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In this Chapter, Moses reassumes the subject of his Sermon. He brings to the remembrance of Israel that great event, of the giving of the law at Horeb, when Moses acted as a Mediator between GOD and Israel. He repeats the ten commandments, and subjoins his observations upon them; reminds them of what they had said at that time, and takes occasion, once more, to enforce the great duty of obedience.
I wish the Reader to have a clear conception of the nature and design of this covenant here spoken of. It is not the Covenant of grace: for this was made in the council of peace between the Persons of the GODHEAD, and founded wholly on the divine fulfillment by CHRIST JESUS. I have given him (saith the FATHER, speaking of the Person of the SON,) for a Covenant to the people. Isaiah 42:6 ; Zechariah 6:13 . But this covenant is explained to us by the apostle, when he expressly tells us that it was intermediate, and preparatory to the coining of gospel times; and that it was intended only to act as a schoolmaster, to bring us unto CHRIST. It would swell the Commentary to an unnecessary length, and in some measure defeat the intention of this humble work, which is designed to lead the Reader from one Scripture to another, to quote all that the apostle, acting under the HOLY GHOST, hath said upon this subject. I refer the Reader therefore to the passage itself, and cannot but earnestly request that he will not dismiss this chapter of Moses before he hath consulted the writings of the apostle on the subject. See Galatians 3:15-25 .
It is a very interesting remark of Moses, in this verse, that the covenant here spoken of was not confined to the days of Abraham, or the Fathers; but that the law, to which Moses referred, was all subsequent to the covenant made, or rather revealed, to Abraham. A plain proof, as Paul in his comment upon it hath observed, that the proclamation of GOD'S covenant of grace, made known to Abraham concerning Redemption by the LORD JESUS, and which the rite of circumcision was appointed as a sign and seal of for the confirmation of the faith, could not be rendered void, or become conditional, by the law given on Horeb, which was four hundred and thirty years after. A delightful consideration to the believer, who would tremble at mount Sinai but for this, and now rejoices that he is come to Mount Zion. Hebrews 12:18-24 .
What is here said of face to face, the Chaldee paraphrase more agreeably to the analogy of faith, renders word to word.
Who doth net see, in this view of Moses, a lively type of the LORD JESUS, the only Mediator between GOD and man. Yes! blessed Jesus! thou art indeed the only day's-man, capable of standing between a justly offended GOD, and perishing dying sinners. It was thou only, (then, and now, and forever), couldst perform this gracious, merciful office! LORD, be thou my Mediator still; and while holding forth the spotless law of GOD, enable me to behold thy spotless righteousness, as having fulfilled the law for me, that I may have a clear apprehension, and as clear a faith, that thou art the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. Romans 10:4 .
I hardly think it necessary to comment upon these commandments afresh, after what was offered on this subject in the Commentary for the 20th Chapter of Exodus. I would only beg to point out to the Reader, that there is somewhat of a variation in this new edition of the Commandments, to what was first given in the Book of Exodus. It is a variation only of words however, not of meaning. Perhaps the HOLY GHOST intended by this to teach the LORD'S people, that when at any time from their strength of memory, they Endeavour to comfort themselves, or be useful to others, in rehearsing any of the words of GOD, that they should not alarm themselves with unnecessary fears, it in their quotation they adhere to the sense of the passage, . though they may not express the very words of the writer. We have a great number of instances of this kind in the Scriptures. Thus for example; Paul's address before Agrippa, and the relation of the history itself to which that address refers, is nut in words exactly the same; but the fact itself is. See Acts 9:0 with Acts 26:0 . So again, the LORD's prayer hath a variation; but yet the sum and substance is the same. Compare Matthew 6:0 with Luke 11:0 .
What a lively representation is here given, in this verse, of the terrors of the law! Oh! how sweet and precious is it to a soul, truly distressed, under the terrors of a broken law, to hear the mild and soul-reviving language of the gospel. Reader! have you ever entered, by faith in a dear Redeemer, into the full meaning and enjoyment of what the apostle saith, Ye are not come to the mount that burned with fire. Hebrews 12:18 .
How much of gospel is in these verses! And how in these early ages was the great doctrine of a Mediator shadowed forth, even in the dispensation of the law! Reader! pause over the perusal of the fears and consternations which are so natural in a guilty mind. Depend upon it, in all ages, they have been, and ever must be, the same. Think then, in this view, what a precious and invaluable thing it must he, in the hour of GOD'S tremendous judgments, to have an advocate with the FATHER, JESUS CHRIST the righteous; and to know him, and to rest in him, as the sure propitiation for our sins. 1 John 2:1-2 .
What a delightful view is here afforded us of the love and mercy of GOD our father! With what affection he speaks of his people; and with what earnestness he desires their salvation. My soul! ever keep in remembrance the everlasting love of him who so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son, to the end that all that believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. And pray for continual grace to preserve alive in thy mind the recollection, that the united love of the FATHER, SON, and SPIRIT, are the joint causes of thy salvation.
Beholding Moses, in this instance, as he really was, the type and figure of JESUS; and what a refreshing thought is it to the mind of the believer! Yes, Reader! there ever was, and is, and ever will be, One With the FATHER whom he heareth alway. Give him my soul thy cause, and fear not the final issue.
How very suitable is the conclusion which the man of GOD makes of his solemn address. And hedged in, and surrounded as we are, in the gospel dispensation, think Reader how impossible it will be in any of us to escape, if we neglect so great salvation. Hebrews 2:3 .
OH! thou great law-giver, and law-fulfiller, of a better dispensation, founded upon better promises! May I behold thee in all thy precious offices and characters, while reading in this chapter thy servant Moses commanding the attention of the people. In the name of JEHOVAH thou camest personally once in the days of thy flesh; and now thou comest spiritually in the day of thy power, commanding all thy people to hear the gospel offer of thy blood and righteousness! Oh! give me grace, to receive thy precious word, and cry out, with the affection of one of old, Oh! how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day! Blessed JESUS! may it be my portion to receive the law of faith, which is obeyed, not by works of righteousness, which I have done, or can do, but by thine own perfect obedience, in a law-fulfilling, and law-satisfying righteousness. And grant, gracious GOD, that while I see myself justified by thy blood and righteousness from all things by which I never could be justified by the law of Moses, may I be enabled, by the sweet influences of the HOLY GHOST, so to live a life of faith, on thee and thy complete salvation, that though dead to the law, as a covenant of works, I may not be without law unto GOD, but under the law to CHRIST.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26