Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday - Deuteronomy 8 - The Relationship of the Future to the Past

There is an unmistakable association that was intended (for the reader to pick up on here) between the actions of God in the past and the actions that we can anticipate from Him in the future. Moses simply reminded Israel of the things that God had done for them in his lifetime.  They were to remember and not forget how that (with some difficulties) God delivered them from Egypt, led them, fed them with manna, kept their clothing as good as new, prevented them from having ill health, quenched their thirst and even disciplined and trained them along the way. The overt inference that Moses was aiming at was that God would do similar things for them later in Canaan. Not the same things, but different things with the same power and for the same general reason.

So, Moses admonished the people to keep their eyes on God, to keep His commandments, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. The blessings that they could expect were these (listed in the text): God would bring them into a good land, they would have water, wheat, barley, vines, fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil, honey, plenty of bread, iron, brass, silver, gold, nice houses, herds, flocks, a growing population and full stomachs. Sounds pretty good, eh? That specific type of success was part of the covenant that was uniquely given to Israel. We should not extrapolate from that any sort of health and wealth prosperity gospel for ourselves today. Not to say that God never blesses anyone abundantly anymore, for, He does! But the material promises for Israel were exclusively theirs. Our guarantees are primarily spiritual (Ephesians 1:3 & Matthew 6:33).  

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