SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Moses is making it clear to the Israelites that they are not moving into the promised land because of their merits, but because of God's unmerited favor; not because of their faithfulness, but because of God's grace.
- Moses reminds them (verses 7-21) of their sin they committed when he was receiving the Ten Commandments. (They were making a golden statue of a calf to worship instead of God.)
- Moses reminds them (verses 23-29) of their unbelief when God originally showed them the promised land. They did not believe God could give it to them because the people who lived there were so powerful-looking, and the Israelites looked only at their own limited power and resources, instead of at the unlimited power and resources of God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- When you find yourself in good standing with God, it's easy to begin to believe that it's because you earned it, that God has shown you favor because you deserve it more than others. Moses tells the Israelites that God did not choose them because they were good or better, but simply because He is a God of love and decided to show them unmerited favor. Moses challenges them to "Remember this and never forget" (verse 7).
- We need to do the same. Thinking we deserve God's favor leads to pride and to looking down on others. Remembering that we don't deserve God's favor but He loves us anyway leads to gratefulness and giving grace to others.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- A Christian author named Jerry Bridges suggests that the most important thing a Christian can do every day is "preach the gospel to yourself". To every day remember our sin, and that Jesus died for us when we were at our worst, and so we are now forgiven and friends with God. This is all based based totally on what Jesus did, despite our sin. We remember that, then rejoice in it. Why don't you take some time to do that right now? And consider making it a regular habit.