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In the continuation of Moses' Sermon, the man of GOD, in this chapter, makes a beautiful digression from complaining, as in the former chapter, of Israel's rebellion, to remark in this the unmerited examples of the LORD'S mercy. He points out some evidences of it in restoring the tables; continuing the priesthood; separating the tribe of Levi; and regarding Moses' intercession for them. He takes occasion, from all these things, in the close of the chapter to exhort them to obedience.
Reader! how hath the LORD undertaken to enforce the observance of his precepts now. Consult the promise of GOD by the prophet, and then look into your own heart, and see whether that you yourself are an instance of its truth: for this is the great object of enquiry after all: hath the LORD indeed, by his HOLY SPIRIT, written his law in your heart? Jeremiah 31:31-34 , compared with the apostles comment upon the passage, Hebrews 8:8-12 .
No doubt Moses obeyed the command, and hewed the tables. It is not a strained idea to observe, that hewing the stone might have a figurative reference to the conviction of the SPIRIT on the heart of stone; and putting them into the ark, might be symbolical of bringing a soul, under the effects of a broken and contrite spirit to JESUS. Dearest JESUS! it is in thee, and in thy person, poor sinners find a refuge from every storm, and a covert from every tempest.
It is GOD'S writing, and that is the best authority. The same as was before, for nothing can be added to it, or taken from it: and when the Son of GOD came, he made no alteration in it. He fulfilled indeed the whole in his righteous person: but suffered not a jot, or tittle of the law to fail. Matthew 5:17-18 .
May it not be said both of the law and of the gospel, there it is. And as a fulfilled law, in the person of JESUS, was pointed at in this: may not believers say, when looking unto JESUS, there it is, in his sacred person, ratified and confirmed. There stands the sinner's surety: the law-satisfying, the law answering sponsor of his people. And the prophet had it in commission to describe him as having finished transgression, and brought in an everlasting righteousness. Daniel 9:24 .
This is an historical part, introduced in the midst of Moses' sermon. On what account is not said: but it forms an interesting part, to intimate the progress of Israel's history. See Numbers 33:31-33 . For an interesting account of Aaron's death, see Numbers 20:23-29 .
In the gospel church all true believers are set apart, and are made kings and priests unto GOD and the FATHER. Revelation 1:6 . Reader! is the LORD your inheritance? Can you say as David, Psalms 16:5 ?
Moses dwells much upon this circumstance of his intercession and his success. Is it not intended by the HOLY GHOST, to remind the Reader, again and again, of the intercession of JESUS? Hebrews 7:25 .
It is beautiful to observe in how many instances Moses was a type of CHRIST. Here he is represented as going before his people. Exodus 23:23 .
Nothing can be more persuasive than the address which Moses makes from what he had said before, to prevail upon Israel to the love of GOD. It is a highly finished exhortation and truly pathetic. Observe, the man of GOD makes the whole sum and substance of our duty to GOD, to consist in fearing the LORD, walking in his ways, loving him, serving him, and keeping his commandments. But who is sufficient for these things? Alas! in ourselves we have not power of ourselves to help ourselves, and all our sufficiency is of GOD. But is not the precept designed to act as our schoolmaster to bring us unto CHRIST? Here again, adored Redeemer, as in all other cases, so in this, thou art our strength, and our sufficiency. United to thee, in thy righteousness we are accepted; and in thy fear and love we shall live, go up and down in thy name, and walk humbly with our GOD. Micah 6:8 .
It is very precious to trace all mercies to their source. The infinite greatness of GOD, and the infinite littleness of man, are in these verses most suitably brought together, by way of demonstrating, to the full, the wonderful properties of distinguishing grace. Nothing but distinguishing grace can be the cause assigned for GOD'S mercy. The love of GOD is the source, the first, the predisposing, the original, and only cause. The blood of JESUS, the price given for the purchase; and the HOLY SPIRIT, the whole cause of application. Reader! dwell upon that very sweet expression only; the LORD'S delight, his pleasure, his will, is the cause of my happiness. This will be to give GOD the glory, and bring heartfelt comfort to the soul.
Paul explains the gospel circumcision, to which the Jewish rite all along had a reference, see Romans 2:29 ; Colossians 2:11 ; Galatians 6:15 .
What a sublime representation is here given, in the compass of a short verse, of the greatness of JEHOVAH. And what a sweet relief is it to the mind of the faithful, when at anytime they are overpowered with the greatness of the GODHEAD, to call to mind that we are not only permitted to look up, but to draw near, through him who is our way, and truth, and life. Blessed JESUS! thou day's-man of thy people! may I through thee draw near at all times, to a gracious GOD and FATHER in JESUS. Ephesians 2:18 .
This is a most charming precept, and comes home to the heart of every poor Gentile who was once afar off, and indeed a stranger to GOD and CHRIST; but is now no more a stranger and foreigner, but a fellow - citizen with the saints, and of the household of GOD. Ephesians 2:19-20 .
What is cleaving to the LORD, in New Testament language, but being joined to the LORD in one spirit? 1 Corinthians 6:17 .
Jacob's whole house and family were no more: Exodus 1:5 . See how GOD'S promise was fulfilled, Genesis 15:5 , compared with Numbers 1:46 .
THINK, my soul, from the perusal of this Chapter, what a gracious GOD thou hast to do with, who when thou hadst broken both tables of the commandment, hath graciously condescended to furnish thee afresh: and hath put his written law, as a covenant, ratified and fulfilled in the person of his dear SON, in the ark of mercy, as an everlasting security for thy perfect obedience. And think again, with heartfelt thankfulness and praise, that in thy glorious Surety and Representative, all that the LORD thy GOD requireth of thee be hath answered. JESUS is indeed the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.
Blessed SPIRIT! do thou circumcise my heart, and cause me to be no more stiff-necked. Unless purified by thee, and preserved by thy sin-subduing influence, what am I but a mass of corruption, and still remaining in the uncircumcision of carnal nature? Oh! for thy purifying, preserving, and renewing influences, that being called out of the state of a stranger in Egypt, as all my fathers were, I may be found among the number of the children of GOD, and my lot may be among the saints!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 10". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19