FURTHER EXHORTATION TO OBEDIENCE, ENFORCED BY A
REVIEW OF GOD’S DEALINGS WITH ISRAEL IN THE
WILDERNESS (vs. 1-20)
That they might be induced the more faithfully to observe all the commandments
which had been enjoined upon them so as to go on and prosper, they are called to
remember the experiences of the forty years in the wilderness, when God guided
them and disciplined them for their good. He humbled them that He might test
the state of their heart and affections towards Him, using the distress and
privations to which they were subjected as means of bringing out what was in
them, and of leading them to feel their entire dependence on Him for help,
sustenance, and guidance. Not only by commands difficult to be obeyed laid
on men, and by mighty works done in their view, does God prove men
(compare Genesis 22:1-14; Exodus 15:25; 20:20); but also by afflictions and
calamities (Judges 2:22; 3:4; Psalm 17:3; 81:7), as well as by benefits (Exodus
16:4). Humbled so as to see his own weakness, chastised out of all self-conceit
by affliction, man is brought to submit to God, to hear and obey Him; and
along with this the experience of God’s goodness tends to draw men, in grateful
acknowledgment of His mercy and bounty, to yield themselves to Him and
sincerely and lovingly to serve Him (Romans 2:4).
1 “All the commandments 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 the LORD swear unto your fathers. 2 And thou shalt
remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years
in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in
thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”
God’s dealings with the Israelites were disciplinary. Both by
the afflictions and privations to which they were subjected, and by the
provision they received and the protection afforded to them, God sought to
bring them into and keep them in a right state of mind towards Him — a
state of humble dependence, submissive obedience, and hopeful trust. But
that this effect should be produced, it was needful that they should mark
and remember all His ways towards them.
3 “And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger,” - God humbled the
Israelites by leaving them to suffer hunger from the want of food, and then
supplying them with food in a miraculous manner. They were thus taught that
their life depended WHOLLY ON GOD who could, by His own creative power,
without any of the ordinary means, provide for the sustaining of their life. (He
is El Shaddai – I recommend Genesis 17 - Names of God – El Shaddai by
Nathan Stone – this web site – CY – 2012) - “and fed thee with manna,” -
(compare Exodus 16:15). It is in vain to seek to identify this with any natural
product. It was something entirely new to the Israelites — a thing which
neither they nor their fathers knew; truly bread from heaven, and which got
from them the name of manna or man, because, in their wondering
ignorance, they knew not what to call it, and so they said one to another,
Man hoo? (aWh ˆm;), What is it? and thenceforward called it man - “which
thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee
know that man doth not live by bread only,” - “Bread,” which the Jews
regarded as “the staff of life,” stands here, as in other places, for food generally;
and the lesson taught the Israelites was that not in one way or by one kind of
means alone could life be sustained, but in the absence of these GOD COULD
BY HIS OWN FIAT, PROVIDE FOR THE SUSTENANCE OF HIS OWN
CHILDREN - — “but by every word” – literally, all, everything whatever
“that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” - i.e. all means
which God has by His word provided, or by His word can provide, for the
sustenance of life. So our Lord cites this passage in replying to the tempter,
who had suggested that if He was the Son of God He might relieve Himself
from the pangs of hunger by commanding the stones which lay around to
become bread. Our Lord’s reply to this is virtually “I have this power, and
could use it, but I will not; for this would imply impatience and distrust of
God, who has engaged to sustain the life of His servants, and who can,
by the mere word of His mouth, by His creative will, provide in an
extraordinary way for the sustenance of life when the ordinary means of life
are wanting.” “Jesus means to say, ‘ I leave it with God to care for the
sustaining of my life, and I will not arbitrarily and for selfish ends help
myself by a miracle’” (De Wette, note on Matthew 4:4).
The main purpose why the Hebrews had been fed for forty years on manna was
to demonstrate that our well-being is not dependent on material things. Man lives
not by bread, but by the Divine word. Even bread itself is a product of God’s word.
All the processes of mastication, digestion, assimilation, are the effects of
DIVINE COMMAND. Our entire life is nourished by the word of God. Practical
obedience is to the soul’s life what digestion is to the life of the body. “My meat and
drink is to do the will of my Father in heaven.” (John 4:24)
4 “Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell,
these forty years.” As the manna furnished by God’s creative power saved
them from hunger, so by God’s providence and care their raiment was
marvelously kept from decay, and they had not to go barefoot from their
sandals being worn out. Waxed not old upon thee; literally, did not fall
away, waste away from upon thee. This cannot mean that such was the
abundant supply of raiment to the Israelites in the Arabian desert, that there
was no need for them to wear garments rent and tattered from long use, as
they had large flocks and herds whence a sufficient supply of wool and
leather could be obtained, and there were among them skilled artificers, by
whom these could be made into articles of clothing. This were something too
insignificant beside the miraculous manna; and besides, this does not lie in
the expression, which rather intimates that the clothes upon them were not
worn out nor fell from them in rags, because God gave them a marvelous
durability. At the same time, there is no reason to suppose that the
Israelites did not make use of such supplies as were within their reach for
purposes of clothing, any more than that they lived only on manna during
the forty years of their wandering. Still less need we resort to such fanciful
suppositions as that the garments of the Israelitish children expanded as
they grew up, like the shells of snails — which is the notion of some of the
Jewish rabbins, and adopted by some of the Christian Fathers. Neither did
thy foot swell. The verb here is found in only one other passage (Nehemiah
9:21), where this passage is repeated; and the meaning is doubtful. The
Septuagint renders here by ejtulw>qhsan, etulothaesan - became callous;
but in Nehemiah the rendering they give is dierra>ghsan – dierragaesan –
were torn -the object torn being, according to the Codex Vaticanus - po>dev –
podes auton - their feet, - according to the Codex Alexandrinus - ta<
uJpodh>mata - ta hupodaemata auton - their sandals. In ch. 29:5, the shoe
or sandal is specially mentioned in the same connection as here. The verb,
however, cannot mean tear or torn, neither does it mean swell; the idea
involved is rather that of softening, or , melting or flowing; and the
meaning here seems to be, “Thy foot did not get into a bruised and
wounded state” — which would have been the case had their sandals not
been preserved from breaking or being worn out.
5 “Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth
his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.” Thus God educated,
disciplined, and trained His people as a father does his child. Chasteneth.
The idea is not so much that of punishment or chastisement, properly so called,
as that of severe discipline and training. God made them feel His hand upon
them, but ever for their good; the end of the discipline to which they were
subjected was that they might keep His commandments and walk in His ways,
so as to enjoy His favor (compare Hebrews 12:5-8).
6 “Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy
God, to walk in His ways, and to fear Him.”
God deals with us according to His infinite wisdom and love. Let us make
more of the lessons of this wilderness journey than ever, and go on in the
strength of God towards the everlasting home, profiting by His chastisements
on the way!
Looking Back on Life (vs. 1-6)
Two words would sum up the pith of their experience — “redemption,” and
“training.” Redeemed first, trained afterwards. Redeemed, that they might
be trained; trained, that they might become worthy of the redemption. Both
the redemption and the training had in
which the people knew little at the time, but which
from the first. Afterwards, their varied experiences, when reviewed as a
piece of history, became matter for grateful record and adoring praise.
NEED TO LEARN.
Ø “To humble thee” (v. 2), i.e. to bring them to feel their dependence on
God. This, indeed, seems such an obvious truth, that men ought not to
need to be taught it. But we must remember that, before we are
redeemed, our training for eternity has never begun at all, and that
when redemption is with us a realized fact, we then present ourselves
to God only in the rough, relying on His love to make us what we
should be. One of the lessons we have thoroughly to learn is that
“without Christ we can do nothing.”
Ø “To prove thee” (Ibid). A double proof is indicated:
o What they were: “To know what was in thine heart.”
o What they would do: “Whether thou wouldest keep His
commandments, or no.”
There is no subject on which the young convert is so ignorant as —
himself; and he never can become what a Christian should be till he
sees his own conceit. He must become a sadder man ere he can be
a wiser one!
Ø “That he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread
alone.” (Ibid.) We know that with these words our Savior repelled
one assault of the tempter (Matthew 4:3-4). Jesus’ reply is, in effect,
“Man has a double life, not only that of the body, but also that of the
spirit; you ask me to nourish the lower at the expense of the higher —
to get food for the body by a negation of the self-sacrifice for which I
came. It is not bread alone which sustains the man. He has a higher
self, which lives on higher food, and I cannot pamper the lower at the
cost of the prostration of the higher.” Now, with such light thrown on
the passage by our Lord, we are led to regard the words of Moses as
referring not only to the supply of food, but rather to the entire
discipline in the wilderness, as intended by God to bring out to the
people the reality and worth of the nobler part of man. Our God cares
more for growth of soul than for comfort of body. His aim is not only
to find us food, but to train us for Himself.
NEEDED LESSONS. The clauses in the paragraph indicate these.
Ø There was “the way” by which they were led. It was not given to Israel
to choose it. It was not the shortest way. It was “the right” way
appointed by God.
Ø The method of sending supplies: “Day by day the manna fell.” They
were thus taught to live by the day.
Ø The disappointments they met: “These forty years.” If they had been
told, when they set out from
between them and
God were to unveil to us the incidents of coming years, we could not
bear the sight. (He has mercifully kept these things hidden from our
sight – CY – 2012)
Ø The wants they felt: “He suffered thee to hunger.” God sometimes
lets His people feel how completely they are shut up to Him.
Ø Yet there were constant proofs of thoughtful care (v. 4). God so
provided for their wants that they needed not to wear tattered
garments, nor to injure their feet by walking without shoes or sandals.
Ø There was also chastening (v. 5). This word includes not only
correction but all that belongs to the training of a child (Hebrews
12:7-11; II Samuel 7:14; Psalm 89:32; Job 7:17-18; Proverbs 3:11-12;
SO MUCH PAINS TO TEACH THESE LESSONS. (v. 5 - “As a man
chasteneth his son.” Israel was God’s son, even His firstborn. Believers are
the adopted children of God; hence the greatness of their destiny, and the
earnestness of their Leader in training them for it. It may be said, indeed,
by an unbeliever, “I have all these changes in life, but they are not training
me!” No, because the one condition is wanting under which all these come
to be a training — SONSHIP! This order is never reversed — rescued, then
educated. If men HAVE NOT KNOWN THE FIRST, THEY CANNOT
UNDERSTAND THE SECOND! Jesus said, “EXCEPT A MAN BE
BORN AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!”
CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHAT HIS TRAINING MEANS
(vs. 2, 5). Let us understand what a high moral and spiritual aim God has
in the future for this life of ours! For eternity we are meant, and for
eternity we should live. God hath “set the world (eternity) in the
heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Ø Let it be the supreme desire to let life become what God wants it to be
— a continuous advance in preparation for heaven. This is of more
consequence than all the ease and comfort in the world.
Ø Let us recognize and praise the kindness of God in giving men these
checkered experiences of life, IF WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND
GOD’S WAYS AT THE TIME, WE SHALL IN THE END!
Ø Our faith in God even in youth should be such as to lead
us to say, “Father, my supreme desire is to grow like thee, and
to live with thee. I know not by what paths I need to be led, nor
through what discipline I need to be brought, to bring about this end.
I leave all in thy gracious hands, desiring that thine infinite wisdom
and love should order all things for me. Here I am. Take me as I am,
all guilty and defiled. Make me what I should be; and if by thy grace
I am ripened for and led to Heaven, then will I sing, “BLESSING
AND HONOR AND GLORY, AND POWER, TO HIM WHICH
SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND TO THE LAMB, FOR
EVER AND EVER!” (Revelation 5:13)
The land on which they were about to enter is now described as a good land,
fertile and well watered, and yielding abundant produce to its cultivators; and
they are cautioned against forgetting, in their enjoyment of the gift,
THE BOUNTY OF THE GIVER or congratulating themselves on having
achieved the conquest of such a land, instead of gratefully acknowledging
the grace which had sustained them during their protracted wandering in
the wilderness, and BY WHICH ALONE they had been enabled to take
possession of that favored land.
7 “For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks
of water,” - running streams, mountain torrents, and watercourses in the narrow
valleys or wadys; fountains, perennial springs; - “of fountains and depths” –
“the fathomless pools from which such streams as the Abana (now
Barada), near Damascus, spring up full-grown rivers, almost as broad at
their sources as at their mouths” (Condor, ‘Handbook to the Bible,’ p.
214), or this may include also the inland seas or lakes, such as the sea of
supplied with water, though the distribution is very unequal, many parts
being almost wholly destitute of supply, except from what may be collected
from rain in tanks or cisterns; and there is no reason to suppose it was
different in the ancient times. As compared, however, with the desert to
which the Israelites had been so long accustomed, and even with
from which they had escaped, the country on which they were about to
enter was well watered - “ that spring out of valleys and hills;”
8 “A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates;
a land of oil olive, and honey;” - “
three products: corn, wine, and oil, which still continue to be its most valuable
crops” (Ibid., p. 189). The principal corn crops were wheat and barley. The vine
was largely and carefully cultivated; the olive required little cultivation,
being almost a spontaneous growth, and forming one of the most valuable
productions of the country; the fig was also indigenous in
still grows there, both wild and cultivated, in abundance; that the
pomegranate (firemen) also was very abundant may be inferred from the
number of places named from this. Honey. The word so rendered
(d’bash) is used both of the honey of bees (Leviticus 2:11; I Samuel 14:26;
Psalm 81:16; Proverbs 16:24), and of the honey of grapes, a syrup obtained by
boiling down the newly expressed juice of the grape to a half or third part of
its bulk, and still known among the Arabs by the name of dibs (Robinson,
‘Bib. Res.,’ it. p. 442; Smith, Bib. Dict.,’ s.v. ‘Honey’). In the wilderness,
the people had murmured that they had been brought into an evil place, no
place of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; and where there was no water
to drink (Numbers 20:5). Moses here tells them that the land they were about
to occupy was not such a place, but one abounding in all those things of
which they had found the wilderness so destitute.
9 “A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt
not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron,” – Minerals do not
the limestone in the north of
masses, and on
largely impregnated with iron, as are also those at Has-beija, on the
Hermon range, as well as the soil around that place. Traces of extinct
copper works are also to be found on
Smith; Ritter, ‘Geography of
however, do not seem to have carried on mining operations themselves,
but to have been content to obtain supplies of the useful metals from their
neighbors (II Samuel 8:8; I Chronicles 18:8; 22:3, 14) - “and out of
whose hills thou mayest dig brass.”
“Our God.” He is not an “Unknown.” We may not set up an altar,
J Agnw>stw| Qew~| - agnosto (from this comes our word “agnostic”) Theo –
unknown God - We know Him as a redeeming God, as One who delights
to exercise loving-kindness, righteousness, and judgment in the earth.
And since God is revealed to us in Christ, we learn thereby that the long
preparations of earth have been going on with a view of setting up
on it the new creations of redeeming grace. This is “the hidden wisdom,
which God ordained before the world, unto our glory.” (I Corinthians
2:7). Oh, the boundless meaning of the expression, “THE LAMB SLAIN
BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD!” (Revelation 13:8)
(That is when the Plan of Salvation was ordained – CY – 2012) We read
that God wills to have on this globe a ransomed people, ours, therefore, may
well be the jubilant praise of redeemed men. We are not here merely to enjoy
this world and then to know no other, but to enjoy this world as A STEPPING
STONE TO ANOTHER. Hence ours should be the triumphant shout of men
with a glorious destiny ahead, and of those who use this world so as to help them
to a better.
10 “When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD
thy God” – From this place the Jews have made it a general rule, or, as they call it,
an affirmative precept, that every one bless God at their meals, that is, give Him
thanks for His benefits; for He blesses us when He bestows good things on us, and
we bless Him when we thankfully acknowledge His goodness therein - “for the
good land which He hath given thee.”
In vs. 7-10, a land of exhaustless plenty is described but it is nowhere close to
what heaven will be to us! “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying,
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them,
and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and
be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and
there shall be no more death, neither shall there be any more crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed
away.” (Revelation 21:3-4)
11 “ Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping His
commandments, and His judgments, and His statutes, which I command thee
this day: 12 Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly
houses, and dwelt therein; 13 And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply,
and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied;
14 Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God,
which brought thee forth out of the
of bondage;” Wealth is apt to engender in the possessor of it a spirit of
self-gratulation and pride, and abundance of good things to induce men to
be luxurious, “to trust in uncertain riches” (I Timothy 6:17), and to be forgetful
of the bounteous hand from which all that they enjoy has come. Against this the
people are here cautioned and warned.
15 “Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein
were fiery serpents,” - “The fiery serpent” and “the scorpion”
(sing.) are in apposition to the “wilderness,” and illustrate its terribleness.
Fiery serpents or burning serpents, so called from the burning pain caused by
their bite; probably the cerastes, or one of the naja species (compare Numbers
21:6). “and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought
thee forth water out of the rock of flint;”
16 “Who 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;” The grand end of all God’s dealings with
the Israelites in the desert, both the trials to which they were subjected and
the benefits they received, was that he might do them good ultimately.
Thy latter end; not the end of life, as in Numbers 23:10, but the state ensuing on
the termination of their period of discipline and probation in the desert (compare
Job 8:7; 42:12; II Peter 2:20). God thus dealt with the Israelites as
He still deals with His people; He afflicts them not for His pleasure but for
their profit (Hebrews 12:10-11); He subjects them to trial and varied discipline
that He may fit them for the rest and joy that in the end are to be theirs.
17 “And thou say in thine heart,” - The blessing in store for them was God’s
free gift to them; and when they came to enjoy it they were not to allow
themselves to say in their heart, i.e. to think or imagine, that the prosperous
condition in which they were placed was the result of their own exertions; they
were to ascribe all to God’s gracious bounty, for from Him had come the power
by which prosperity had been gained, and this He had given, not on account
of any merit in them, but that He might fulfill His covenant engagements to
their fathers - “My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this
The Dangers of Wealth (v. 17)
Wealth often leads to fleshly indulgence. With abundance in our possession, it is easier
to indulge the appetites than to deny them. Yet the higher life can only be developed
at the expense of the lower. “Flesh
and blood cannot inherit the
(I Corinthians 15:50; John 3:3,5)
dependence upon God. When from our visible stores every felt need can be
supplied, we are prone to forget the unseen Giver. Most men may well
thank God that the temptations of wealth dwell not under their roofs.
“How hardly shall
they that have riches enter into the
(Mark 10:24). (See Proverbs 30:7-9) In the hot-bed of riches, the flower
of sweet humility does not thrive.
obligations. The millionaire soon forgets the days of poverty and struggle
— forgets the Friend who succored him in his extremity — kicks away the
ladder by which he rose. Riches naturally encumber and stifle the flame
of religious feeling.
to be stand alone; but in the time of wealth we aspire to do as others do.
It is arduous to have to think for one’s self, to rely upon one’s
own judgments, to pursue a course which men will ridicule. If others bow
down to their own net, or rear a popular idol, we too must bow down and
worship it. Wealth has given us prominence, set us on high, and we must
not risk our new reputation. It is easier to drift with the stream than to
DEFRAUD GOD! If the Amorites were thrust out from the land because
They had become flagrant idolaters, so also shall the Israelites if they become
votaries of idols. As the Hebrews conquered the Canaanites, so did the
Assyrians vanquish the Hebrews. One law shall prevail for all. If we have
not been overwhelmed in one disaster, we may be overtaken suddenly by
another minister of justice. Sin shall bear its own proper fruit. Every nation
and every individual shall like Judas, “go to his own place” (Acts 1:25).
From the summit of earthly magnificence to the lowest pit of misery, there is
often a single step. Riches make a slippery descent to ruin.
Wealth has so subtle and ensnaring an influence, it draws the affections so stealthily away
From God, that no temptation is to be compared with it in point of insidiousness. It
brings a threefold danger:
o Undue elation of heart.
o Forgetfulness of God.
o A spirit of self-sufficiency and self-glorification.
The preventive lies in the cultivation of a thankful spirit (v. 10), [Thanksgiving
strengthens faith, gives encouragement, enables us to pray with due submission to
God’s will, prepares us for the reception of the blessings that we seek. Without
thankfulness for past mercies, it is impossible to pray aright for future ones] and in
the recollection that the power to get wealth is not of ourselves, but from God (v. 18).
This is the root-error in the matter — stopping at second causes, putting nature
and nature’s laws, or our own wisdom, energy, and forethought, in place of Him
without whom we could not think a thought, move a muscle, or carry
through to completion one of our purposes. Best preventive of all is the laying
up of treasure in heaven; for, “where your treasure is, there will your heart
be also” (Matthew 6:19-21; Psalm 103:1-5).
18 “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is He that
giveth thee power to get wealth,” – Get wealth - lyij" hc;[;, to make strength,
to gather substance (Genesis 12:5), to procure wealth (Ruth 4:11, margin; Ezekiel
28:4) - “that He may establish His covenant which He swear unto thy fathers,
as it is this day.” - when the establishment of the covenant had already
(see ch. 4:20).
Ø Remembrance will excite gratitude. Our gratitude is largely deficient,
because we do not consider and reflect. if memory will fulfill her office well
in supplying fuel for the altar of the heart, the flame of love will burn with a
more constant glow.
Ø Remembrance of Divine favors will convince us that God’s interests
and ours are identical. It is the natural effect of sin to persuade us that
God is our enemy. We say, “Depart from us.” But, when we ponder the
proofs of God’s kindness, we yield to the evidence that He is a true Friend.
Experience teaches us that it is our interest to obey.
Ø Remembrance of past favors aids the operations of conscience. The
conscience becomes hard BEFORE IT BECOMES BLIND!
Whatever keeps alive feeling in the conscience benefits the whole man.
If there be light and life in a man’s conscience, he will resolutely say,
“I must not sin. I will fear God and keep His commandments.”
When we realize fully that our every step has been under God’s guidance,
that every good thing has come from our Father’s hand,(James 1:17)
and that every word of His is empowered to give us joyous life, —
then are we constrained to say, “All that the Lord commandeth us
will we do.”
(The philosophy of Secular Humanism has adopted a “religion of humanity”,
basically SELF-WORSHIP, as if humanity were to be praised for the
physical basis of its own existence in the 21st century. To this I say:
Charles Haddon Spurgeon in the 19th century said: “Find a thing that
has created itself? If you had no existence, how could you create
yourself? Nothing cannot produce anything! How can a man create
himself? A man cannot create himself into a new condition, when he,
himself has no being in that condition.” - CY – 2012) How ungrateful!
God gives us power to get wealth! (v. 18) – We owe all we have to His bounty,
and even the very breath we draw, to HIS UNCEASING CARE! How
mischievious! This attitude nurses pride, instead of fostering thankfulness.
It genders selfishness, it freezes benevolence, and will SURELY BREED
A COVETOUS, TYRANNOUS, HAUGHTY DISPOSITION (as we
are finding out in our national and international leadership as we gravitate
towards the ANTI-CHRIST AND A GLOBAL ECONOMY – CY – 2012).
In the attempt to take the credit to themselves of their own prosperity, God’s
own intent in their life-history is being reversed.
SUFFERING, (Proverbs 29:23.) Again and again does our Savior also
lay down this principle, that pride exposes to much shame (Matthew 23:12;
Luke 14:11; 18:14). It is not for us to say, in any individual case, in what
form the debasement or disappointment will come. BUT COME
IT WILL! It may be in one or more of the following ways:
Ø By the removal of the wealth which was gained, and a sudden plunge
from prosperity to adversity. It is sad when men have to PART WITH
ALL before they will learn that GOD GAVE ALL!
Ø By depriving men of any further power to attend to worldly concerns,
they may be driven to see their utter helplessness without God.
Ø By a searching stint with the spirit in the furnace of tribulation,
God may graciously burn up the pride, and purge away corruption. But
The process is a terrific one, even here. It is being saved, “yet so as
by fire.” (I Corinthians 3:13). It is only when God succeeds in “humbling”
us, that He can do us good “at the latter end.”
Ø If, after all warnings, teachings, and strivings, God’s voice is still
unheard, and pride still rears itself up against Him, He will reckon the
proud one as “the chaff which the wind driveth away” (Psalm 1:4).
19 “And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and
walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify
against you this day that ye shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which
the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would
not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.” Moses enforces his
counsel by reminding them again that only destruction awaited them should they
forget the Lord their God and apostatize from Him (compare ch.4:25; 6:14).
God Forgotten (vs. 19-20)
NATIONAL DECAY! It is not national “self-reliance” which serves a state,
BUT NATIONAL RELIANCE UPON GOD in the use of the means He has
appointed. Nations that think they can get on alone are left at length to do so, and
God-deserted they perish. The Canaanites were illustrating this in their own case.
should be a warning to
depending on themselves, they were about to be removed violently from their ancestral
seats. It was so afterwards
where they had been placed in probation. The captivity of the ten tribes was
terrible, and so was that of Judah and Benjamin. It is this which nations
must still guard against. (The days at the end of time will be chronicled and will
be read either in heaven or hell – CY – 2012) GOD WILL NOT BE IGNORED!
If nations attempt it, they only efface themselves. Dead and dying dynasties and
scattered nations PROCLAIM THE EXISTENCE AND RETRIBUTION
Our times are largely atheistic, because WE HAVE FORGOTTEN GOD and
our little knowledge of second causes affords such fussy occupation to us, that we
have not taste or time to see the FIRST CAUSE behind all and using all for HIS
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