Lent Devotional: Deuteronomy 8:1-10
by Jonathan Haefs
Deuteronomy 8:1-10 (click here)
And [God] humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the LORD your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land…
And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. (Deuteronomy 8:3, 5-7, and 10)
I discipline my children… because I love them.
I want what is best for them and all too often they choose paths and actions that lead away from the best. So, I discipline. I correct. I point them back toward the path of blessing. I point them back to what is best.
Hopefully the day will come for them when they will be old enough to recognize the love which lies behind all my discipline. Perhaps when they have children of their own… then they will realize what it is like to discipline out of love. In my own life, with each passing year, the discipline my parents administered in my life looks wiser and wiser and more loving and more loving.
Is this not true in an even greater way with the Lord… our heavenly Father?
He is the perfect Father. Therefore, he disciplines perfectly and for the perfect purpose. His discipline is always aimed at the best.
I’m certain that as the Israelites hungered in the wilderness they questioned whether or not God loved them at all. Perhaps he had saved them out of Egypt just to let them die in the desert! Such sentiments sound like my own children… “You had me just to discipline me! You don’t love me, or you wouldn’t discipline me!”
Yet we know the opposite is true. And thus, it is with the Lord.
He let the Israelites hunger in the wilderness so that they might learn to feast upon that which is best… the very word of God. He disciplined them that they might learn to walk in his way which was leading toward a good, promised land. The end result of all the Lord’s discipline would be his people dwelling in the land that was best, blessing the Lord for disciplining them away from other paths! In the end, they would see that God was guiding them home to himself… he was loving them!
And he is loving us!
All the Lord’s discipline in our life serves a loving purpose… he is leading us home to himself! He is our promised portion forever. He is what is best! And on the day we finally have him in full… we will bless him for every ounce of discipline he used to guide us all the way home to him.
Hebrews 12:6 and 11, “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives… For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”