From: Chris Allison
Right before the Israelites are about to cross the Jordan, in triumph, into the land that God had promised them, they get a lecture from Moses. The passage for today is explicitly about how to enter that land.
Moses's subject is not how great the land is, nor congratulating the people for their hard work in getting there, but rather: "You don't deserve this."
The theme throughout the passage is to walk into God's blessing in humility—perhaps humiliation—lest they come under the impression that are to receive the land based on merit. God kept God's promises, and you, the people, did not. But there is sense that Moses' message is not just about the past, but also a warning and promise to the future. God will continue to keep God's promises. But unless the people walk in humility and an awareness of God's gracious provision, they are doomed to break their covenant with God again and again to their own detriment. The antidote to this fatalism, Moses believes, is a clear-eyed remembrance by the people of their true nature, not of righteousness, but of sin.
Often, when we walk into blessings in our lives—times of plenty or of good fortune—there is a temptation to be self-satisfied. We have received good because we are good. But Moses in this passage urges the people, and us, to remember our real selves. This way we can walk humbly into God's calling.
There is suffering galore in the pages to come among the people. But even amid the many set backs, God is pushing the people to their new home nonetheless, drawing them through the muck and mire to a promised land, no matter their deservedness. I suppose to truly know and enjoy God's blessing, we must know ourselves as we are—as sinners. Here the brilliance of God's grace shines brightly in us and becomes our light and salvation. The people of Israel, like us, are offered a better place. Not because we are good, but because God is.