Deuteronomy 8

1 Obedience is not for God's sake, but for our sake. Obedience would result in the blessing of true life and many children. Only by obedience would they capture the Promised Land and keep it.
2 Sometimes God leads people into a "wilderness experience" to test them. During these times, it may seem that God is far away, but He is actually very near to see if they will obey Him anyway.
3 A time of testing can humble people, and make them realize that they are completely dependent on God. This goes beyond physical requirements. God provides all our spiritual needs as well.
4 Clothing tends to wear out and even more quickly when subject to the rugged requirements of the wilderness. The Israelites had few resources to make new clothing from, so God prevented their old clothing from decaying. The garments these people wore that day were the same ones their parents had worn when they left Egypt.

The Israelites were often on the move during their forty years in the wilderness. God made sure that they did not have any foot problems that would hinder their progress.

5 God was not punishing Israel capriciously. The punishment was designed to encourage the Israelites to learn obedience. True life comes when we live the way God wants us to.
6 The way to avoid punishment was to obey God. The way to abundant life is to obey God.
7 Egypt had only one river, while the rest of the country was a desert. Canaan abounded in water at several locations.
8 The widespread availability of water would allow the people to grow a variety of crops all over the country.
9 Besides the bountiful food supply, the land had mineral wealth as well. Iron has been mined in the northern and eastern regions, and Copper has been mined south of the Dead Sea.
10 The proper response to such provision should be praise. God would give the Israelites all these things, and they should be grateful. This was easier for the first generation of Israelites to inherit the Promised Land, but the succeeding generations would be more likely to forget since they had not experienced God's provision "directly."
11 Material blessing come with a warning. God works in invisible ways, and it is rarely obvious how He provides for us. For instance, we work for money to buy the food, clothing, and shelter we need to survive. However, God has provided the skills we have to labor, He provides the opportunities to use those skills, and He provides the provisions we need to buy with the money we earn. At each step, God provides through people and circumstances.

If we allow pride to come in, we may deny that God has provided our skills and opportunities. Pride leads to rebellion, and "self-sufficient" people are more likely to have this problem. If they feel they do not need God to provide for them, then they will see no need to follow His commands. If they believe that their own way brings them prosperity, then they will not want to follow God's way.

Forgetfulness can also mean the exclusion of God from one's daily life. They may continue to believe in God, but His concerns will not be their concerns. Their relationship with Him will dwindle to nothing. We must not forget that it is our relationship with God that saves us from eternal separation from Him.

14 Current prosperity can lead to forgetfulness of past provisions. God led Israel every step through the wilderness, patiently teaching them their need to rely on Him. He intervened six days a week to bring them food. Occasionally He intervened to proved them with water. He intervened to make sure their clothing and sandals did not wear out during their journey. He won great battles for them in Egypt and Canaan. However, all this could be forgotten if one was to focus on his own prosperity rather than his relationship with God.
16 In our pride, we often want to believe that we can make it on our own, but in truth, we are dependent on many things. It is often easy for us to see how we are dependent on other people. One person may provide us with work, another with food to buy, and another with love. A farmer, for instance, may recognize his dependence on good weather for his crop. However, we should be more humbled to know that all these things are ultimately provided by God. He created the universe and each person, and continuously holds them together (Col 1:16-17). Without God, a person could not take a single breath or continue to live; yet, we often have to go through humbling circumstances before we believe this.
18 Jesus reminds us in John 15:5 that without Him, we can not do anything. This has both physical and spiritual applications.
19 If one forgets God provision he might become a "god" to himself. Ironically, others will deny their dependence on God, and instead claim dependence on other gods that they imagine or hear about from others. However, in so doing, they deny the Author of life and cut themselves off from Him. If they refuse God during this lifetime, God will reject them in the next.
20 The current inhabitants of Canaan, whom the Israelites were about to defeat, had rejected God for many years. There was no hope of them ever coming to recognize God, so He determined this to be their time of destruction. The Israelites would see this, and they needed to remember that it would be just like this for them if they turned away from God. It is also important for us to realize that no earthly death will be as severe as the eternal death that awaits those who never recognize their dependence on God during this lifetime.