A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Good morning! It’s August 3 and I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful day! It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News which is from Deuteronomy 8:1-20. While that sounds super long, there are some good explanations in here about what God is thinking, as God walks along and journeys alongside His people.
This entire commandment that I command you today you must diligently observe, so that you may live and increase, and go in and occupy the land that the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. The clothes on your back did not wear out and your feet did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a parent disciplines a child so the Lord your God disciplines you. Therefore keep the commandments of the Lord your God, by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.
Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today. If you do forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord is destroying before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Here ends the reading.
It’s one of the few times that God specifically speaks to: why the wilderness journey? Why was it 40 years? Why was it such a struggle? To teach and to see if they would learn the statutes. To humble them. To bring them into good.
This passage highlights the difficulty, and the human struggle we all have, of taking credit for our own actions. That when that wealth eventually comes, and when those herds multiply, and when things go well, we can elevate ourselves and take credit for it. We can say: ‘this was my doing, I did this with my own hand’. And maybe it seems like that, on a quick, surface level. But every blessing we have is from God. It’s really important that we remember that and that we continue to turn the thanksgiving and praise around to God. Rather than accepting that for our own glory and for our own self-aggrandizing.
So, one of the things I would encourage you to do today, is to practice the skills of confession. To look honestly and humbly at: where are their blessings in your life- that you tend to take credit for? Knowing that you have good company in your congregation, with your brothers and sisters in Christ; that it’s easy to do that and it’s probably a human characteristic to do that. But that’s not where the glory goes. So I’d like you to spend some time thinking: where do I tend to praise myself? Or inflate myself? Or I tend to take credit? Where are those places that I tend to trip over that? How can I give thanks to God for that today? And continue to give thanks to God- and point to God in that- going forward? So, a little bit of a challenge for you today. It’s a gentle one- you’re confessing to a God who loves you- and remembering that God is great and gives you all sorts of wonderful things. So enjoy the day everybody! Take care.