The read-through-the-Bible scriptures for today are: Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20; Luke 7:36-8:3; Psalm 70:1-5; Proverbs 12:4. This devotional focuses on the Deuteronomy passage.
I am most moved today by the Old Testament reading. I am touched by the portion of Deuteronomy 7 where God proclaims his love for the Children of Israel. He talks about why he chose Israel, such a small nation, and in verse 8 he states it straight out, “it was simply that the Lord loves you.” Because of that love, God rescued his people from the hands of the Egyptians. Because of that love, God swore an oath to Abraham and kept it. Because of that love, God offered the sacrifice of his son. Because of that love, the gift of grace is extended to all who would believe; both the Jew and Gentile.
In verses 12-15 God promises many blessings for those who faithfully serve him. He promises to keep his covenant of unfailing love. He promises the blessing of children, abundance of crops, prosperity (great herds of cattle, sheep, goats), and protection from sickness and disease. If we look at the pages of history we can see evidence of God’s blessing for those who serve him. He provides, sometimes in miraculous ways.
I’ve seen this provision many times in my own life. I remember when my husband finally got the call that there was a kidney available, and we had to be in San Francisco the following morning for his transplant. When all was said and done, we had to be there for 2 weeks. We had great insurance, but it didn’t cover any travel expenses or my stay. God blessed us and I was able to stay in an apartment that the hospital owned for $50 a night. Those of you familiar with San Francisco know that $50 a night is unheard of there, but if you calculate $50 a night for 2 weeks, it adds up. At the end of those two weeks, we came home to find that our house had been cleaned and the fridge and pantry were stuffed to the gills with groceries. We had paid all the bills for that month, paid the taxes that we owed, paid for the apartment I stayed in, paid the gas cards off, and the only money we paid above our normal monthly living expenses was $100. It was the hand of God using common people to provide for our every need.
A few months ago, we lost 25% of our income, but we’ve continued to experience God’s provision in recent days. A couple of weeks ago a neighbor dropped by with an envelope that contained $100 worth of gift cards to Savemart. A week or so later, someone dropped a load of paper products (toilet paper, napkins, paper plates, plastic forks & spoons) on our front porch. They rang the doorbell and took off before we could answer. We also received $70 cash in the mail from an unexpected source. God has been faithfully providing for our family during a time of financial crunch. It’s those blessings in action that he spoke about in Deuteronomy.
If we read further on, we see a warning to us. When faced with a challenge, God warns us to not fear, but to remember what God did for us (see verse 18). This theme continues into chapter 8 verses 2 – 5. God is telling his people to remember what he’s done for them and the lessons they’ve learned. He encourages them in verses 7-10 and reminds them that he is taking them to a good place. Do you know that he is taking us to a good place too? If you read Revelation chapter 21 you will see a beautiful description of heaven. That’s our Promise Land!
Further on, he warns us again. This time he cautions us to not let our times of plenty cause us to forget where our blessings came from. Sometimes we can get too comfortable in our blessings and we forget. We forget what God has brought us through and how he has provided for us. We get puffed up with pride, thinking we’ve built a great empire when really it wasn’t us at all, but the hand of a loving, almighty God that gave us all that we have.
I like to stop occasionally and take inventory of the great things God has done for me. It only takes a few minutes of reading through past journal entries to be reminded of where I’ve been and to marvel at what God has done for me. I challenge you to stop and reflect on your life today then do as Deuteronomy 8:10 says “….be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”