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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 11

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-32

Chapter 11

In chapter eleven he continues his warnings to them, as they are about to come into the land. And he reminds them again of the miracles that God did for them in bringing them out of Egypt. How He spoiled the Pharaoh and all of his land, how He destroyed the armies of Egypt there in the Red Sea, and how He watched over them, nurtured them, kept them, preserved them all through the wilderness right up to this moment and what He did to those that rebelled against them. Dathan and Abiram, how the earth opened and swallowed them up.

Your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which he did. [You've watched God work.] Therefore you're to keep all his commandments which I command you this day, be strong, go in and possess the land; that you may prolong your days in the land, which the LORD sware to your fathers to give to them, a land that flows with milk and honey. The land, where you go to possess, is not the land of Egypt, from which you came out, where you sowed your seed, and had to water it with your foot, like a garden of herbs: But it's a land, where you're gonna get sufficient rain, [Where there will be plenty of streams and rivulets and so forth.] drinking water the rain from heaven. The land that your LORD cares for ( Deuteronomy 11:7-12 )

And this I love. This particular spot of land is the land that the Lord cares for.

And the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it ( Deuteronomy 11:12 ).

I always like to think of this scripture when I'm over in Israel. Hey, I'm right in the area where God's always looking. The eyes of the Lord are always upon this particular spot of land. It's a land that God cares for.

Now, it really isn't the most beautiful land in the world. I've been in a lot of places that I think are more beautiful than Israel as far as physical beauty. Really, the state of California, you get up in the high Sierras up around Yosemite and all and you've got beauties that are unparalleled as far as-there's nothing in Israel to compare with those things. But yet it is a land that God had purposed to fulfill His plan of redemption for mankind, and thus, it was a land that God was interested. It's a land that He cares for because in this land His son was to be born. In this land His Son was to walk. In this land His Son was to die. And thus, God was interested in this land. His eyes were always upon it.

From the beginning of the year even to the end of the year. Now it will come to pass, if you will hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, Then God will give you the rain in its due season, the first and the latter rain, that you may gather your corn, and your wine, and your oil. And I'll send the grass in the fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full ( Deuteronomy 11:12-15 ).

So, when you come in, as long you love God and serve God, God's gonna bless you. The land will be blessed. You'll have rain in its season, the early and the latter rain. You'll have green grass in the field for your cattle. You'll have good crops. One requirement, just love God and serve God with all your heart, with all your soul.

But take heed, that your heart is not deceived, that you turn aside and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD'S wrath will be kindled against you, and he shut up the heavens, that there be no rain, and the land will not yield their fruit; lest you perish quickly from off the good land from which the LORD gives you. Therefore lay up these words in your heart and in your soul, bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they might be as frontlets between your eyes ( Deuteronomy 11:16-18 ).

In other words, remember this. Now the interesting thing, again you can get into a ritual but you can in the ritual forget the meanings. And they still go through the ritual of binding their phylacteries. They go through the ritual of binding the little law upon their hand, binding the little box with the law upon their foreheads, the masseuses on their door and kissing of the masseuses. They go through the whole ritual thing but that's all it is, is a ritual. There is no real serving God and loving God with all their hearts and souls. The ritual has substituted for that. And we must beware lest we allow a ritual to substitute for reality. It's a deception. They were warned that they should not be deceived and go worshipping other gods. Though the warning came yet they did not heed the warning and thus, even as God pronounced the judgments that should come they did come because God's word is true.

Teach them to your children, speak to them when you're sitting down at the table, when you're lying down in the room at night, when you're walking with them in the path. Write them upon the door posts of your house, and upon your gates ( Deuteronomy 11:19-20 ):

I think that it's great to have mottoes around the house; scriptures pasted up on the walls. For you ladies on your mirrors you might have the scripture "Favor is deceitful, beauty is vain but the woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised"( Proverbs 31:30 ). That around the house we have the word of God. God is saying, "Look, put it all over the place. Write it out there". This is good graffiti.

We have a fellow in our church who designs heartpacers and has designed some of the most sophisticated heartpacers that are in the entire industry. Little computers that are the size of a quarter that can be implanted under the skin and remain operational for twenty years.

And the other night he brought me the big design sheets for this new computerized heartpacer that will be about the size of a quarter and he was laying them out in my office and showing me these big layout sheets. They take photographs of these big layout sheets and put them on these little tiny silicone chips and all. And then, well, they lay the chips one on top of the other and you have just a miniature computer the size of a quarter. It will constantly monitor your heartbeat and as soon as your heartbeat drops down below fifty-seven or fifty-six or wherever the doctor wants to set it, then this little computer when it's monitoring their heart, when it drops below that it kicks on and starts throwing an electrical charge at your heart to keep the beat up to whatever standard the doctor wants it. Once it's implanted, he's got a little system where the doctor can just with a magnet change a computer from the outside. And it's a very sophisticated little thing.

But he was showing me these layout sheets with all of the little circuitry designs within it. But within all of the circuitry designs he's got Romans nine and ten. "For if thou shall confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved. Maranatha doves, fish, Joh 3:16 and all kinds of scriptures. "Jesus is love and God loves you" and all, all of this are all imprinted in these little miniature microchips for the computer. Takes an electron microscope to see them but he says, "I figure, whoever gets one of these heartpacers is gonna have the word of God hidden away in his heart". Man I just had fits in the office when I was looking at those. I love it. I love that kind of stuff. All of a sudden guy turns good and he doesn't know why.

So put these words in your heart, he says, and in your soul. Put them around the place that they might be reminders to you and to your children to walk after the Lord. It was the Lord that gave you the land and if you serve Him and love Him you'll remain and continue in the land. But if you forsake Him you'll be driven from the land.

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments [verse twenty-two] that I command you, and to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, to cleave to him; Then will the LORD drive out all the nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves. Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, to the river Euphrates, even to the uttermost sea shall your coast be ( Deuteronomy 11:22-24 ).

Actually, they never did conquer all that God had given to them. They never did possess all that was theirs by God's divine decree. I think that there's an unfortunate parallel in our life. I don't think that we ever possess all that God has for us or all that God would do for us. It's there, all we have to do by faith is go in and claim it and take it and yet all of us come short of the glory of God: that which God would do for us if we would just step in and take. It's tragic that when the borders were so expanded by God and all you have to do is possess it that they failed to possess all that God had given, even as it's tragic that we so often fail to possess all that God has given. Now many times that we fail to possess for different reasons: intellectual limitations, restrictions that we have placed upon God by our presuppositions. So many reasons why we fail to enter into the fullness that God has for our lives.

There will be no one that'll be able to stand before you: because God is gonna be with you. [But he said,] Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD: A curse, if you will not obey ( Deuteronomy 11:25-28 )

That's always the way it is. God sets before you the blessing and the curse; it's your choice. You can choose the path of God's blessing in your life; you can choose the path that'll lead to God's curse upon your life. Now, it isn't that God curses you, it is the curse is already on that manner of life. God is warning you that that manner of life has a curse already upon it.

Now, if you are constantly warning a person that the path that he is taking is leading to a pit of quicksand and as he's going down the path everyone he meets says, "Oh be careful down the path a ways there's a pit of quicksand. You can't go past it" and the guy keeps going. And as he gets there, someone says "Hey be careful, don't go out there that's quicksand. You'll get lost, you know, you'll suck in". But he ignores all the warnings, he continues on that path and he gets mired in the quicksand and gets caught in it and goes under. And as he's going under, he curses all of the people that he met along the path for not stopping him. Is that right? Of course it isn't. They warned him where the path was leading. Now look, God has warned you where your path is leading. If you disobey Him, if you rebel against Him, God said, "Hey that path is leading to destruction". And He warns you all the way along the path.

Now if you go to destruction it isn't that God sent you there. It's that you deliberately went there against all of God's endeavors to keep you from there. Actually, Jesus Christ, in a sense, has laid down before the gate of hell and you've gotta cross over His body to get there. You've gotta trample under foot the Son of God and count the blood of His covenant wherewith He was sanctified an unholy thing to get into hell. He's done everything to stop you, lying right down in your path, making you tramp over Him to get there. And if you end up there you surely can't blame God or you can't blame Jesus. You can only blame your own stubborn rebellion against God. For God did all that He could short of the violation of your will to stop you from going.

I've set before you a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if you obey... : A curse, if you don't obey... When you get in the land, put these blessings the blessings on mount Gerizim, the curse on mount Ebal ( Deuteronomy 11:26-29 ).

Now when you come into the land, the middle of the land, the area where Abraham first came, the place where Jacob lived for such a time, dug a well; right there in the area of Shechem, on the south side is Mount Gerizim, on the north side is Mount Ebal. And when they came into the land some of the men were to go up to the top of Mount Gerizim and they were to shout to the people who were in this valley between these two mountains, shout down to them the blessings of the land and the conditions of blessings.

And as these men would shout down, "Blessed be ye in the fields" the people say, "Amen". "And in your cities" "Amen" and they would shout down these blessings. But on Mount Ebal there's another bunch of guys that were shouting the curses that would come to them if they disobeyed. So on Gerizim the blessing was placed and they would shout down to the people in the valley, the people would consent "Amen, Amen". And from Ebal the curses were pronounced and again the consenting "Yes, that's right. That's right, amen, amen. So be it". So that must have been quite an experience.

I've been in Yosemite when I was a kid and they used to have the firefalls and, you know, up on top of Glacier Point, the guys would just say, "Are you ready camp Curry", you know, and the voice you would hear over to Simi Valley and the guy down below would yell "We're ready Glacier Point. Let the fire fall." You know, then you'd see the beautiful firefalls. Unfortunately they don't have those there; they were absolutely spectacular.

But even as those guys were up on the top of Glacier Point and down in the valley you could hear their voices, so was in Israel. It must have been a very remarkable and moving experience to have a million or so people filling this valley and this bunch of guys up on the top of Mount Gerizim calling down upon them the blessings of God if they would walk and obey and keep the commandments of God, the things that God would do for them. And then to hear the warnings of God from the other side. It was meant to be impressed in their minds so that they wouldn't forget, but unfortunately they forgot.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 11". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/deuteronomy-11.html. 2014.
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