Read This Week’s Passage: Deuteronomy 8:1–20
God Will Do Whatever It Takes
God’s leading and God’s will in our lives: these are two of the hardest things for people to grapple with. How do we know where God is leading us, especially when the way is not clear, or there are several options, or we are led into trying and difficult times? The reason that Israel was in the wilderness was due to their own sinful and rebellious choices. And yet God led them and did not give up on them. Jesus was also led into the wilderness, but it was by the Holy Spirit, and not because He had done anything wrong (Matt. 4:1). When we are in times of test and trial, whatever the reason, God walks with us and helps us to know His heart of love toward us, through His provision and guidance to greater humility and trust in Him. God already knows our hearts, but the times of testing and trial help us to know our hearts, and help us to surrender to God so that He can cause us to truly know that we live by His word, not by earthly bread. Jesus quoted from this passage to counteract Satan’s temptation, because the situation was so parallel to Israel’s, and yet His heart was truly humbled and trusting in God. Deuteronomy 8 is within the section of the covenant structure that focuses on the heart relationship with God as the foundation for obedience.
God wants to save us so much that He is willing to use whatever it takes. Sometimes it takes tests, other times it takes provision in those tests, and still other times it takes blessings. While God ultimately wants to just bless us, He knows that we tend to forget where the blessings come from and think that our great power and hard work have given us our wealth. For this reason, God brings us to difficult places so that we can understand our own hearts and see clearly that everything comes from Him. This passage is also very similar to Daniel 4, where Nebuchadnezzar ascribes everything to his own power, but God brings him to a place of humility and trial until he understands the truth about his own prideful heart and chooses a faith relationship with God.