In order to understand that verse and to answer your questions, we need to understand the verses that precede it. We will break this down by quoting certain passages accompanied by brief comments. By the time we get to verse 18 the meaning should be crystal-clear.

Verses 1-4: “Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and GO IN AND POSSESS THE LAND of which the LORD swore to your fathers. And you shall remember that the LORD YOUR GOD LED YOU ALL THE WAY these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, ALLOWED YOU TO HUNGER, AND FED YOU WITH MANNA which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. YOUR GARMENTS DID NOT WEAR OUT ON YOU, nor did your foot swell these forty years” (NKJV). In short, before the children of Israel were to possess the Promised Land, they must always remember how it was God alone Who had provided for their every need for their 40-year journey through the wilderness.

Verses 7-9: “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs…of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; A LAND IN WHICH YOU WILL EAT BREAD WITHOUT SCARCITY, IN WHICH YOU WILL LACK NOTHING.” God was going to continue to provide for their every need in the “good land” with blessings that far exceeded the blessings they experienced in the wilderness.

Verses 10-17: “When you have eaten and are full, then YOU SHALL BLESS THE LORD YOUR GOD FOR THE GOOD LAND WHICH HE HAS GIVEN YOU. Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments…lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when you HEART IS LIFTED UP, AND YOU FORGET THE LORD YOUR GOD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through the great and terrible wilderness…who FED YOU IN THE WILDERNESS WITH MANNA…then you say in your heart, ‘MY POWER AND THE MIGHT OF MY HAND HAVE GAINED ME THIS WEALTH.” The people are exhorted to bless the Lord when they are full of the Lord’s blessings for when they cease praising Him there is a tendency to FORGET that every blessing they have is from the Lord. Forgetfulness leads to pride and actually believing they acquired these blessings by their own “power and might.”

Verse 18: “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Once again the children of Israel are exhorted to “remember the LORD your God” for He alone “gives you power to get wealth.” They may pride themselves on their natural abilities to make a living and to acquire wealth, but who gave them those abilities? The fact is the land they entered was already “filled with wealth” and all they needed to do was “possess the land,” as we are told in Joshua 1:2-3, “Arise, go over this Jordan…to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” This “land, flowing with milk and honey” (see Exodus 3:17) was a GIFT FROM GOD! They were simply to keep in mind that it was God’s grace that provided for their every need and to bless Him for it. If they failed to do this, they would be destroyed, as we see next.

Verses 19-20: “Then it shall be, if you by any means FORGET THE LORD YOUR GOD, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that YOU SHALL SURELY PERISH. As the nations which the LORD destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the LORD you God.” God loved His people, but if they FORGET HIM and went gave their hearts to “other gods,” He would have to discipline them in His holiness.

In closing, what is the lesson for God’s people (those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and have become children of God) today? Ah, we too must never forget that every blessing we have is due to the pure GRACE OF GOD. He saved us by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9); He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings by His grace (Ephesians 1:3); He provides us with temporal blessings by His grace (Matthew 6:25-34);  and He has provided a heavenly home for us where we will live for all eternity (John 14:2-3 and 1st Peter 1:3-4). If we forget our gracious God and Father, and that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17), we too will surely become proud and go after “other gods.” If we do, our heavenly Father will have to discipline us because He loves us and because He is holy (see 1st Corinthians 11:30-32; Hebrews 12:6; 1st Peter 4:17a).  (391.1)  (DO)