Moses talks to the Israelites as a way to remind them of their roots. To remember your roots is to remember where you have come from and granted we don’t want to remember so much the bad things so as to still live in terrible mindsets but we remember our roots when we want to stay humble. We remember our roots so that we don’t lose our way when things go right. We remember our roots and the good parts of our pasts so that we can stand upon a good foundation to build a better future. It is usually when we forget our roots that we lose our way and if it applies to life than how much more when it comes to walking with the Lord?
NOTES ON THE TEXT
10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Notice how Moses is telling the people that all the blessings of the promised land are made possible because of God. The good cities, the houses full of good things, the wells filled with water, the vineyards and olive trees are all possible because the Lord provided all these things. All these things are physical representations of God’s grace over the Israelites and we too must open our eyes to the reality that all the good things in our lives are due to the fact of God’s grace. There is a warning that as they enjoy these things that they are not to forget their roots, the roots of who they were and how God saved them.
Success can blind us to the truth of who we are and who God is. Success at times overestimates our involvement in the outcome and underestimates God’s. It is the equivalent of someone that contributed about ten percent into the group project but claiming that the group received the “A” because of them. On the flipside is the tendency of us being one hundred percent the cause of the misery but blame God for the outcome.
The good times can only remain the good times when we remember our roots and God’s gracious hand in all things. How do we stay on this path? When we remind ourselves daily of who God is, what He has done, and be grateful every day. Practice gratitude and thanksgiving and you will realize that you will be more resilient through the success and trials of life as you maintain the proper perspective of your relationship with God.
13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.
We stated in a past devotional that God being jealous is not the same as God being envious. The difference between envy and jealousy is that jealousy is protection over something that is rightfully yours while envy is wanting something that does not belong to you. The illustration is that of a married couple. The husband has rights to the wife as the wife has rights to the husband, they are bound to each other and have committed to not loving another person in a romantic way. A jealous love would be that the husband and or wife will be angry at the fact if another person tried to steal their spouse away from them. To not be angry at all will actually question the commitment and love the person has for the other. Idols are things or people that are hindrances to having a thriving relationship with the Lord. God is furious against idols because it breaks the relationship that we established with him and the alternative to God will only lead to our deaths, to which God does not wish that for His people.
16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers 19 by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.
Don’t test God. Don’t test people. In relationships, we are not to test people but trust them. When we test the people in our lives, more often times than not, it will lead to unfavorable results. If you don’t even like tests in school, then why you testing people in your life? Tests are good in the proper situations but they are usually not good in relationships because a test only sets people up for failure when it comes to the relationships. So therefore, to not test the Lord, is to adopt a lifestyle of obedience and not play the line of what is acceptable or not in the eyes of the Lord. The Lord reveals His will through His word so therefore let it be the guide on how we can guard His heart rather than testing it.
Success can blind us. We tend to overestimate our involvement in success and underestimate God’s involvement. Being grateful and reminding yourself of God’s faithfulness helps prevent this.
God’s jealousy is over us is God’s display of commitment to us. Let us be committed to the Lord as well by not entertaining the idols in our lives.
Don’t test God but trust God through obedience to His word.