Click to donate today!
This chapter is a continuation of Moses' sermon. It is full of memorials, in bringing to the people's recollection the events with which GOD had distinguished his mercy towards them, while passing the borders of the Edomites and Moabites; with the recapitulation of what referred to the of Israel's war with Sihon, King of the Amorites.
Many days indeed! The short distance from the Red Sea to Canaan, had the journey been direct, evidently proves, that the thirty-eight years of Israel's wilderness state, must have been at times very stationary. But, Reader, look at the history spiritually, and say, whether the wandering of the LORD'S Israel here, from their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage of sin and Satan, when they are first brought acquainted with the liberty in CHRIST JESUS, to the time they enter Canaan, is not of this kind? We occupy much the same spot; are moving up and down in much the same wilderness state; sometimes apparently nearer our homes, and sometimes further remote. Oh! how sweet is it to have the pillar of cloud, even JESUS, always going before us, and the rock, even JESUS himself, following of us through all the way.
It is a sweet lesson, spiritually considered, which the LORD'S people may read here. Mount Seir is a type of the earth, and all its carnal pursuits and pleasures. These hath the LORD given to the children of men. David saith, that the men of the world have their portion in this life, it is all they seek; and all they desire. Psalms 17:14 . In the common and necessary wants of life, the people of GOD are permitted to buy of them what they need, but no more. In all other matters that precept of the apostle holds good, and the observance of it carries with it its own reward; see 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 .
Reader, let me beg of you to read this verse again and again; and then see, whether the sweet expressions it contains can be discovered by you in your own experience. Dearest JESUS! dost thou indeed know all my walkings, and all my wanderings? and shall I strive, shall I even wish, to conceal anything from thee? No! my gracious and most compassionate GOD! I desire to fall before thee, under a deep sense that all I am, and all I have done, even my most secret sins, are in the light of thy countenance. Oh! how dear, how inconceivably dear to my, soul, under this view, is the assurance that in thee and thy covenant righteousness, is the only remedy for poor lost sinners such as I am. Reader, turn to that scripture, 1 John 1:7-9 .
Was not Esau, Jacob's brother? saith the LORD, Malachi 1:2 . Yes! he was. And doth GOD distinguish now between men that are brethren in nature, and form them without alliance in grace? Hath he done so by you, Reader? Pause over the enquiry. And while, like Moses and the people, you turn away, and pass from the borders of nature, learn to look up with increasing astonishment, wonder, and praise, every step you take at the distinguishing tokens of grace.
Evidently this precept was intended to teach the people of GOD then, and through them the people of GOD in all ages, not to love the world neither the things of the world. They who are set out for Canaan, are to have no objects to allure or lead them out of the way. Sweet is that account of the Patriarchs, Hebrews 11:13-16 .
The Emims, means the terrible ones. The most profitable instruction to be gathered from these verses will be, I think, to remark how often places change their masters. Nations, like individuals, succeed one another in the events of life. Of all as well as one, it may be truly said, here we have no continuing city.
Reader, remark with me in how little a compass Moses comprises the events of thirty-eight years. And is it not so now from the spiritual Kadish, of our entering into grace, until we come over the brook Zered, when we go down to the chambers of the grave, how short to look back, but how numerous the events contained in the passage. Dearest JESUS! thou wentest over the brook Kedron, just before thy precious death. John 18:1 .
The Reader should not overlook the mercies of GOD in providence over unawakened people, which these verses as well as the former ones in this chapter on the same subject record. Neither should he forget to remark, how the memory of the just is blessed in their children, ages after they are dead, as is here shown in the case of Lot. Neither should the pious Reader overlook the sweet instruction which those precepts hold forth, in Israel's being. tender to Moab, though Moab wished the ruin of Israel. Numbers 22:6 . What saith our dear Redeemer on this subject? See Matthew 5:44-45 .
Zamzummims, means designing crafty men.
The Caphtorims we have an account of, Genesis 10:14 .
Here the LORD begins to give Israel an earnest of his promises. But what a delightful subject is this, when realized to the true believer in JESUS: when after all the skirmishes, conflicts, and trials, through the wilderness, the LORD gives his people to see that they are more than conquerors, through his grace helping them. Oh! for the earnest of the SPIRIT, which brings the believing soul, through faith, into the very suburbs of heaven! 2 Corinthians 5:5 .
Some have thought, and perhaps not improperly, that the offers and proposals made to Sihon, are not unsimilar to the proclamation of peace in the gospel of JESUS. When men are brought under the preached word, and see the privileges and enjoyments of the LORD'S people, are there not evidences sufficient to show the most carnal, that there must be somewhat very interesting in the joyful sound. Ezekiel 2:7 .
If we consult Genesis 15:16 , we shall there discover the best interpretation of this scripture.
The imagination can hardly conceive the feelings of Israel on this victory. They who had so long journeyed in the wilderness in want and poverty, and surrounded with fiery flying serpents, they at once to enter into the possession of lands and houses full of goods, and to so great an extent as from Arnon to Gilead! But, Reader, while contemplating the mighty change of Israel in these things, do not stop here, but look forward, and conceive if it be possible, what a surprise will burst in upon the soul of one newly escaped, from both the wilderness of this world, and the prison of the body, when through being washed in the blood of JESUS, and regenerated by the HOLY GHOST, the believer is introduced into the immediate presence and enjoyment of GOD and the LAMB! Well might the Apostle, under the sense of it, cry out, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, the things which GOD hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9 .
MY soul! cherish the thought (for it is a precious one) while beholding the revolutions of states and empires, recorded in this chapter, how happy the lot of those who belong to a kingdom which cannot be moved. What indeed can be wanting to give comfort to the heart of any man who hath a well-grounded assurance of an interest in the kingdom of GOD, and of CHRIST! Dearest King of Zion! do thou reign in my heart, in my soul, in my affections: and then am I sure thou wilt in thine own time, which is the best time, drive out before me all the terrible ones, and all the crafty ones, which now stand in my way to Canaan. Blessed LORD! let thy HOLY SPIRIT wean my desires from every alluring object accursed, that I may covet nothing which belongs to the carnal, but having thee for my portion, in thee I may find everything, and in everything enjoy thee.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19