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Moses continueth his discourse throughout this Chapter. In addition to the same general instructions to obedience, and adherence to the LORD, here are precepts of prohibition against Israel forming any alliance with his enemies.
There is somewhat wonderfully striking, in the distinguishing favor manifested to Israel. GOD not only chose Israel in preference to other nations, but to seven nations, the greatest and mightiest monarchies of the then known world. And what is the gospel state now? Not many mighty, not many noble, (says the apostle) are called. See Paul's observation upon it, compared with our dear LORD'S precious conclusion: and then ask your own heart, What are your views of this distinguishing grace, as it respects yourself. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 ; Matthew 11:25-26 .
If we consider this sweet chapter as it ought to be considered, spiritually then will it follow, that as the enemies which opposed our fathers, in their possession of Canaan, were all typical of the spiritual foes which war against the LORD'S Israel now, in their pursuit of an heavenly Canaan, we can do nothing less than vow an everlasting war against all the enemies of our salvation. Reader! what are the seven nations which come out against you, but those swarms of vain thoughts, worldly cares, lustful affections, the unbelief of the heart, the rebellion of the mind, and Satan and the world; all in colleague against the poor sinner at once? And who would make peace with those deadly foes, who had his own eternal welfare in prospect before him? I fear that the want of attention to this hath been the means of leading some Readers into a false conclusion, as if those precepts, which express the command of GOD to a total destruction of the enemies of the LORD'S Israel, are very harsh. Seen in this point of view, it must immediately strike every sincere mind, that there can be no mercy shown to those lusts of ours, and those enemies of our GOD, which would rob us of our crown, and the LORD GOD of his glory. See, with this explanation, that passage, 2 Samuel 12:31 .
I pause over these verses to remark, how awfully these truths of GOD are sometimes verified, in the carnal alliances which believers unhappily make with the ungodly. Be not unequally yoked, saith the Apostle, with unbelievers. And yet, some there are who, in direct defiance both to the precepts of GOD in this chapter, and to his servant's earnest advice, in following up his LORD'S command, presume to do the reverse; pretending the hope, that though the LORD hath forbidden it, they may be the instruments of converting them, when the LORD hath declared they will rather be seduced and corrupted themselves. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 .
Read the pious zeal of Josiah, upon this occasion, 2 Chronicles 34:3-4 .
Who can read this without crying out with Moses, "Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the LORD?" And who but must wish to be of the number of Israel! Deuteronomy 33:29 .
I hardly know a passage in the Old Testament more sweetly expressive of the freeness and sovereignty of grace; and more encouraging at the same time to the mind of every poor enquiring sinner. Dear JESUS! and are all the numberless proofs of thy mercy towards thy people, the sole result of the FATHER's everlasting love, thine own most free and unmerited grace, and the blessed SPIRIT's fellowship? LORD! help me ever to keep these gracious testimonies in view, to comfort my soul in a dark and trying hour. 1 John 4:19 .
Precious character indeed, the faithful GOD! on whom I rest all my certain assurances of mercy and salvation in JESUS. Sweet consideration! our GOD abideth faithful; even, saith the apostle, though we believe not, he cannot deny himself. Reader, cherish the blessed expression! Did not the apostle intend to express, that however poor and wretched our belief is, yet the FATHER must be faithful to his Son JESUS in all his covenant promises, which are all yea and amen in him. See 2 Timothy 2:13 ; 2 Corinthians 1:20 .
How awful are the expressions we sometimes meet with in scripture, in the midst of mercies. And is not that very gospel, which to some is the savor of life unto life, to others the savor of death unto death? 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 .
All these are so many beautiful recapitulations of the same important precepts and promises blended. Upon so grand and infinitely momentous a concern, we need line upon line, and precept upon precept.
Here again, as before, Israel is reminded of GOD'S former mercies, as the surest encouragement to the expectation of future favors. Reader! I pray you mark it down in the history of your own life-the mercy I need tomorrow is best ensured in the mercy I received yesterday. Remember what was before said: "Know, therefore, that the LORD thy GOD he is GOD, the faithful GOD. He is, he will be, faithful." And nothing so sweet, as to look back and trace proofs of it, as we have come along the path of grace. The HOLY GHOST acts in one of his dearest offices, when as the Remembrancer of CHRIST JESUS, he takes of the things of JESUS in his loving kindnesses which are past, and showeth them to the people. John 14:26 .
Do not overlook the frequency of the expression, neither the vast and infinite importance of it; for it is the foundation of every other comfort, wherein JEHOVAH calls himself by that distinguishing character, the LORD thy GOD. In this glorious covenant relationship, the LORD makes over, as it were, himself, with all his perfections, as engaged for the salvation of his people. All are pledged for the assurance of the faithful. And it should seem, if one might be allowed to say so, from the many other collateral testimonies of scripture, as if in nothing was the LORD more jealous of his honour, than when men question, or even doubt, his word and truth in this particular. He that believeth not GOD, hath made him a liar. 1 John 5:10 .
The gracious promise of GOD to put out Israel's enemies, by little and little, merits the very particular consideration of all GOD'S Israel now; for the battle is the same; and both the victory and glory are the LORD'S. It is truly refreshing to remark, how intimate the correspondence is between the ancient church of GOD, in the wilderness state, and the church now. Did JEHOVAH JESUS, in his covenant capacity, go before his people then; and doth he not do it now? Is it not he that drives out all your enemies before you; and is he not doing it by little and little! Do you not know what it is to get, at times, an help from this great Captain of your salvation; and do you not equally know, at others, what it is to be compelled to cry to him, because you feel the enemy too powerful for your own strength? Oh! the sad experiences of the true believer's soul, when his several foes, like the seven nations of Canaan, all break in, upon him, and make him go heavily under the remains of indwelling sin, the powers of darkness, and the world of wickedness on every side. And, Oh! the sweet experiences the believer can refer to of JESUS'S love, when, though faint, he is yet pursuing; and, though humbled, he is yet rejoicing, in hope of the glory of GOD; when, in the strength of his glorious Captain, he is going on conquering and to conquer; and is convinced, that nothing shall separate him from the love of CHRIST. Oh! thou precious JESUS! do thou help thy people on; go on, dear LORD, before them, and put our enemies out, according to thy promise, by little and little, until they are all subdued. Oh! for faith to believe, what the LORD hath promised! See that sweet assurance, Isaiah 43:1-3 .
MY soul! pause over the review which thou hast made in this chapter, both of the enemies of Israel, and Israel's GOD driving them out before him. Bring home to thine own heart the circumstances of their spiritual state, and examine thy case by Israel's. Have you discovered that the same foes are now opposing your eternal welfare, as opposed Israel's conquest of Canaan? Have you felt their power, seen their malice, and learnt your own total inability to fight your way through them? Have you, my soul, discovered JEHOVAH JESUS, as the glorious Captain of your salvation; as one mighty indeed to save; as the LORD your GOD in a covenant way, the LORD GOD that can, the faithful GOD that will, drive them out before thee, until they are all consumed? And hath thy GOD in CHRIST indeed begun for thee this holy war; and is he now going before thee, in subduing enemies both within and without; the powers of darkness and the world from without, and the corrupt lusts and affections from within; are these thy views and thy experiences? Then bless GOD for thy mercies, and let the precious precepts, and precious promises, beautifully blended as they are in this chapter, be thy comfort, and support thy mind through the teaching of the HOLY GHOST, during the arduous, but certainly successful, war. Precious, precious JESUS! thou, whom the FATHER hath given as a leader and commander to thy people, to thee do I look up; and on thy dear arm would I wholly lean. Never, never, blessed GOD, do thou suffer me to make peace with any of these enemies, or for a moment enter into any league of amity with them. Here, LORD, in thy strength do I vow, that thy foes shall be my foes, and thy people my people. And as my eyes are towards thee, and any whole reliance is on thy great salvation, do thou carry me on, and bear me through all opposition, until thou hast put them all out before me; and then bring me into thine holy mountain, to behold thy glory, and to sit down, according to thy blessed promise, on thy throne, as thou hast overcome, and art sat down with thy FATHER on his throne. Even so, Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent