Deuteronomy 1

** This book repeats much of the history and of the laws

contained in the three foregoing books: Moses delivered it to

Israel a little before his death, both by word of mouth, that it

might affect, and by writing, that it might abide. The men of

that generation to which the law was first given were all dead,

and a new generation was sprung up, to whom God would have it

repeated by Moses himself, now they were going to possess the

land of Canaan. The wonderful love of God to his church is set

forth in this book; how he ever preserved his church for his own

mercies sake, and would still have his name called upon among

them. Such are the general outlines of this book, the whole of

which shows Moses' love for Israel, and marks him an eminent

type of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us apply the exhortations and

persuasions to our own consciences, to excite our minds to a

believing, grateful obedience to the commands of God.

* The words Moses spake to Israel in the plains of Moab, The

promise of Canaan. (1-8) Judges provided for the people. (9-18)

Of the sending the spies-God's anger for their unbelief and

disobedience. (19-46)

1-8 Moses spake to the people all the Lord had given him in

commandment. Horeb was but eleven days distant from

Kadesh-barnea. This was to remind them that their own bad

conduct had occasioned their tedious wanderings; that they might

the more readily understand the advantages of obedience. They

must now go forward. Though God brings his people into trouble

and affliction, he knows when they have been tried long enough.

When God commands us to go forward in our Christian course, he

sets the heavenly Canaan before us for our encouragement.
9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution of

their government, which might make them all safe and easy, if it

was not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promise

to Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. We

are not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why should

we be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were given

to the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution of

them, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care of

19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb to

Kadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. He

shows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. It

will aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they were

not far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough that

they were sure of their God before them, they would send men

before them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they must

own it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrust

this God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this.

All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power and

goodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obedience

springs from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our past

lives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for the

mercies we have received in each, to confess and seek the

forgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renew

our acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender of

ourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to good

purpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the path

of duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, to

disregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, and

to take firm hold upon the promised blessings.
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