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This Chapter is a continuation of the former, and is in fact part of it. The curses having been proclaimed in the foregoing, the blessings are subjoined in this. But I conceive that this Chapter is partly prophetical, for many of the things spoken of; were fulfilled in the successive periods of the church. The Christian Reader will find, under GOD the HOLY GHOST'S teaching, much of gospel veiled under the several parts of it, which I hope the LORD will bless to his perusal.
Though I propose to make but a short observation on the whole of these blessings, for the sake of being brief, and that I may not increase the bulk of the present Commentary too much; yet I do beg the Reader to remark with me, the greatness and extensiveness of the blessings here promised. They relate to almost all the circumstances of life, and if read with a view to spiritual, as well as temporal mercies, they are enough to animate every true believer's heart; because, all the promises in CHRIST JESUS are yea, and Amen; and he himself, is the one, great, and comprehensive mercy of the whole covenant. Blessings are promised to the true seed of Israel, in all their outward concerns, in their persons, in their households, in the city, and in the field; whether at home or abroad, whether in trade or in labour, whether in their journeys, or in their stated resting places, both in lying down, and rising up. And is not JESUS all this, and infinitely more to his people? Oh! how precious is it to found all our mercies in him, and to see him, and enjoy him in every one. Psalms 72:17 . But while I beg the Reader to remark with me, the gospel application of these mercies, I would beg of him not to overlook their temporal application in the history of the Jewish nation. Through a series of ages, Israel was blessed, and distinguished with the divine favor, during the reigns of their successive Kings from the time of Joshua to the Babylonish captivity. See Joshua, the books of Samuel, the books of the Kings, and the books of the Chronicles.
Very awful are these denunciations. Wherever the sinner goes, however he is circumstanced, however employed in the midst of the greatest temporal possessions, the basket may be full, the wine presses running over with new wine; yet, if the curse of GOD be upon the whole, they are of no value; misery is in all, Reader! pause over this account; and them look into life. Doth not this explain to us, why we see so many miserable in the midst of affluence? "To the pure, " saith the apostle, "all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure." Titus 1:15 . The original curse upon the ground, being not taken off to the unregenerate heart, still remains to bring forth thorns and thistles; and these cannot but produce an everlasting source of disquietude; for the curse of GOD is in the house of the wicked. Proverbs 3:33 . Reader! if you are sitting down to the enjoyment of covenant mercies, do not fail to eye JESUS in every one. Even in the contrast of the carnal man's misery we view our privilege. Oh! what a relish doth the conscious love and favor, and good-will of him that dwelt in the bush, give to our mercies. Even our afflictions with him are like the spiced wine of the pomegranate. Song 1-8.
The picture of misery is drawn more horrible in these verses, from describing the particular features of the curses, the LORD threatens to send after the sinner. If the Reader will attend to them minutely, he will find, that they extend to almost every possible state to which our poor nature can be exposed. To sickness, to famine, to the destruction of the sword, to captivity in the enemies country, to the loss of children; in short, to every personal evil. In the book of Ezekiel, the LORD speaks of his four sore judgments, but here they are fourfold, Ezekiel 14:21 . But Reader! if we read them spiritually, how do those distresses rise in magnitude to our view. If our miseries are ever so great, yet if they are bounded within the limits of the life of man on earth, in the grave the weary are at rest. But if souls are cursed with an everlasting curse, and when they lie down in the grave, sin is their grave-fellow, and follows them to eternity, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Oh! the wretched, wretched state of the ungodly! when that wrath of GOD shall light on the sinner, which is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Romans 1:18 .
I desired the Reader to remark with me in the opening of this Chapter, that there should seem to be somewhat prophetical in its contents. And if he compares what is here said, with the history of the Jewish nation, in their Babylonish captivity, he will discover strong leading particulars in proof of that idea. And if he carries on his enquiries to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, after the return of the LORD JESUS to glory, and to the dispersion of the Jews, even to the present hour; he will not perhaps be much in error in the application of great part of the threatenings in this Chapter, to events so very striking and memorable. But while we view the desolations of GOD'S anger in the history of our elder brethren the Jews, and bend to the lowest possible humiliation, in acknowledging that we are no better than they, are we not encouraged by the HOLY GHOST, to hope that blindness in part hath happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in? Are we not prompted very earnestly, and frequently, to be looking up to a faithful covenant GOD in CHRIST, that that precious promise shall be fulfilled when the deliverer shall arise out of Zion, to turn away ungodliness from Jacob? Hasten LORD, I would say, thy coming. Come, LORD JESUS, come quickly! do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Oh! that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion; when GOD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad. Psalms 51:18 ; Psalms 53:6
OH, my soul! let the awful review of the calamities here held forth to disobedient Israel, endear, with increasing love and affection, the person of thy ever-adored Redeemer; and his great salvation to thee; and may the perusal of this Chapter under the HOLY GHOST's teaching, constrain thee into his love, and to cleave unto him with full purpose of heart, for he is thy life. Oh! precious, precious JESUS, what eternal praises are thy due! Oh! what unspeakable mercies do I behold in that one view of JESUS, a GOD in CHRIST, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. I see, I feel, I stand convinced, that to this one cause, every blessing in time, and to all eternity is owing. LORD! keep me, hold me, establish me in this most precious assurance, and may I never dare to taste a single joy until I see JESUS in it. If thou, dearest LORD, will give it me, it will be sanctified. But without thee, the best of creature comforts will prove a snare. My unawakened brother! if GOD in mercy should cause my humble Commentary to meet the eye of one of this character, will you not in the perusal of this Chapter, stand convinced that the judgments of GOD are sure judgments; and the least of them most awful indeed! And is not GOD the faithful GOD, as fully pledged to perform his written threats to the ungodly, as he is pledged to perform his promises to his people. Oh! that grace may open the eye, convince the heart, awaken the affection, and induce sinners to flee from the wrath to come: for depend upon it, there is, there must be a day coming, when indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, will fall upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 28". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25