Deuteronomy 8

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

Deuteronomy 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

Exhortations and cautions, enforced by the Lord's former dealings with Israel, and his promises. (1-9) Exhortations and cautions further enforced. (10-20)

Verses 1-9 Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God's children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.

Verses 10-20 Moses directs to the duty of a prosperous condition. Let them always remember their Benefactor. In everything we must give thanks. Moses arms them against the temptations of a prosperous condition. When men possess large estates, or are engaged in profitable business, they find the temptation to pride, forgetfulness of God, and carnal-mindedness, very strong; and they are anxious and troubled about many things. In this the believing poor have the advantage; they more easily perceive their supplies coming from the Lord in answer to the prayer of faith; and, strange as it may seem, they find less difficulty in simply trusting him for daily bread. They taste a sweetness therein, which is generally unknown to the rich, while they are also freed from many of their temptations. Forget not God's former dealings with thee. Here is the great secret of Divine Providence. Infinite wisdom and goodness are the source of all the changes and trials believers experience. Israel had many bitter trials, but it was "to do them good." Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Saviour is precious indeed. Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God's giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God's gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. 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.

Cross References 40

  • 1. Deuteronomy 4:1
  • 2. S Exodus 19:5; Job 36:11; Psalms 16:11; Ezekiel 20:19
  • 3. Deuteronomy 29:5; Psalms 136:16; Amos 2:10
  • 4. S Genesis 22:1
  • 5. 2 Chronicles 36:12; Psalms 44:9; Proverbs 18:12; Isaiah 2:11; Jeremiah 44:10
  • 6. S Exodus 16:4; Ex 16:12,14,35
  • 7. 1 Kings 8:36; Psalms 25:5; Psalms 94:12; Psalms 119:171
  • 8. ver 9; S Genesis 3:19; Job 23:12; Psalms 104:15; Proverbs 28:21; Isaiah 51:14; Jeremiah 42:14
  • 9. Job 22:22; Psalms 119:13; Psalms 138:4
  • 10. S Exodus 16:2-3; Matthew 4:4*; Luke 4:4*
  • 11. Deuteronomy 29:5; Nehemiah 9:21
  • 12. Deuteronomy 4:36; 2 Samuel 7:14; Job 5:17; Job 33:19; Proverbs 3:11-12; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 3:19
  • 13. S Exodus 33:13; 1 Kings 3:14; Psalms 81:13; Psalms 95:10
  • 14. Deuteronomy 5:33
  • 15. Psalms 106:24; Jeremiah 3:19; Ezekiel 20:6
  • 16. Deuteronomy 11:9-12; Jeremiah 2:7
  • 17. S Exodus 9:31
  • 18. S Genesis 49:11
  • 19. S Numbers 13:23; S 1 Kings 4:25
  • 20. Deuteronomy 32:13; Psalms 81:16
  • 21. S ver 3
  • 22. Judges 18:10
  • 23. Job 28:2
  • 24. Deuteronomy 6:10-12
  • 25. Deuteronomy 4:9
  • 26. Proverbs 30:9; Hosea 13:6
  • 27. ver 11; Psalms 78:7; Psalms 106:21
  • 28. S Deuteronomy 1:19; S Deuteronomy 32:10; Jeremiah 2:6
  • 29. Numbers 21:6; Isaiah 14:29; Isaiah 30:6
  • 30. Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11; Deuteronomy 32:13; Job 28:9; Psalms 78:15; Psalms 114:8
  • 31. S Exodus 16:14
  • 32. Exodus 16:15
  • 33. S Genesis 22:1
  • 34. Dt 9:4,7,24; Deuteronomy 31:27
  • 35. Judges 7:2; Psalms 44:3; Isaiah 10:13
  • 36. Genesis 26:13; Deuteronomy 26:10; Deuteronomy 28:4; 1 Samuel 2:7; Psalms 25:13; Psalms 112:3; Proverbs 8:18; Proverbs 10:22; Ecclesiastes 9:11; Hosea 2:8
  • 37. Deuteronomy 6:14; Psalms 16:4; Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 13:10; Jeremiah 25:6
  • 38. Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 30:18
  • 39. 2 Kings 21:2; Psalms 10:16
  • 40. Ezekiel 5:5-17

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Moses repeats the exhortation to observe the commands of God, and urges the Israelites to it, from the consideration of the great and good things God had done for them in the wilderness, and even in those instances which were chastisements, and were of an humbling nature, De 8:1-6, and on the consideration of the blessings of the good land they were going to possess, De 8:7-9 for which blessings they are exhorted to be thankful, and are cautioned against pride of heart through them, and forgetfulness of God, and of his goodness to them while in the wilderness, and when brought into the land of Canaan, which they were to ascribe to his power and goodness, and not their own, De 8:10-18, and the chapter is concluded with a warning against idolatry, lest they perish through it as the nations before them, De 8:19,20.

Deuteronomy 8 Commentaries

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