Want What God Wants

Deuteronomy 8-9

Jerry A Collins




v        What is so wrong about being independent?

v        Why is self-righteousness a bad thing?

v        Should I remember my past sins?


Sportscaster and former baseball great Ralph Kiner tells the following story; After the season in which I hit 37 home runs, I asked Pittsburgh Pirate general manager Branch Rickey for a raise. He refused. ‘I led the league homers’ I reminded him. ‘Where did we finish’, Rickey asked me. ‘Last’, I said. ‘Well’, Rickey said, ‘We can finish last without you.’ An inflated sense of self-importance is what God warns the Israelites about as they are about to enter into the land promised to them. That is why the theme ‘you should remember’ and ‘don’t forget’ is prominent here (8:2; 11, 14, 18, 19; 9:7). Here we will see a reminder from God that the fertile land promised to them by God did not come automatically but as a by-product of their obedience so they must be careful to always want what God wants for them—that is to be careful to do all of the commandments vs 1 given to them by God thru Moses. There are two warnings given that must be heeded to expect God’s continued favor upon our lives.


Have a realistic awareness of your dependence upon God 2-6  The Israelites are reminded of their dependence upon God thru the 40 yr guidance in the wilderness. In vs 2 the wilderness journey was a test—to bring them by means of distress and privation to feel their need of help from God and their dependence then upon Him for that. It was to humble them—by placing them in a position where they had no alternative but to trust God or murmur against Him. This was the way God could test what was in their hearts—that is prove their faith or lack of it, their obedience or rebellion in history, for others. So in the wilderness where they could not produce food or drink they had to depend upon God for it vs 3. God said in this way He ‘humbled’ them—that is taught them that they were dependent upon Him for provision, protection. Humility sees all value, virtue, power and glory beginning and ending in God. Humble people see God as the source of power and themselves as a channel of it. Humble people seek power only in the sense of being an instrument of God not a source of power. Jesus quotes vs 3 in Matt 4 refusing Satan’s temptation to turn stones into bread revealing that God could provide food apart from Satan’s suggestion that the Son work a miracle. The manna Israel ate came thru God’s Word—a food they knew nothing about—indicating the priority of God’s Word as source of life not the manna. In 4-5 God disciplined Israel making her depend on Him for everything—food, water, clothing. The point was that they would learn this in their heart-that is convince themselves by experience that their God was educating them as a father does his son—to admonish, chasten and educate them about dependence. In vs 6 the design of this education was to train them to keep His commandments. Look back upon your hardships and thank God for teaching you the value of dependence upon Him to meet your need. This will keep you from assuming that you can do it for yourself in the future. Otherwise, when you obtain power or success in the future, financial, business, ministry—you will forget about God and become proud—that is to focus on your own status or achievement or independence  from God. Pride leaves God out of the equation.

Remember that God provides everything for you 7-20   In 7-9 is a description of the land before Israel sinned. They would face temptation to think they were responsible for bounty in the land rather than God, especially when they are abundantly provided for as enumerated in these verses. A remedy for this spiritual delusion is  10—when you are satisfied and full bless the Lord—give Him the credit, acknowledge His doing. In 11-14—bracketed by the phrase ‘you forget the Lord your God’ living in land of plenty with prosperity they may forget their dependence upon God. Their possessions there, lofty houses, cattle, gold, silver would make them proud. The remedy is vs 15-18 focusing on the manifestations of divine grace toward them. (1) Their deliverance from Egyptian slavery. (2) Being led thru terrifying wilderness with venomous snakes, scorpions, and parched land with no water in it. (3) Brot water out of flinty rock. (4) Fed manna as much a gift from God as water from the hard rock. All to test them and do them good in the end—the past of Egypt and it’s trials replaced with Canaan and it’s blessing. So they must never think they got what they have on their own power—No, God is the one who   gave these things 18. Don’t forget or punished 19-20. 2. DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU HAVE  9

Thru God’s grace we have power to live, protection and provision 1-6 They will go where cities are bigger, nations greater, people stronger than they vs 1-2. The hardships and uncertainty loomed large before them. Yet, God will subdue them before Israelites vs 3. Because of that, the Israelites will be able to destroy those nations. So, too, for us, our sin nature is superior to our ability to destroy it. It takes a work of God to do that. Christ broke it’s power on the cross. Now, like Israel, we trust God, keep His commandments, then He subdues our sin nature, which makes conquering it possible, but not actual here. You must drive out the sin in your life and destroy it. In degrees, like Israel conquering of the land, we can have victory. So vs 4-6 it is not Israel’s righteousness that motivates God to do this for them but (1) The wickedness of those nations deserving judgment. (2) Victory because God swore so to forefathers 5. (3) As a pure gift of grace since they were stiff-necked rebellious people 6. So don’t ever assume you deserve what God has done or does for you. You will still want your way, to take the credit as long as sin nature is with you.

Remember your past sins can re-occur 7-24 First, remember the golden calf 7-19. It is absurd for Israel to ever suppose that the land was given to them as a reward for their righteousness vs 7, 13, & 24. This grevious sin came about when they should have been occupied with the most holiest of things—Moses receiving of the law. Instead the corrupt act of the calf idol prompted Moses to smash the stone tablets before them graphically illustrating what they had done to the covt with the Lord. Moses prayed for God t spare the people. Second, not only the people but Aaron vs 20 had God’s wrath averted thru Moses’ intercession. Third, Israel aroused God’s anger further vs 22 by discontent Num 11, murmurs Ex 17, longing for flesh Num 11, and unbelief at Kadesh-Barnea. Each moves gradually from the smaller to more serious guilt! Seeking to sharpen conscience and impress fact they were rebellious against Lord not righteous.

Prayer for rebellious 25-29 Moses prays for them (1) Pray for what God is already doing 26 (2) Pray for the faith we committed ourselves to in past 27 (3) Pray about God’s reputation, what others say about Him 28.    (1) What does it mean to be led by God 8:2 & 15? From here it means to be tested and disciplined. This is how God teaches us. God wants to create dependence upon Him. Our need is total not partial.   (2) God is always opposed to the proud because it assigns value independent of Him. It removes value from Him and assigns it to another. We should never be proud of what others have done. We can take pleasure in pleasing others and we can admire what god has done in others.   (3) God’s job is to subdue our sin nature. Our job is to drive it out. We do this because God wants us to be conformed to the image of His Son.   (4) Most counseling today says to forget your past sin and move on. Moses says we should remember our past sins, not to dwell on them or re-live them, but to not be naïve about them, realizing they could be repeated. We should forget the past in the sense of not pursuing the past (Phil 3:13).   (5) Our prayer requests should be in line with: a) what God is already doing. b) with the faith we had in the past. c) what glorifies God.