Surely we will not soon forget this chapter!

A time to be humbled and tested (8:2) – What was God doing with the Israelites in the wilderness? He provided for their needs, yes, but He also humbled and tested them. Their forty-year wilderness experience was also a time when the Lord chastened them (8:5).

Manna was great, but it was not everything (8:3) – Jehovah wanted His people to appreciate the manna which He provided, but they also needed to accept this truth: “. . . man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (8:3). Jesus quoted those words when the devil tempted Him in a wilderness (Matthew 4:4).

Do not let a full belly and beautiful house cloud your thinking (8:11-14) – When Israel would conquer the Canaanites and their lives would be running over with material blessings, they must not be lifted up with pride and forget the Lord, Who was and is, the great Provider. The Israelites could be tempted to say in their hearts, “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth” (8:17). How foolish anyone would be to make such a claim! As we enjoy abundant blessings, let us be on guard lest we develop an attitude of self- sufficiency and forget our God.

It is God Who gives the power to obtain wealth (8:18) – As humans, we commonly heap praise on people who have worked hard to become “successful.” Some folks just “have a better head on their shoulders” in financial matters than others do. We tend to stand in awe of financial gurus and admire those who seemingly became wealthy through their wise, insightful planning. There is a fundamental fact that often goes unnoticed, however: “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth . . .” (8:18). Not only does God provide for us (Acts 17:25), He also is the One Who grants us the power to get material things. May we always appreciate this truth, stay humble, and express our sincere gratitude to our giving God.

What if? What if Israel did forget God? – “. . . if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods . . . I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish” (8:19). God’s answer was clear. He would punish them severely for such a memory lapse – they would perish. Though Israel was God’s chosen people, they would not be exempted from being accountable to Him. There would be no favoritism from God in such matters. If the Israelites “would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD,” then He would destroy them just as He would destroy other unrighteous nations (8:20; Proverbs 14:34).

— Roger D. Campbell