God led Israel through the wilderness where there were no water; no bread; no shade and no protection from wild beasts and insects, so that Israel would know that:
1. they needed more than these things to survive (Deuteronomy 8:4);
2. If all they had was the presence of God in their lives, they really did not need anything else;
3. God is truly the only source of their bread, water and sustenance.
This message came to them through Moses as the secret to surviving the prosperity that they were about to experience. As they prepared to enter Canaan, Israel faced real danger. For they were entering into a land where they would have these things in abundance. They were entering into a land, " . . . of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A 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." Deuteronomy 8:7–9
The danger they faced is that when they enter this land, they faced the temptation of forgetting the true source of their provision and sustenance--God--and begin to depend on their prosperity.
Therefore, Moses warned them, "Beware 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: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then 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;" Deuteronomy 8:11–14
According to Moses, the consequence of forgetting the Lord during times of prosperity is detrimental. Moses said, ". . . 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." Deuteronomy 8:19
Therefore, Israel's safety lied in trusting God in adversity as well as in prosperity. According to the Apostle Paul, this is the secret of consistent success, "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:12–13comments powered by Disqus