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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Deuteronomy 8

Verses 1-4

DEUTERONOMY - CHAPTER EIGHT

Verses 1-4:

Again Moses reminds Israel of the relation between obedience to the commands of Jehovah Elohim, and prosperity. As an incentive to obedience, he calls to remembrance God’s dealings with them in the wilderness. The wilderness experiences, as well as God’s commandments, were for the purpose of testing. These testings were three-fold:

(1) "To humble thee." God reserves His blessings and grace for the humble, 2 Chronicles 7:14; Matthew 18:4; Matthew 23:12; Psalms 10:17; Proverbs 16:19; Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 57:15; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5.

(2) "To prove thee." Trials are tests, to reveal Godly character.

(3) "To know what is in thine heart." God did not need to send trials in order that He might know Israel’s heart: He already knew. He sent trials in order that Israel might know their own hearts.

This illustrates the principle of trials today, for God’s people. Trials do not come in order for God to know the faith and character of His child. They come in order for God’s child to know his own needs, and the extent of God’s grace to meet these needs, 1 Peter 5:5; Job 23:10.

Life for God’s child is a classroom. God gives the lesson, then He gives a test so His child may see how well he has learned the lesson as it applies to his own life, 1 Peter 1:7-9.

Moses refers specifically to the giving of the Manna, Exodus chapter 16. He permitted Israel to hunger, not to punish them but to demonstrate to them the sufficiency of His grace to provide for them in an impossible situation. This is an application of a principle relevant for today, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Another dramatic example of God’s grace and provision was that the clothes Israel wore did not wear out, nor did their feet swell from the long marches. God provided miraculously for their needs, the entire forty years’ of wilderness wandering.

Jesus quoted from verse 3, in His encounter with Satan in the Wilderness of Temptation, Matthew 4:1-11. This was in response to Satan’s attempt to have Jesus supply His physical needs independently of the Father’s will. When one puts God’s will first in his life, God obligates Himself to supply his physical needs, Matthew 6:33.

Verses 5-9

Verses 5-9:

"Chasteneth," yasar "to instruct" (paideuo, LXX). The primary meaning of the term is "to train children, to cause one to learn," as one would instruct a child of "spankable" age. This may involve such varied measures as words of praise, exhortation, correction, and rebuke. It also may involve withholding of favors, as well as punishment. God, the wise Father, knew exactly what was needed for the occasion, see Proverbs 3:11-12.

The purpose of God’s chastening: to teach Israel to keep His commandments. This is true of God’s chastening hand upon His child today, Hebrews 12:4-13.

The Land which God promised His people was a good land, characterized by three things:

(1) Adequate water supply, both of streams, springs, and wells.

(2) Fertile soil, for vineyards, orchards, and food crops

(3) Mineral resources, particularly iron and copper (brass, KJV).

This was the Land as Israel found it. It would have continued so had they obeyed God’s commandments.

Verses 10-18

Verses 10-18:

The text is a warning against the sin of ingratitude. Moses warned Israel to "bless" or praise and thank God in their times of prosperity. He knew the selfish nature and pride of man’s heart, that man tends to forget God when all is well with him, see Proverbs 30:8-9. Jesus warned against the deceitfulness of riches and covetousness, Luke 12:15-21.

One way man may guard against this testimony is to call to mind the blessings of God and His deliverance in life’s trials. Moses reminded Israel of God’s protection and provision in their wilderness journey:

(1) The Manna, Exodus 16.

(2) The drought, Hosea 13:5.

(3) Water from the flinty rock, Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11.

(4) The fiery serpents, Numbers 21:4-9.

(5) The scorpions, in apposition to "wilderness," illustrative of the terrible nature of the region through which they traveled. There is no recorded instance in Scripture of a plague of scorpions.

Israel was to acknowledge continually that their riches were from the hand of God, not of their own ingenuity. This principle applies to God’s child today, Matthew 6:33; Luke 6:38.

Verses 19-20

Verses 19, 20:

Moses affirms the validity of his counsel by warning Israel that destruction will be their inevitable lot if they forget the Lord and go after other gods. They would perish, as had the other nations before them. This does not mean that God would abrogate His covenant with Abraham and cast away Israel as a nation. It means that those who disobey God would be cut off from the Land and would lose their freedom and their lives.

This principle applies to God’s child today. The disobedient child of God will suffer the consequences of his sin in the flesh, just as the unsaved person suffers. But God will not send His disobedient child to hell, John 6:37; John 10:27-29; Romans 8:35-39.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/deuteronomy-8.html. 1985.