Deuteronomy 8:18- “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” NKJV
There are things, people, and events in life that we feel as if we will never forget. I will never forget the night I was filled with the Spirit of God. I will never forget the first time I met my husband. I will never forget the birth of our girls, the first time I preached.
But then there are some things I hope to never remember again. If possible, I wish to have amnesia over those events so that they can be permanently removed from my psyche. Sadly, that’s not how it goes.
Interestingly, we have difficulty letting go and forgetting those things we shouldn’t remember while having difficulty remembering those things we should remember.
Such was the case with the children of Israel. As the children of Israel stood before the Red Sea with the army of Egyptians coming toward them, they soon forgot all of the plagues and thus the miraculous signs that God had performed in Egypt:
Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”Exodus 14:11-12 NKJV
They forgot how horrible it was to be in Egyptian bondage, and they forgot how mighty God was in the face of their difficulties. Faced with possible death, or so they thought, they could not remember God. Neither could they remember His works. All they saw at that time was the Red Sea before them, the army behind them, and they remembered Egypt. But they should have been working to forget Egypt!
Later, when they arrived at the Promised Land, Moses sent out twelve spies. Ten returned with a negative report, while two returned with a report of hope, vision, and the possibilities with God. Listen to the response of the children of Israel when they heard there were giants in the land:
And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!… So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”Numbers 14:2,4 NKJV
They forgot God again! They forgot about the crossing over on dry land and the parting of the Red Sea. They forgot about water coming out of the rock. They forgot about bitter water turning into sweet water at Meribah. And they forgot about being delivered by the mighty hand of God from Egypt. As a matter of fact, they wanted to return.
In Deuteronomy 8, Moses takes time to share with the children of Israel the Law. And in doing this, he takes them down memory lane to remind them of the goodness of the Lord to them, exhorting them not to forget the Lord:
Remember the Lord, Moses cried!
- Remember, He brought you out of the land of Egypt!
- Remember, He kept you these forty years in the wilderness!
- Remember, He fed you with manna!
- Remember, He didn’t allow your clothes to wear out!
- Remember, He didn’t allow your feet to swell from all of that walking around!
- Remember, He is giving you this good land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Remember the Lord!
Why would Moses have to tell them to remember the God that they had experienced, just as he had? The God who had been so good to them? Moses answers this question:
And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealthDeuteronomy 8:18a NKJV
Moses understood that the promised land had many blessings for the children of Israel, and he understood the dangers of wealth! Moses knew that when life was no longer difficult for them and they had all of their material needs met, they could easily think that they had done all of this independent of God!
No longer to be slaves depending on others for their next meal, a corner to sleep in, or a ration of oil. When you get into this land, abundance is waiting for you, and you will be wealthy. But I caution you, Moses said, remember the Lord, for He is prospering you! He will be the reason you succeed!
Moses continues to tell them why they are walking into a land of great wealth:
That He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers,Deuteronomy 8:18b NKV
God promised Abraham that 400 years after his death, He would bring Abraham’s descendants to Canaan to inherit the land. God promised Abraham a nation of people. God promised that He would be with them and would prosper them. God fulfilled the covenant that He swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when they entered the promised land. Because of this fulfillment, Moses told the children of Israel that they were not to forget God but to remember Him!
That message rings with just as much warning today as it did when Moses originally spoke it. We are to remember the Lord our God because He is the One who enables us to get wealth. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty wealthy compared to my parents. Actually, I’m pretty wealthy now compared to my beginnings. My first job yielded me $1.85 an hour, approximately 75 dollars a week. I make more than 75 dollars in a day today! I am wealthy! To God be the glory! I was thankful then, and I am grateful now. Even more so because I remember that the Lord has prospered me.
How Americans see wealth, I am not even close to being wealthy, but when I look back on where I came from to where I am now, I most definitely am wealthy. Again, to God be all the glory! My husband and I enjoy walks in the evenings where we talk about what’s going on in our lives, with our ladies, church, or jobs. And we always walk back in the door, grateful! God has not only been good to us, but He is also good to us now! We can’t contribute our lives to our smarts or our abilities, only to God! And guess what? Neither can you!
No matter where you are in regard to material wealth, all that you have is because God has been good to you! It doesn’t matter if you have a bunch of letters following behind your name or before your name; you have gotten to that place of success because God has been good to you! It may seem like your talent opened that door or got you that great record deal or contract with the team, but it was God, not you! And if you haven’t remembered that in a while, I encourage you to stop and remember today that it is the Lord who enabled you to gain the wealth you have today!
Why? To establish His covenant in the earth for we are blessed with Abraham:
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.Galatians 3:13-14 NKJV
Thank God for Jesus! All we have, all we are, is because of Him and through Him! Remember the Lord, for it is He who has empowered you to become wealthy! Wonderful Jesus!