Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before you, “Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,” but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. – Deuteronomy 9:4
The Israelites (as a whole) were a rebellious, forgetful people. They turned their back on God almost from the first moment that He graciously led them into the Promised Land. No matter how much they suffered for their rebellion, Israel could never grasp how horrible life apart from God could be. They even seemed to “cancel” their history of disobedience as a way of justifying continued sin! Knowing that they were prone to a repetitive boastfulness, God (through His prophetic leaders) consistently and continuously reminded them that He was the only One worthy of praise for any blessings or deliverance that had come their way.
Yet, are we really much different? Do we not also repeatedly rebel against God, forgetting how gracious He has been? Could our disobedience even be seen as more egregious given our Spirit-inspired understanding of the price to purchase the salvation we so richly enjoy? Though, as Christ-followers, we would never claim righteousness apart from grace, are we sometimes guilty of not giving our Savior the credit He deserves? Might we also have a “selective memory” when it comes to our past performance or God’s prior deliverance?
Rebellion isn’t just experienced in open defiance of God’s commands. It is also seen in an unwillingness to acknowledge God’s interventive grace in our daily endeavors.
That action is not warrantable which either fears to ask the divine blessing on its performance, or having succeeded, does not come with thanksgiving to God for its success. – Francis Quarles