Possession and Praise
Deuteronomy 8:10
When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which he has given you.…

Now that there is no longer need for strenuous effort, Moses fears that, like other conquerors, they will become lax in their morality and luxurious in their habits: that they will forget the help they have received from God, and act as though their own strength or cleverness had secured these blessings.

I. THE NOVELTY OF NEW POSSESSIONS QUICKLY PASSES AWAY. Persons who suffer misfortune often think they must be happy who escape it. They rejoice at the first removal of such misfortune, but soon become so accustomed to their new freedom as to scarcely give it a thought. The pleasure we derive from new joys seldom lasts longer than the novelty. On the other hand, troubles are ever new.

II. POSSESSIONS THAT COST LITTLE PERSONAL EFFORT ARE BUT LIGHTLY VALUED. It is proverbial that receivers of gifts seldom estimate them at sufficient value; also, that those who have not experienced the toil and self-denial needful in acquiring wealth, squander that for which their fathers laboured long years. There is danger that the greatness of God's gifts shall be a cause of ingratitude.

III. PROSPERITY IS A SEVERER TEST OF FAITHFULNESS THAN POVERTY. Then will be the time to see if they can cling to the Lord. Many a man serves God well so long. as he is afflicted, but forgets Him when the affliction is removed. There was a saying of the heathen that altars rarely smoke on account of new joys. Solomon found the possession of wealth his greatest trial. Temptations could be resisted in days of strenuous effort and toil which were yielded to in days of ease and prosperity.

IV. GOD APPRECIATES MAN'S GRATITUDE. To "bless" is really to praise in worship. Yet the thought underlying the conception is that man can render to God that which will add to His joy. Though He is the ever-blessed God, He cares for the love of His children. His nature is love, and therefore He both gives us blessing and craves our hearts in return.

(R. C. Ford, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.

WEB: You shall eat and be full, and you shall bless Yahweh your God for the good land which he has given you.

Wealth Perilous to Piety
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