Thoughts on Deuteronomy 8
Took me a while to write my thoughts on this chapter. And a lot of rewrites. It’s a strange time for me..
God’s testing is a way to find out if (1) you mean what you say, and (2) if you would do as you say you would. These are the trials and temptations that Christ-followers will face. The proper response is to persevere in faith. To trust your Heavenly Father that He has your best interest at heart.
Testing should not be confused with consequences of sin/disobedience. For a Christian this includes discipline and reproof. The response should be repentance, then praise and thanksgiving for love shown through amazing grace.
“testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
Deuteronomy 8:2b ESV
To be honest, this scares me – and recently too.
One, what if I fail? There’s too much at stake, and people I love are counting on me. Two, what if I do pass this test, does that mean that the next subsequent tests will be harder?
I know that God will never let me be tempted beyond my ability (1 Corinthians 10:13). But I couldn’t help entertain the thought that the way to prevent a great tragedy, is to keep my “ability” low. Maybe I don’t have to be “so spiritual”…
I’m sounding like the Israelites – Egypt is fine, it’s scary to go wander in the wilderness. Or, Manna is fine, I don’t want to have to deal with the giants.
I understand them a bit now. It’s easier said than done to say you’ll trust and obey God for 40 years (the whole way), or to say you will fight battles against giants, against people stronger, more numerous than you. These are abstract concepts for many of us.
Yes, I’ve had some fears and trials along the way. Yes, they did seem big at the time. Yes, I did learn to trust in God more through the experience. And yes, God has proven Himself faithful time and again and again. No, not once has he failed me.
But… recently I’ve been having this fear that the worse is yet to come..
It’s uncharacteristic of me to think this way. I’m usually very positive and optimistic, especially regarding trusting God.
Maybe this is real faith. To trust in spite of the fear. Fear of the power of God, fear of the sovereignty of God. To trust that He is good. To trust that He loves me.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son”
The only way I can see moving forward from this – because these thoughts have paralyzed me – is to just surrender. I don’t know what’s going to happen – today, tomorrow, and for the remainder of my life as God has appointed it.
There’s simply no point in worrying. There is only living, day-by-day, by every word that comes from God.
Will there be difficult times? Yes, maybe, I don’t know. Regardless, I will no longer spend any time worrying.
“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 come from the mouth of the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 8:3 ESV
Referenced by Jesus in Matthew 4:5
“Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you.”
Referenced by Solomon in Proverbs 3:12