Deuteronomy 31* Moses encourages the people, and Joshua. (1-8) The law to beread every seventh year. (9-13) The Israelites' apostacyforetold, A song given to be witness against them. (14-22) Thelaw delivered to the Levites. (22-30)1-8 Moses assures Israel of the constant presence of God withthem. This is applied by the apostle to all God's spiritualIsrael, to encourage their faith and hope; unto us is thisgospel preached, as well as unto them; he will never fail thee,nor forsake thee, #Heb 13:5|. Moses commends Joshua to them fora leader; one whose wisdom, and courage, and affection they hadlong known; one whom God had appointed to be their leader; andtherefore would own and bless. Joshua is well pleased to beadmonished by Moses to be strong and of good courage. Thoseshall speed well, who have God with them; therefore they oughtto be of good courage. Through God let us do valiantly, forthrough him we shall do victoriously; if we resist the devil, hewill flee from us. 9-13 Though we read the word in private, we must not think itneedless to hear it read in public. This solemn reading of thelaw must be done in the year of release. The year of release wastypical of gospel grace, which is called the acceptable year ofthe Lord; for our pardon and liberty by Christ, engage us tokeep his commandments. It must be read to all Israel, men,women, children, and to the strangers. It is the will of Godthat all people should acquaint themselves with his word. It isa rule to all, therefore should be read to all. Whoever has readof the pains taken by many persons to get scraps of theScriptures, when a whole copy could not be obtained, or safelypossessed, will see how thankful we should be for the thousandsof copies amongst us. They will also understand the verydifferent situation in which the Israelites were placed for manyages. But the heart of man is so careless, that all will befound too little, to keep up a knowledge of the truths,precepts, and worship of God. 14-22 Moses and Joshua attended the Divine Majesty at the doorof the tabernacle. Moses is told again that he must shortly die;even those who are most ready and willing to die, need to beoften reminded of its coming. The Lord tells Moses, that, afterhis death, the covenant he had taken so much pains to makebetween Israel and their God, would certainly be broken. Israelwould forsake Him; then God would forsake Israel. Justly does hecast those off who so unjustly cast him off. Moses is directedto deliver them a song, which should remain a standing testimonyfor God, as faithful to them in giving them warning, and againstthem, as persons false to themselves in not taking the warning.The word of God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents ofmen's hearts, and meets them by reproofs and correction.Ministers who preach the word, know not the imaginations of men;but God, whose word it is, knows perfectly. 23-30 The solemn delivery of the book of the law to theLevites, to be deposited in, or rather by the side, of the ark,is again related. The song which follows in the next chapter isdelivered to Moses, and by him to the people. He wrote it first,as the Holy Spirit taught him; and then spake it in the hearingof all the people. Moses tells them plainly, I know that aftermy death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves. Many a sad thought,no doubt, it occasioned to this good man; but his comfort was,that he had done his duty, and that God would be glorified intheir dispersion, if not in their settlement, for the foundationof God stands sure.
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