“However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.”
To a newly established nation, this blessing from God must have seemed almost too good to be true. The Book of Deuteronomy is mostly one long message, and those initially hearing it had been listening for quite some time at this point. I have a feeling their ears perked up when Moses got to this part. Although sandals did not wear out from all the desert walking they did, presently they were not particularly rich.
When Russell and I started our married life together we encountered some challenging financial times. Every penny was stretched. We even sold a partial book of postage stamps to some friends so we could have enough change to buy a cold drink on one hot day. Even though we were poor, we decided to trust God and give at least a tenth of everything we earned toward God’s work. As the years have passed and our blessings have grown, we have been able to help others and this has been one of our greatest joys.
When God’s people remembered their history of being poor and enslaved in Egypt, and then reflected on all the years of living in the desert, the promise of wealth and power was a great contrast. This contrast offered hope in so many ways. The Israelites had an opportunity for a fresh start and it was due to God’s faithfulness and blessings. And again we see that in the middle of it all was a big “if.” The blessings are there if we are careful to obey.