6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to Him and revering Him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
When I first read these verses I was very pleased. Here we are not just told to walk in obedience to Him and revere Him, but we are given reasons why. Mainly because of the blessings listed in the next three verses. Notice the prominence water, it is listed first and with three sources brooks, streams, and deep springs. Then food sources are listed wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey, this along with the water would be a wonder to a people who had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Next there are the rocks of iron and copper in the hills for tool making.
However, they would have to carry water to their homes that they will have to build. They would have to harvest (and later plant) much of the food including the honey and olive oil, prepare, and then cook it. No water from a faucet or even a hand powered well pump. This was a land of great blessings we would have great difficulty appreciating today. Still, they did all they had to do and knew they were greatly blessed by God.
This leads me to wonder if sometimes the difficulties we face don’t have the purpose to make us appreciate all the blessings we generally take for granted. When we take our blessings for granted we often forget who provided the blessings in the first place. God warns the Israelites against this in the following verses.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 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.
All too often we want to take credit for all we have because of all the hard work we personally have put into what we have achieved. Well, God just a few verses later address this misconception as well and does so very directly.
17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
God ultimately is the One responsible for all of our blessings whether we realize it or not. But for the Israelites He had a warning for them if they forgot who was the source of all their blessings. A warning we would do well to pay attention to as well.
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.
Obedience in acknowledging the source of our blessings turns out to be incredibly important.