Christ - God's blessings multiply in the lives of others (Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-33; 6:7).
- You will possess - The word "possess" is not about mere ownership. It is about good control and management (cp. Luke 21:19 ~ KJV & NKJV). The people of Israel would be managing the land and other resources God had given them. We are called out of the world to be God's stewards of heavenly / divine things.
- Matthew 5:13-16; 6:19-34; 25:14-30; 28:18-20
- Philippians 3:10-14
- II Timothy 2:1-10
- I Corinthians 3:1-15; 4:1-2
- II Corinthians 1:3-5; 4:1-7; 5:14-21; 6:1-10