Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Deuteronomy Chapter 8
Metaphysically Interpreting Deuteronomy 8:1-20
8:1All the commandment which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which Jehovah sware unto your fathers. 8:2And thou shalt remember all the way which Jehovah thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble thee, to prove thee, to know what was in thy heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or not. 8:3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by everything that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jehovah doth man live. 8:4Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. 8:5And thou shalt consider in thy heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so Jehovah thy God chasteneth thee. 8:6And thou shalt keep the commandments of Jehovah thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. 8:7For Jehovah thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8:8a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey; 8:9a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig copper. 8:10And thou shalt eat and be full, and thou shalt bless Jehovah thy God for the good land which he hath given thee.
8:11Beware lest thou forget Jehovah thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his ordinances, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: 8:12lest, when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; 8:13and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; 8:14then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget Jehovah thy God, who brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; 8:15who led thee through the great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; 8:16who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not; that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end: 8:17and lest thou say in thy heart, My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. 8:18But thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth; that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as at this day. 8:19And it shall be, if thou shalt forget Jehovah thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.8:20As the nations that Jehovah maketh to perish before you, so shall ye perish; because ye would not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah your God.
November 20, 1932: Deuteronomy 8:11-14,18
What are some of the high points in our lesson today? We are told to beware of the “deceitfulness of riches”; also, that all we sow we shall reap.
Why does temporal success have a tendency to blur spiritual consciousness? Success in demonstrating temporal things is usually followed by an inflation of the personal ego. Just before Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was driven into the wilderness, he was walking in the royal palace proclaiming, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling-place by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?”
How should man avoid personal aggrandizement? The answer is given in our lesson: “Thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.”
What are the primal causes of the world's economic depression today? The greed of man, his ignorance concerning the source of wealth, and his disregard of the rights of others are the primal causes of all the economic ills of the world. The one known remedy is for man to return to the worship and acknowledgment of God as his supply and support.
June 16, 1935: Deuteronomy 8:11-18
Describe the work of the steward of Christ. His work consists in directing or managing the Christ substance, and in the conscious use of the Christ power in ways that harmonize with the divine will.
Can divine power be wasted? If so, how? When we forget our responsibility to God as stewards or managers of His power, and pride ourselves on our material success, we waste or misdirect divine power.
How can we demonstrate deliverance from all obstacles and impediments? We make this demonstration by obeying the divine law fully and gladly.
How can we keep our health good, and direct our life into right channels? By serving faithfully the Christ ideal of perfection in mind and body, and managing divine substance at the behest of the Christ.
Define wealth. Wealth comes from the one Source, and is a manifestation of the one Substance. Its possession is therefore a trust to be discharged.
Name a parable that Illustrates the principle of stewardship. The parable of the talents is the most outstanding illustration of this principle. The man with five talents as a beginning who gained five more was a good and faithful steward, whereas he that laid up his one talent in a napkin was considered wicked and slothful.
What are some of man's assets? Material wealth is only one and not the chief of man's assets. Spiritual riches form the greater part, and these it is his responsibility to direct or manage aright. Thought power is his greatest source of wealth.
How can we discharge our duty as Christian stewards actively and faithfully? By supporting with our thought everyone who is unable to stand alone in matters of health, wisdom, prosperity, or other element of a victorious life, we can be faithful stewards of the Christ substance and power.
Why do metaphysicians bless a gift before bestowing it? In order to make the gift a complete expression of the donor's will and purpose, he blesses it with a realization of the true substance and its capacity to increase. The steward of Christ gives himself in his gift, by clothing it with the rich substance of his thought.
September 26, 1937: Deuteronomy 8:11-20
What is the main theme of this lesson? God consciousness is the theme running through the whole lesson. Keeping the law is easy enough as long as one can keep it constantly in mind. The distraction of attention to material or external matters causes one to violate the law. “Beware lest thou forget Jehovah thy God, in not keeping his commandments.” To obey God one must experience God, or be conscious of the divine nature in one's mind, heart, and soul.
Through observing the creative law one realizes success, prosperity, and material abundance. Why are these effects of obedience apt to become stumbling blocks? When we work in harmony with the law of increase and all that we have is multiplied, we may become absorbed in heart our success, unless we are on our guard, and consider it the result of our personal efforts rather than of the application of principle. When we remember that all things are under law and work according to law, we need fear no reversal of our “good fortune.”
What does remembering the divine law avail us? Keeping in mind the higher law to which man is subject sets man's better nature free from the bondage of sense and materiality. When the body is given over to the dominion of sense it becomes a house of bondage in which mind and soul are held enslaved.
What does the “great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents and scorpions, and thirsty ground where was no water” represent? In individual consciousness the wilderness represents the multitude of undisciplined and uncultivated thoughts in the mind of the man who is ignorant of divine law. The fear of evil that is accepted as real, the dread of “ill luck” and mischance, are as fiery serpents and scorpions poisoning the mind and destroying the innate peace and happiness of the one who harbors them; The “thirsty ground” is the desire of the heart for the understanding that comes only through keeping the law of life.
Why was manna connected in the mind of the Israelites with humility? The supply of manna was available a day at a time only. It could not be stored up and remain fresh. The day-by-day dependence of the Children of Israel on God for food made for humility in them. Our spiritual meditation also must be renewed daily if it is to feed and nourish our souls.
What makes a nation endure? Consciousness of God in the minds of the people is the basis of national stability and enduring life. “Righteous exalteth a nation,” and the nation that is exalted endures.
December 2, 1945: Deuteronomy 8:17-18
What aspect of the faculty of appropriation is recommended in this lesson? That of praise and appreciation in prayer, which is represented among the twelve disciples by Judah. This faculty of appropriation is the exercise of the power to lay hold of substance in the realm of the invisible and bring it into expression.
What is the “covenant” that God makes with man with respect to supply? To meet all our needs as they arise provided we keep our mind stayed on the infinite One as the source of all that we can ever desire, not trusting to our human wisdom or efforts to “make” our living.
Does this mean that we are to make no effort to provide ourselves with the necessities of life or its comforts? No. It means that we are to put forth our best efforts but that, as we do so, we are to recognize the underlying truth that our good comes to us from the inexhaustible source of Divine Mind rather than from a human material source.
July 21, 1946: Deuteronomy 8:11-14
How can we always remember God and keep His laws? By becoming conscious of God within the heart we instinctively remember Him. Such remembrance is a safeguard against all the error to which forgetting God makes us prone.
How do we most readily become conscious of God? Through prayer, meditation, and Christ-like conduct. Prayer is the connection that unites us with God.
July 21, 1946: Deuteronomy 8:18-20
As it relates us to God, what is consciousness? It is knowledge based on experience. As we commune with God, we experience His Spirit within us.
Do prosperity and external success, which are in part the rewards of keeping the divine law, ever become stumbling blocks? They do if we allow our thoughts to become centered on them instead of on the cause underlying them. Material prosperity and its evidence tend to distract our thought from our inner resources, which are the source of our true riches.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 02-01-2014