Saturday, February 07, 2009

An excerpt and interpretation of Deuteronomy 8

I think this is gonna be one long post, and so I don't expect you to finish reading it. It's just something during the YPM service today. That as I was reading Deuteronomy 8, I felt that God opened my eyes to the way it applied in my life. And this post is about me expounding on that.

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers 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... Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. -Deuteronomy 8:2-3,5

I read: Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in National Service for two years, to humble you and to test you... He brought you to low, hard places in your life, causing you to hunger more for Him, His word and His touch and then feeding you with what you needed and making you stronger... to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord... Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God has disciplined you by putting you through months in the army to teach you greater discipline, which is based on greater dependency on Him.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and revering Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land- a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing in the valleys and hills -v. 6, 7

Your student life will probably be easier then your army life. Even then, will you still observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in His ways and revering Him? Will you allow good times to corrupt the obedience and desire to honour God, which you have gained in tough times? (I also note that the Israelites still had to overcome great opposition on the other side of the Red Sea, clearing many enemies and fighting many battles. But essentially, it was very much different from their time in Egypt, for in Egypt they were powerless slaves. What I take out of it is that I still will have many things to overcome in uni. Won't be rosy all the way. But quite a few things won't be half as hard as it was in the army.)

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land He has given you. 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. -v10-11

When you enjoy good times out of the army, in your civilian life. When you wake up on your own timing, when you enjoy freedom, when you eat good food and are satisfied, praise God for what He has brought you through. Once again, be careful not to forget the Lord your God and His decrees.

Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 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. v. 12-14

Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, study, grow older and move on to the other things in life, you will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the times in army.

He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." 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 forefathers, as it is today. v.15-18

He led you through the vast forests of foreign training exercises, when you were cold and shivering through the night, when you woke up shivering and still had to be scolded. He brought you through countless field camps and living conditions that made you appreciate the comfort of civvy life. And yet when you did your QT faithfully in the jungles, when you prayed daily as you ran or did route marches, He spoke to you out of His word at times, and always gave you strength to go through everything. He humbled you, put your world in perspective, taught you to better respect authority and be God-fearing, to see yourself in more humble light, to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

As you grow older and if you prosper. In friendship or popularity or studies or wealth, you may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced all this for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you such ability, and so confirms His many promises in His word to you.

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. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God. v. 19,20

Even as Isaiah 7:9 says "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all" and Jeremiah 17:5-6 speaks of the man who is cursed because he "trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength and (his) heart turns away from the Lord", if I ever forget my God and what He brought me through. If I ever follow and put other things in my life above Him. And that includes relationships or studies or hobbies or exercise or spending time surfing the net etc. I will surely lose what I have gained. I may not be destroyed in the olden fashion. But I will have caused much of what I have gained to come to naught. God will, as He sees fit discipline me. For Proverbs 3:12 says that the Lord disciplines those He loves as a father the son he delights in.


And that's more or less what I received from God towards the end of the service. I received quite a bit at the front too. But too much to post. This chapter of the bible and what it means to me I received within perhaps a minute or two. Hope for you bros who are going through or finishing NS, that you'll have gained something at least by glancing through.

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