Today's devotion from Deuteronomy 8 and 9.
Moses wants the people to remember. They must remember the covenant they made with God. They must remember to keep His whole way. They must remember all that He has done. If not, they would be tempted to look at the Promised Land and its blessings, and think that they had somehow accomplished all of this by themselves.
Unfortunately, this is a common malady. Pride is always lurking in the corners of our minds. It is subtle. We all struggle with it. As long as I have my health, I can try to fix my own problems. As long as I have my checking account, I can pay my own bills. As long as I have my family, I can face difficult obstacles. Do you see the problem? That's a lot of 'I', and Moses knew the temptation was there even before the people had crossed the river.
However, the truth is that God's blessings are never given because we deserve them. Moses wants the people to remember exactly how undeserving they are. In fact, he takes them on a little walk down memory lane and hits some of the high points of their failures. In the midst of this he writes, "Understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9:6, CSB)
God was not rewarding them with this land. Instead, He was giving it to them in spite of themselves.
And so even on the threshold of receiving that which was promised, no, especially on the threshold of promise, the grace of God was never more needed. They would posses this land only because God's grace allowed it. When they entered the land, and pride began to rise up, it would only be the grace of God that would preserve them in the land.
Doesn't this hit a little too close to home? Yet, this shouldn't necessarily cause you guilt or shame. Instead, it encourages me to hope. I cannot possibly hope to preserve my own salvation, but in God's grace He gives me victory. He is changing me. He is at work within Me for His great purpose. All of this is done in His power according to His grace.