“And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.”
So according to verse 2, God is in the humbling and the heart testing business. He goes about His business in a manner entirely different than mankind. When we want to humble someone, it is usually with sarcasm or a quick snarky put-down. When God humbles, He is slow and methodical to determine obedience. His process is that of a loving father patiently correcting his son.
God warns Israel not to forget He is the One who provided everything they have. He cautions them not to think "My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth." Paul says the same thing in 1 Corinthians 4:7, "What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?" God's final warning is for the Israelites not to allow their pride to cause them to forget Him and begin worshiping other god's. If they do, they will surely perish.
How easy is it to be prideful? Doesn't it seem when things are falling apart we can quickly turn to God, but when everything is going the way we think it should, we tend to forget Him? That was God's concern for the Israelites. In their prosperity, they wouldn't remember that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
Is pride as big a struggle for you as it is for me? I must confess a strong inclination to be full of Roy. God has much to say about a heart that is lifted up. Two verses that come to mind when the Holy Spirit begins to convict me are 1 Peter 5:5 and Romans 12:3. Peter says, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Paul's instruction is not to think more highly of yourself than you should. Pride ultimately violates both of God's great commands. How can I "Love the LORD my God with all my heart" or "My neighbor as myself" when I am full of myself?
Through the years, I have come to realize the antidote for pride is understanding and submitting to the sovereignty of the LORD God. Isaiah 57:15 says, "For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'" When I place God in His proper place, it is impossible to think very highly of Roy.
One more verse that helps me is Micah 6:8, "He has told you, Roy, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?"
Sovereign LORD and Loving Father, forgive me for placing myself in the place You rightfully deserve, for thinking of myself more highly than I should and attributing any success in my life to my wisdom and strength. Everything I have, every good and perfect gift, is from Your hand. Thank You.