Deuteronomy 8

 

 

    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 Israel’s case a depth of meaning of

which the people knew little at the time, but which Israel’s God intended

from the first. Afterwards, their varied experiences, when reviewed as a

piece of history, became matter for grateful record and adoring praise.

 

  • THERE ARE MANY LESSONS WHICH GOD’S CHILDREN

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.

 

  • GOD ADOPTS VARIED METHODS OF TEACHING THESE

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 Egypt, that so long a period intervened

between them and Canaan, they would scarcely have set out. And if

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;

Revelation 3:19).

 

  • THERE IS A REASON INDICATED HERE WHY GOD TAKES

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 reversedrescued, 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!”

 

  • IF GOD CARES SO MUCH TO TRAIN, WE SHOULD

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

GalileE and Lake Haleh. Palestine is in the present day, on the whole, well

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 Egypt

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;” -Palestine has been celebrated in all ages for

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 Palestine, and

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

(dbash) 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

abound in Palestine; the hills are for the most part calcareous; but by the side

of the limestone in the north of Canaan ferruginous basalt appears in large

masses, and on Lebanon ironstone abounds. Near Tiberius are springs

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 Lebanon (cf. art. ‘Metals,’ in Kitto

and Smith; Ritter, ‘Geography of Palestine,’ 1:248). The Israelites,

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.”

 

  • NATURE’S WEALTH COMETH FROM THE LORD OUR GOD.

“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 land of Egypt, from the house

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

wealth.”

 

 

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 kingdom of God

(I Corinthians 15:50; John 3:3,5)

 

  • Wealth breeds self-sufficient pride. It serves to weaken our sense of

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 kingdom of God!”

(Mark 10:24).  (See Proverbs 30:7-9)  In the hot-bed of riches, the flower

of sweet humility does not thrive.

 

  • Wealth loses sight of its own origin. It has a short memory for

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.

 

  • Riches tend towards idolatry. In the days of poverty we did not object

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

stem it.

 

  • Justice, with her balances and sword, is always nigh. NO MAN CAN

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

commenced, and Israel had come through the desert to the border of Canaan

(see ch. 4:20).

 

  • THE BENEFICENT EFFECTS OF A MEMORY DEVOUTLY

EXERCISED.

 

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 Gods 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).

 

  • IT IS THE REVERSE OF THAT WHICH GOD DESIGNED. (v.16.)

In the attempt to take the credit to themselves of their own prosperity, God’s

own intent in their life-history is being reversed.

 

  • THIS WILL SOONER OR LATER BRING HUMILIATION AND

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)

 

This unholy INDEPENDENCE OF SPIRIT  is the SURE PRELUDE OF

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.

They should be a warning to Israel and TO US!  Living without God in the world,

depending on themselves, they were about to be removed violently from their ancestral

seats. It was so afterwards with Israel. They were as a nation effaced from the land

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

OF GOD!

 

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

GLORY!

 

 

"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.

Materials are reproduced by permission."

 

This material can be found at:

http://www.adultbibleclass.com

 

If this exposition is helpful, please share with others.