Deuteronomy 29

* Moses calls Israel's mercies to remembrance. (1-9) The Divine

wrath on those who flatter themselves in their wickedness.

(10-21) The ruin of the Jewish nation. (22-28) Secret things

belong unto God. (29)

1-9 Both former mercies, and fresh mercies, should be thought

on by us as motives to obedience. The hearing ear, and seeing

eye, and the understanding heart, are the gift of God. All that

have them, have them from him. God gives not only food and

raiment, but wealth and large possessions, to many to whom he

does not give grace. Many enjoy the gifts, who have not hearts

to perceive the Giver, nor the true design and use of the gifts.

We are bound, in gratitude and interest, as well as in duty and

faithfulness, to keep the words of the covenant.
10-21 The national covenant made with Israel, not only typified

the covenant of grace made with true believers, but also

represented the outward dispensation of the gospel. Those who

have been enabled to consent to the Lord's new covenant of mercy

and grace in Jesus Christ, and to give up themselves to be his

people, should embrace every opportunity of renewing their open

profession of relation to him, and their obligation to him, as

the God of salvation, walking according thereto. The sinner is

described as one whose heart turns away from his God; there the

mischief begins, in the evil heart of unbelief, which inclines

men to depart from the living God to dead idols. Even to this

sin men are now tempted, when drawn aside by their own lusts and

fancies. Such men are roots that bear gall and wormwood. They

are weeds which, if let alone, overspread the whole field. Satan

may for a time disguise this bitter morsel, so that thou shalt

not have the natural taste of it, but at the last day, if not

before, the true taste shall be discerned. Notice the sinner's

security in sin. Though he hears the words of the curse, yet

even then he thinks himself safe from the wrath of God. There is

scarcely a threatening in all the book of God more dreadful than

this. Oh that presumptuous sinners would read it, and tremble!

for it is a real declaration of the wrath of God, against

ungodliness and unrighteousness of man.
22-28 Idolatry would be the ruin of their nation. It is no new

thing for God to bring desolating judgments on a people near to

him in profession. He never does this without good reason. It

concerns us to seek for the reason, that we may give glory to

God, and take warning to ourselves. Thus the law of Moses leaves

sinners under the curse, and rooted out of the Lord's land; but

the grace of Christ toward penitent, believing sinners, plants

them again in their land; and they shall no more be pulled up,

being kept by the power of God.
29 Moses ends his prophecy of the Jews' rejection, just as St.

Paul ends his discourse on the same subject, when it began to be

fulfilled, #Ro 11:33|. We are forbidden curiously to inquire

into the secret counsels of God, and to determine concerning

them. But we are directed and encouraged, diligently to seek

into that which God has made known. He has kept back nothing

that is profitable for us, but only that of which it is good for

us to be ignorant. The end of all Divine revelation is, not to

furnish curious subjects of speculation and discourse, but that

we may do all the words of this law, and be blessed in our deed.

This, the Bible plainly reveals; further than this, man cannot

profitably go. By this light he may live and die comfortably,

and be happy for ever.
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