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The subject of the divine laws is continued through this Chapter. Moses under GOD'S authority, points out the unblemished state required of the animals to be offered in sacrifice; of the punishment of idolaters: of controversies in judgment: of the election of a king; and of special duties required of him.
I hope the Reader will not overlook, in the frequent notice which he must have made in the several parts of Moses' writings, concerning the unblemished state of the animals to be offered in sacrifice, how exceedingly concerned the HOLY GHOST was, to direct the view of Israel to JESUS, the Lamb without blemish and without spot. For as all the sacrifices of the Jews were types of him, nothing can be more pointed than this one feature. Oh my soul, may it be never thy lot, to offer the blind and the lame in sacrifice! Malachi 1:8 .
Observe, how tenacious the LORD GOD was of his people's faithfulness, and how exemplary the punishment of idolatry. Oh! that many in the present hour, who are tempting the Israel of GOD by apostacy, would lay this to heart. 2 Timothy 3:6 .
The apostle Paul from the case of the presumptuous man here noticed, takes occasion to draw a very striking inference in his Epistle to the Hebrews, in those who tread underfoot the SON of GOD, and count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and are guilty of doing despite to the SPIRIT of grace. When the law is thus spiritualized and explained by the gospel, and the apostle's authority in this instance certainly justifies its being done, it is very sweet and delightful. See Hebrews 10:28-29 .
GOD foreseeing what Israel would do, makes a provision for their conduct. But as GOD was their king, the very idea of desiring another was rebellious. See 1 Samuel 12:1-19 . Hosea 8:4 .
Reader! is there not somewhat here which hath an eye to JESUS? Is he not of our brethren? Is he not indeed our king? Zechariah 9:9 .
JESUS chose the humblest of animals when he rode triumphant to the temple. Matthew 21:5 .
Solomon's transgression of this precept cost him very dear. 1 Kings 11:1-3 .
Observe, it was not enough to have it written for him, he must do it with his own hand: and the highest honour be could arrive at, was the sacred employment here enjoined him. But this was not all. Writing it was not enough, he was to meditate therein. Reader! in how many families is the word of GOD a reproach, when the Bible is made to rest upon their shelves unused from day to day. Will not GOD'S word be a swift witness against such in the day of judgment? Blessed JESUS! may thy word dwell in my heart richly in all wisdom, and may it be my meditation all the day.
BLESSED JESUS! thou art the unblemished spotless offering of my soul, and while I desire of thine own, O my GOD, to bring the best and choicest offerings, in token that all I am, and all I have is thine: it is JESUS himself, my sin-offering, my only righteousness, with which I would come to thine altar. And oh! how sweet and lovely art thou dearest Redeemer, in all thy person, offices, and characters! In purity, in comeliness, thou art not only fairer than the children of men, for grace is poured into thy lips, but thou dost infinitely transcend the angels. And is it not on behalf of thy people that thou appearest to our view, and art presented by faith to our GOD in the everlasting righteousness of thy spotless purity and holiness? Dearest JESUS! be thou ever my sacrifice of a sweet smelling savor!
Blessed SPIRIT! help me to look up to thee in the perusal of this chapter, and seeing thou didst enjoin the king of Israel, to copy with his own hand the sacred word, and to read therein all the days of his life; Oh! give me grace to meditate therein day and night; and like thy servant of old, may I be enabled to say, "Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I may be occupied in thy words. LORD, make the law of thy mouth dearer to me than thousands of gold and silver."
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 17". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20