Time for another SOAP Notes devotional!
If you aren’t sure what I am referencing, see this post for a full explanation of this series!
Today’s key scripture is Deuteronomy 9:5-6
S: You are going in to take their land, but not because you are good and live right. You are going in, and the Lord your God is forcing those people out because of the evil way they lived. And the Lord wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Lord your God is giving you that good land to live in, but you should know that it is not because you are good. The truth is that you are very stubborn people!
O: There are two parts to the story of why the Israelites came to possess the promised land. Neither of which had to do with their own righteous actions or direct obedience. It became their inheritance 1/ as a result of the disobedience of other nations and 2/ as a fulfillment of the promise from God to previous generations. God in fact reminds the Israelites what a stubborn people they are. He makes it clear that their blessing was not earned, but instead the outcome of justice.
Sometimes the blessings that we inherit are not related at all to our own good deeds or righteous actions. They can be related to God’s justice in which He is removing blessings from those who do not follow His commandments and transferring them to us as a byproduct of their disobedience, rather than our direct obedience. Other times, our blessings may be related to a promise God made to a past generation, and we are reaping the rewards of another’s obedience or righteous actions.
On the other hand, it may be encouraging to recognize that our good deeds and righteousness do not go unnoticed. Sometimes the promises of God are delayed—perhaps 40 years, perhaps even to our future generations.
A: May we never be so arrogant as to believe that our blessings are related to our own goodness. Under no circumstance should we assume our blessings are deserved. Let us never mistake God’s justice or generosity as fairness, as this leads to a sense of entitlement.
Let us also not become irritable with the Lord when we do not see a direct bearing of fruit for our obedience. There is always the possibility that the Lord is saving the promise and the blessing for our ancestors down the line. May we always assume justice and believe His promises, for the Lord cannot deny either. They are His nature.
P: Lord teach is to have an accurate view of Your processes and principles. May we be grateful for Your mercy and justice and never adopt a sense of entitlement to any blessing. May our perspective shift to that of Your wisdom. May we have a heart of gratitude for everything that You give us, whether big or small. Keep us humble in remembering that we are not righteous to have deserved any good thing from Your hand, but rather every good thing comes as a gift and as a result of Your generosity and justice. May we be faithful with what You give us. Amen.