Deuteronomy 8

1 You shall observe to do all the commandments which I command you today, that you may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers. 2 You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, to prove you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments, or not. 3 He humbled you, and allowed you to be hungry, and fed you with manna, which you didn’t know, neither did your fathers know; that he might teach you that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the LORD’s mouth. 4 Your clothing didn’t grow old on you, neither did your foot swell, these forty years. 5 You shall consider in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you. 6 You shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. 7 For the LORD your God brings you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of springs, and underground water flowing into valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey; 9 a land in which you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you may dig copper. 10 You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which he has given you. 11 Beware lest you forget the LORD your God, in not keeping his commandments, and his ordinances, and his statutes, which I command you today; 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full, and have built fine houses, and lived in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 then your heart might be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; 15 who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where there was no water; who poured water for you out of the rock of flint; 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers didn’t know; that he might humble you, and that he might prove you, to do you good at your latter end: 17 and lest you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth.” 18 But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth; that he may establish his covenant which he swore to your fathers, as it is today. 19 It shall be, if you shall forget the LORD your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you today that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you wouldn’t listen to the LORD your God’s voice.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–9

Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God’s providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God’s children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.

Verses 10–20

Moses directs to the duty of a prosperous condition. Let them always remember their Benefactor. In everything we must give thanks. Moses arms them against the temptations of a prosperous condition. When men possess large estates, or are engaged in profitable business, they find the temptation to pride, forgetfulness of God, and carnal-mindedness, very strong; and they are anxious and troubled about many things. In this the believing poor have the advantage; they more easily perceive their supplies coming from the Lord in answer to the prayer of faith; and, strange as it may seem, they find less difficulty in simply trusting him for daily bread. They taste a sweetness therein, which is generally unknown to the rich, while they are also freed from many of their temptations. Forget not God’s former dealings with thee. Here is the great secret of Divine Providence. Infinite wisdom and goodness are the source of all the changes and trials believers experience. Israel had many bitter trials, but it was “to do them good.” Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Saviour is precious indeed. Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God’s giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God’s gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. Those who follow others in sin, will follow them to destruction. If we do as sinners do, we must expect to fare as sinners fare.

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