Deuteronomy 1** This book repeats much of the history and of the lawscontained in the three foregoing books: Moses delivered it toIsrael a little before his death, both by word of mouth, that itmight affect, and by writing, that it might abide. The men ofthat generation to which the law was first given were all dead,and a new generation was sprung up, to whom God would have itrepeated by Moses himself, now they were going to possess theland of Canaan. The wonderful love of God to his church is setforth in this book; how he ever preserved his church for his ownmercies sake, and would still have his name called upon amongthem. Such are the general outlines of this book, the whole ofwhich shows Moses' love for Israel, and marks him an eminenttype of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us apply the exhortations andpersuasions to our own consciences, to excite our minds to abelieving, grateful obedience to the commands of God. * The words Moses spake to Israel in the plains of Moab, Thepromise of Canaan. (1-8) Judges provided for the people. (9-18)Of the sending the spies-God's anger for their unbelief anddisobedience. (19-46)1-8 Moses spake to the people all the Lord had given him incommandment. Horeb was but eleven days distant fromKadesh-barnea. This was to remind them that their own badconduct had occasioned their tedious wanderings; that they mightthe more readily understand the advantages of obedience. Theymust now go forward. Though God brings his people into troubleand affliction, he knows when they have been tried long enough.When God commands us to go forward in our Christian course, hesets the heavenly Canaan before us for our encouragement. 9-18 Moses reminds the people of the happy constitution oftheir government, which might make them all safe and easy, if itwas not their own fault. He owns the fulfilment of God's promiseto Abraham, and prays for the further accomplishment of it. Weare not straitened in the power and goodness of God; why shouldwe be straitened in our own faith and hope? Good laws were givento the Israelites, and good men were to see to the execution ofthem, which showed God's goodness to them, and the care ofMoses. 19-46 Moses reminds the Israelites of their march from Horeb toKadesh-barnea, through that great and terrible wilderness. Heshows how near they were to a happy settlement in Canaan. Itwill aggravate the eternal ruin of hypocrites, that they werenot far from the kingdom of God. As if it were not enough thatthey were sure of their God before them, they would send menbefore them. Never any looked into the Holy Land, but they mustown it to be a good land. And was there any cause to distrustthis God? An unbelieving heart was at the bottom of all this.All disobedience to God's laws, and distrust of his power andgoodness, flow from disbelief of his word, as all true obediencesprings from faith. It is profitable for us to divide our pastlives into distinct periods; to give thanks to God for themercies we have received in each, to confess and seek theforgiveness of all the sins we can remember; and thus to renewour acceptance of God's salvation, and our surrender ofourselves to his service. Our own plans seldom avail to goodpurpose; while courage in the exercise of faith, and in the pathof duty, enables the believer to follow the Lord fully, todisregard all that opposes, to triumph over all opposition, andto take firm hold upon the promised blessings.
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