One God – One Source of Success
Success in its finest context is not only humanities desire but God’s purpose. God desires that people are successful in life. Success is more crucial in its totality than in the isolated experiences that people often overvalue. We see this theme developed in two ways in Deuteronomy. There is the statement of the principle in verses 1-8 and then an illustration in 9:8-10:11.
The expression of the principle is twofold. First God prepares the way for the people. (Verses 1-3) Success in life is often dependent upon events that are beyond the control of the persons involved. In this instant the Israelites were to cross the Jordan and confront the people living in Canaan and had prevented them from entering Kadesh over forty years earlier. If they had failed before, then how could they now succeed? The answer to this question is clear in verse 3. “Know therefore today that it is the LORD your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the LORD has spoken to you.” This is a truth that is prevalent to this day. Success in the covenant community is more to do with the preparatory work of God who goes before His people.
Second success is due to God and not to people. The conquest of Canaan was successful because of God’s judgment upon the people in Canaan and because God was fulfilling the covenant promise made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This success came for the Israelite people in spite of their rebellions and not because of their fidelity.
Moses then illustrated the success of the covenant depended on God and not Israel. Moses did this by bringing to remembrance of the golden calf at Mount Sinai and the people continued rebellions through the wilderness journey. This was an example that life for the people was in the power of God. He also demonstrated that the future of the covenant rested with God in spite of His rebellious people who serve Him imperfectly. The point is that since there is only one God there is only one source for success in life.