One former church leader, who had worked at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists® for 34 years, told a story about how, many years earlier, he and his wife, having landed at an airport, had lost a piece of luggage. “Right there,”
he said, “by the luggage conveyer belt and in public, we got on our knees and prayed, asking the Lord for the return of our lost luggage.”
He then said that, many years later, the same thing happened: they arrived at the airport, but a piece of luggage didn′t. He told what happened next. “Don´t worry,”
he had said to his wife, “insurance will cover it.”
With this story in mind, read Deuteronomy 8:7-18
. What warning is the Lord giving to His people here, and what should it mean for us today, as well?
Look at what their being faithful to the Lord would bring them. Not only would they possess a wonderful and rich land, “a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing”
, NKJV), but they will be exceedingly blessed in that land: flocks and herds and gold and silver and beautiful houses. That is, they will be given all the material comforts that this life affords.
But then, what? They would face the danger that always attends wealth and physical prosperity, that of forgetting that it was only the Lord “who gives you power to get wealth”
Maybe not at first, but as the years go by and they have all the material comforts that they need, they will forget their past, forget how the Lord had led them through “that great and terrible wilderness”
, NKJV), and, indeed, think that it was their own smartness and talents that enabled them to be so successful.
This is precisely what the Lord was warning them against doing (and unfortunately, especially as one reads the later prophets, this is exactly what happened to them).
Thus, amid this prosperity, Moses tells them that to remember that it was the Lord alone who had done this for them and not to be deceived by the material blessings that He had given them. Centuries later, Jesus Himself warned, in the parable of the sower, about “the deceitfulness of riches”