The Book of Deuteronomy is the word to the affluent society. The Book of Deuteronomy is always the word to any affluent society which always, and all too soon, forgets that its wealth and well-being are the direct gifts of God. These gifts are freely given, and the richer we get (we call it the more civilised), the more we congratulate ourselves on our brilliant agricultural and commercial acumen; on our management of reserves; our clever scientific techniques which end up producing a generation which impudently asks ‘Who made God anyway?’.
The marvel of Hebrew understanding of God’s provision was much deeper than the raw materials he provides.They saw that an essential part of God’s harvest was the labour of men and women in field and factory. Humans are part of the process, part of God’s creation, not the inventors of it.
Listen to one snatch of the marvellous Psalm 104:
The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then man goes out to his work, to his labour until evening.How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all …Psalm 104: 21-24
As you may have read yesterday, Deuteronomy Chapter 8 is monumental in this regard. If you did not manage to read it yesterday, then perhaps this will whet your appetite:
….. when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down …then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery …You may say to yourself “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me”, but remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth …Deuteronomy 8: 12, 14, 17-18a
Eternal God our Father, grant us the grace to remember your wondrous, never failing provision to us your children, and to remember in the right way – by doing what you say.
Now read Hosea Chapter 6.