I.   Verse 1-5 - Remembering the past blessings from God.

A.     Verse 1 - The way to victory is very simple.  Just obey God.

1.       The way to obey God is to observe His commands.  This means do what He says, not just know what He says.

2.       The result is:

a.      long life.

b.      multiplying the population.

c.      possessing the promised land.

B.     Looking back.

1.       It's very good for Israel (and us) to look back, not to see the misery of the past, but to see God's blessings.

2.       Verse 2 - God desires Israel to learn the lesson of the wilderness.

a.      God didn't want Israel to think bad things about what happened in the wilderness, but to be encouraged because God loved them so much to help them and supply for them even when they were in rebellion and being punished for sin.

b.      God wanted Israel to know that they were sinners and needed God's leadership.  This is actually a reversal of the fall in the Garden of Eden.  Adam and his wife thought they didn't need God and sin came upon all the world.  Israel must learn that they are sinners like Adam and need God's leadership.

c.      "know what was in thine heart" - God already knew what was in Israel's heart, but God wanted them to know what they had in their heart.

d.      Israel, like all other people, must know that they will not keep the commandments of God if left to themselves.  We might say we would keep the commandments, but left alone, we go away from God.

3.       Verse 3,4 - All of the trials of the wilderness were overcome by the blessings of God.

a.      Israel would say they hungered, but God fed them with manna.

b.      It would be impossible to figure the amount of water God provided for Israel to use during the 40 years wandering.

c.      Who would believe that clothes wouldn't wear out in 40 years? But God kept them new.

d.      There was no swelling of the foot, even though Israel walked the entire distance.  Even those people that grew old and had to keep walking had no foot swelling.

e.      Consider that during the entire 40 years Israel was without an army to protect them, yet God kept any invading army from them.

f.       The wild animals of the wilderness never bothered Israel, except when Israel sinned and God punished them by sending the wild animals.

C.     Things Israel was to learn.

1.       Verse 3 - They were to live, not by physical bread alone, but by the spiritual bread from the mouth of the Lord.  The key here is to serve God first, before anything else is done.  Then, and only then, God will supply everything we need for this life.

2.       Verse 5 - God has chastened Israel as a son.

a.      As a nation, God wants Israel to look back on the wilderness as a "growing up" period when He in loving kindness for future good laid the rod upon their back.

b.      God wants Israel to look upon His chastening as these fathers in Israel look upon their chastening.

c.      The father naturally knows what is good for their children, just as God naturally knows what is good for His children.  Just as the children learn from their parents chastening them, so Israel ought to learn from their father chastening them.


II.   Verse 6-9 - Looking for future blessings from God.

A.     Verse 6 - "Therefore" - Israel should take the past punishment for sin, realize they deserved what they got and learn that God would punish them in the future if they sinned again. 

B.     Verse 7-9 - A look at future blessings because of past chastisement.

1.       God is going to put Israel in a land that is full of everything this world has to offer.  God will do the same for us, if we learn to obey Him.

2.       If there is anything God withholds from His people, it is because it is bad for them.

3.       Note: The people of Israel will have to work for what they get.  The brooks of water will be provided by God, but Israel will have to plant the crops and dig the minerals out of the ground.

a.      Working by the sweat of the brow is part of the curse from the fall.

b.      This curse will continue until God brings in the new heaven and the new earth.

c.      Even if Israel is in the promised land, there will still be work to do.  Even if we are saved and in the power of God, there is still work to do.


III.   Verse 10-20 - A warning about the hazards of riches.

A.     Verse 10-18 - Prosperity is a hazard to spiritual health.

1.       Prosperity includes:

a.      Verse 10 - having all they could eat.

b.      Verse 12 - living in fine houses.

c.      Verse 13 - business prosperity.

2.       Prosperity includes the hazard of forgetting:

a.      Verse 11 - The commandments, judgments and statutes of God.

b.      Verse 14-16 - How God through past blessings brought them to this place of prosperity.

1)      Verse 14 - God brought them out of Egypt, from bondage to freedom.

2)      Verse 15 - God lead them through a terrible wilderness, keeping them safe from wild animals.

3)      Verse 16 - God fed them with water and manna.

4)      Verse 16 - "to do them good at the latter end". 

c.      The whole purpose of the wilderness was for Israel to learn they were just sinners, chosen because God loved them.  If they forget this lesson, they have forgotten what their existence is all about.            So it is with us.

3.       Verse 17-18 - When Israel begins to live in luxury, enjoying the things God provided for them, they are apt to forget God.

a.      This is one of the greatest hazards of prosperity.

b.      God admonishes them to remember that it is God which has given them this great prosperity, and continue serving Him.

4.       The problem with prosperity is compromise.

a.      We are apt to say that it is all right to let down a little on our stand or religious worship.

b.      We figure it won't hurt to let down a little because we have been so strong and right in the past and are now enjoying such prosperity.

c.      But when we let down, then comes an end to our prosperity.  We have trouble and strife and try to work harder and harder to keep our possessions and gain more, or keep what we have.  We continue to lose because we are not turning to God.  And until we turn to God, we will continue to lose

d.      The downward spiral to poverty is the exact reverse of the upward spiral to prosperity.

B.     Verse 19,20 - The judgment when prosperity causes us to forget God.

1.       Verse 19 - Note: it is impossible to serve God and other gods at the same time.  We cannot serve God and mammon.

2.       Verse 19 - God will destroy Israel just like He destroyed those nations before Israel.

3.       Let us never think we are above the judgment of God.      It will come to us just like it came to others who rebelled against the leadership of God.      4.      Verse 20 - Note the reason for this judgment.  "because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God.