Do Not Forget the Lord
1 Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors.
This statement/command is found throughout the written word of God, it was commanded over and over so many times! Why? So that God’s children would not forget it. It is important to remember God’s words and promises! That’s why God says in Romans 10:17 “ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.
The requirements are:
1- their obedience must be – careful to observe every commandment
2- to do all of God’s commandments
3- to regard God as their Lord, and have fear and reverence to his majesty, with submission to his authority
4- obedience to these brings the promise of long life and blessings to them as He directs them
5- that disobedience brings His wraith
2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Now that they had come of age, and were now entering into their inheritance, they must be reminded of the discipline they had been under during their time in the wilderness and the method(s) God had taken to train them up for himself.
The wilderness was basically the school in which they had been in for forty years, with all its up and downs, disciplines and praises, hardships and blessings; this was the time to bring it all to remembrance. The occurrences of these last forty years were very memorable and well worth remembering, in fact it was very useful and profitable to be remembered. It was a perfect argument for obedience, and all of this teaching-time was recorded on purpose that they might be remembered for all time.
They were reminded that God looks at the heart, and wants a humble heart. They were reminded how their supplies and food were always granted to them. They were reminded about their health and also how their clothes and shoes never wore out. But most importantly they were reminded about the rebukes and disciplines.
6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
Once again Moses is compelling them to observe the commandments or keep the commandments, and to walk in obedience to God or walk in His ways, with respect and honor, for they are all in covenant with God. Moses is once again reminding the Israelites where God is bringing them to… the Promised Land.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Moses is commanding to remember God in each and every situation, and reminding them to be thankful to God for His goodness and mercies. Moses is again reminding them not to be prideful but to be humble and thankful.
Side note* There is a saying in the Talmud (Jewish law), “It is forbidden to any man to take any enjoyment from this present world without thanksgiving; and every one who does so is a transgressor.”
1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NIV)
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Then Moses goes one step further (vs.17-18), He reminds them that it is God who gives them the ability to obtain and produce wealth! This is undoubtedly to remind them that when they enter the Promised Land, they need to be careful to do only as the Lord instructs, for swealth and material possessions can and will be a temptation for them.
Proverbs 10:22 (NIV)
22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.
Moses in conclusion, repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God – that only destruction awaited them should they forget the Lord their God and follow other gods. 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. Moses instills a picture to their remembrance, one that will last forever, of the destruction of all the nations which the Lord has destroyed before- for not obeying nor following his ways.