For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing. (Deuteronomy 2:7)
In the very first part of Moses’ discourse in Deuteronomy, the great teacher emphasized the reward of doubt, fear and rebellion. But as he continued in his retelling of Israel’s sojourn through the wilderness, he accentuated the reward of repentance and obedience to God. In spite of the dreadful consequence of believing the evil report and refusing to enter the land, there were victories that came 38 years later to those who would be obedient to enter the land. Moreover, even those they were not to engage in battle — such as Edom, Moab and Ammon as described in this chapter — would fear the children of Israel (Deuteronomy 2:4).
Interestingly, though, Israel was not to exploit that fear and attempt to seize land from these nations. To the contrary, God told them they were not to meddle with them because He would not give Israel any of their land, “not so much as one footstep.” They had their possession and Israel had to honor that because — and this is the point — even though Israel had wandered in the wilderness, they had “lacked nothing.” In spite of their flaws and failures, God had blessed the works of their hands. He was very aware of their circumstances and had provided all that they needed, and so, there was no point in taking from others what didn’t belong to them. That would insinuate that what God provided was insufficient.
What does this say to you and me, today? I would suggest that we should always be thankful for what God has provided for us rather than focusing on what He has not given to us. Let’s look at it another way: some people look at a rosebush and grumble about the thorns; others look at a thorn bush and appreciate the roses. God may never give us everything we want, but we can be confident that He will always give us what we need. Let’s learn to appreciate His goodness and be thankful that He never allows us to lack in what is important to our lives as it relates to His Will. So may we all prosper in every way that is conducive to living a life that is pleasing to Him.
Blessings and Shalom,