READ: Deuteronomy 8-10
THINK: When do people typically turn to God-when everything is going well, or when times are tough? Regrettably, it often takes trials to open people's eyes to their need for God. On the other hand, when things are going well and everything comes easily, most people don't see a need for God. Rather than give gratitude to Him, people tend to take the credit for their own success, while taking the benefits for granted. But with that attitude, we will never discover the life for which we were created. Thankfully, God allows His followers to experience enough adversity to strengthen their faith, deepen their humility, and to display His power in supernatural ways. In the process, God teaches His people to rely on Him so that they can find the strength and fulfillment that only He can give.
RESPOND: According to 8:2-5, why did God lead the Israelites through the desert for forty years, what did He teach them along the way, and why was it important to learn these things? Once Israel had settled in their new land, what would tend to happen if they weren't careful to obey God? (See 8:12-14 note.) Under what conditions do people tend to disregard or forget God, and why? Why did Israel need to trust God to drive out and defeat the land's inhabitants (7:1,17-19; 9:1-3)? Did God give the land to the Israelites because of their own faithfulness and integrity? Why or why not? (See 9:4 and 9:5 notes.) When God gives success, why do people tend to take credit themselves? What can you do to keep from getting such an attitude? Why was God merciful to the Israelites, even though they continually rebelled (9:23-29)? What affect can the prayers of a godly person have on others? What did God ask of Israel in return for receiving the benefits of His covenant? (See 10:12 note.) What does it mean to "fear the LORD" (10:12), and how does that relate to loving Him? (See article on The Fear of the Lord, p. 244 in the FBSE.) What is God's attitude toward the fatherless, widows and aliens, and what does He do for them (10:18-19)?
PRAY: Thank the Lord for meeting your needs and teaching you some critical lessons through difficult times. Give Him credit for the successes you've experienced and the good things you have in life.
ACT: Demonstrate acts of kindness to people you know who have lost a husband, a father of other family member.
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