Deuteronomy 2

* The Edomites to be spared. (1-7) The Moabites and Ammonites to

be spared. (8-23) The Amorites to be destroyed. (24-37)

1-7 Only a short account of the long stay of Israel in the

wilderness is given. God not only chastised them for their

murmuring and unbelief, but prepared them for Canaan; by

humbling them for sin, teaching them to mortify their lusts, to

follow God, and to comfort themselves in him. Though Israel may

be long kept waiting for deliverance and enlargement, it will

come at last. Before God brought Israel to destroy their enemies

in Canaan, he taught them to forgive their enemies in Edom. They

must not, under pretence of God's covenant and conduct, think to

seize all they could lay hands on. Dominion is not founded in

grace. God's Israel shall be well placed, but must not expect to

be placed alone in the midst of the earth. Religion must never

be made a cloak for injustice. Scorn to be beholden to Edomites,

when thou hast an all-sufficient God to depend upon. Use what

thou hast, use it cheerfully. Thou hast experienced the care of

the Divine providence, never use any crooked methods for thy

supply. All this is equally to be applied to the experience of

the believer.
8-23 We have the origin of the Moabites, Edomites, and

Ammonites. Moses also gives an instance older than any of these;

the Caphtorims drove the Avims out of their country. These

revolutions show what uncertain things wordly possessions are.

It was so of old, and ever will be so. Families decline, and

from them estates are transferred to families that increase; so

little continuance is there in these things. This is recorded to

encourage the children of Israel. If the providence of God has

done this for Moabites and Ammonites, much more would his

promise do it for Israel, his peculiar people. Cautions are

given not to meddle with Moabites and Ammonites. Even wicked men

must not be wronged. God gives and preserves outward blessings

to wicked men; these are not the best things, he has better in

store for his own children.
24-37 God tried his people, by forbidding them to meddle with

the rich countries of Moab and Ammon. He gives them possession

of the country of the Amorites. If we keep from what God

forbids, we shall not lose by our obedience. The earth is the

Lord's and the fulness thereof; and he gives it to whom he

pleases; but when there is no express direction, none can plead

his grant for such proceedings. Though God assured the

Israelites that the land should be their own, yet they must

contend with the enemy. What God gives we must endeavour to get.

What a new world did Israel now come into! Much more joyful will

the change be, which holy souls will experience, when they

remove out of the wilderness of this world to the better

country, that is, the heavenly, to the city that has

foundations. Let us, by reflecting upon God's dealings with his

people Israel, be led to meditate upon our years spent in

vanity, through our transgressions. But happy are those whom

Jesus has delivered from the wrath to come. To whom he hath

given the earnest of his Spirit in their hearts. Their

inheritance cannot be affected by revolutions of kingdoms, or

changes in earthly possessions.
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