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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Deuteronomy 10

Verses 1-22

The Test of National Prosperity

Deuteronomy 10:12

The Old Testament is concerned with tribes and nations rather than with individuals. The Law of Moses deals with Israel collectively as a whole. The prophets utter their burdens of doom not against evil persons, but against wicked kingdoms like Babylon, and Moab, and Egypt, and their great messages of hope and warning and consolation are addressed to Judah or Jerusalem rather than any single Jew. In this sense it is true that no Scripture is merely of private interpretation. Redemption includes the race, or else it could not embrace the individual. The Gospel claims all mankind just as definitely as it appeals to you and me.

I. Recently Englishmen have been stirred up to discuss with new eagerness the problem of our national prosperity. Are we really prosperous? How can we safeguard and develop our mercantile success? What is the secret of its continuance and its expansion? The air is thick with controversy over such questions as these. Yet the answers given are confined for the most part to material considerations. At such a time we need more than ever to remind ourselves how the Bible tests and measures prosperity. If the Old Testament applies to individuals as well as to nations, the New Testament is true for nations as well as for individuals. A nation's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which it possesseth, nor in the extent of the empire which it rules. What shall it profit a nation if it gain the whole world and lose its own soul.

II. Let us be very certain that personal vices, however common and popular they become, can never be transmuted into public virtues. The same conduct which ruins an individual will in the long run wreck & state. To oppress and plunder the poor is equally accursed, whether it be perpetrated by a crowned tyrant, or carried out quietly under legal forms by a trust or a syndicate, a trade corporation or a vested interest.

III. The seal of a people's unity is a sense of the Divine calling and election. It remains true in England, as it was in Israel, that a covenant with God is the one sure ground of all covenants between man and man. National sincerity and veracity are bred in a people in proportion as they recognize the judgments and the mercies of the God of truth. National loyalty depends at last on common faithfulness to our immortal and invisible King.

T. H. Darlow, The Upward Galling, p. 220.

God's Requirements

Deuteronomy 10:12

The vastness of God's requirements makes the despair of the morning of the Christian life, but it is the sure hope of its noon. Had He required less, this life could not be eternal. 'It is a prejudicial but too common error among Christians,' said Pascal, in a letter to Madame Perier, 'and even among those who make a profession of piety, to believe that there is a measure of perfection sufficient for safety, beyond which it is not necessary to aspire. It is an absolute evil to stop at any such point, and we shall assuredly fall below it if we aim not to advance higher and higher.'

References. X. 12. H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, Sunday Lessons for Daily Life, p. 76. X. 14-16. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi. No. 303. X. 16. J. Keble, Sermons for Christmas to Epiphany, p. 193. XI. 10-12. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii. p. 58. XI. 12. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii. p. 728. XI. 18. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 2580. XI. 19. T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. iii. p. 131. XI. 21. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 326. XI. 26-28. J. S. Boone, Sermons, p. 155. XII. 8, 9. Sermons for Ascension Day to Trinity Sunday, p. 53.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 10". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/deuteronomy-10.html. 1910.