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It is not now necessary to trace the historical connection of this fragment of a verse. It forms an appropriate motto and admonition for the close of the year.
I. The close of a year is a most significant time for the taking of spiritual stock. It is well to have a clearing out, even if one is afraid he may be suffocated with the lifted dust Many a Christian man is hindered in growth by reason of his proud trying to retain an old experience, of which he can make nothing valuable, but which he thinks he is bound to defend for consistency's sake.
II. This, again, is a good time for us to give over lackadaisical complainings about short chances in the past. You will not have to take the same chances again. "Ye shall henceforth return no more by that way" of youth. But does anybody really want to do that? Victor Hugo confessed to a friend that the most disagreeable advance in age to him had been from thirty-nine to forty. "But," said his companion, "I should think it a great deal brighter to be forty than fifty." "Not at all," replied Hugo; "forty years is the old age of youth, while fifty is the youth of old age."
III. It is well to keep a clear look-out for what is still ahead. The glory of every true life is in the time to come. God has not yet exhausted Himself in apocalypses of splendid radiance to His waiting people. There is that in the distance "which eye hath not seen nor ear heard." And wise men may well think of readiness to make the great journey and meet the revelations.
IV. We ought to learn to estimate results and forget processes. It is not necessary to talk continually about faded flowers, and departed joys, and thwarted hopes. It is wiser to let the dead past bury its dead.
V. The close of the year is the time in which to inquire after unfinished work. We should bring our unfulfilled resolutions to God, and ask Him to grant us time to complete them.
C. S. Robinson, Sermons on Neglected Texts, p. 215.
References: Deuteronomy 17:16 . H. Batchelor, The Incarnation of God, p. 173; W. M. Taylor, Contrary Winds, p. 93; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 374.Deuteronomy 17:0 Parker, vol. iv., p. 264.Deuteronomy 18:9-19 . E. White, Congregationalist, vol. i., p. 161.Deuteronomy 18:13 . J. Van Oosterzee, Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 403.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 17". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany