Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
While in the desert Israel was on God’s complete welfare system. Their food and water was miraculously supplied; the clothes on their back did not wear out and their feet did not swell (Deuteronomy 8:4). Every morning as they prepared food, they handled the bounty of Hashem in their hands and even ate it. It was easy then to have the the natural reaction of blessing God after eating (Deuteronomy 8:10).
Now they were going to enter the Land and manna would eventually stop. They were going to have to till the land, sow, harvest, dig wells, irrigate, build houses and even train an army to protect their borders. It would then be easy to forget that Hashem is the Great Provider of all bounties and Protector of His people. and think that all they have is due to their own efforts.
Moses warned the children of Israel, For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, …, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, …, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. "Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, … who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.' … And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish (Deuteronomy (8:7-19).
This is the age-old cycle: obedience to Torah brings success, success brings complacency, complacency leads to neglect of Torah, and neglect of Torah brings failure. Nations who once succeeded because they strove to be based on the Word are now falling from very high as they forgot the God who allowed them to exist.
Poverty may build character but wealth tests it. It is when we don’t feel so dependant of God that our motives are tested. It is like our grown up kids, once they feel they don’t need us, we sometimes don’t hear from them anymore. Someone told me once that if you want your kids to communicate, tell them you sent them a letter with a small check in it, then send the letter ‘forgetting’ to insert the check.
God has the big ‘check’ for us, and He also checks our motives! He knows how to slow the faucet of His provisions and remind us that we are but dust. He wants us to love Him not just because of the ‘check’ though, but because we are grateful and are a bride responding to His loving advances towards us.