Deuteronomy 32* The song of Moses. (1,2) The character of God, The characterof Israel. (3-6) The great things God had done for Israel.(7-14) The wickedness of Israel. (19-25) The judgments whichwould come upon them for their sins. (15-18) Deserved vengeancewithheld. (26-38) God's deliverance for his people. (39-43) Theexhortation with which the song was delivered. (44-47) Moses togo up mount Nebo to die. (48-52)1,2 Moses begins with a solemn appeal to heaven and earth,concerning the truth and importance of what he was about to say.His doctrine is the gospel, the speech of God, the doctrine ofChrist; the doctrine of grace and mercy through him, and of lifeand salvation by him. 3-6 "He is a Rock." This is the first time God is called so inScripture. The expression denotes that the Divine power,faithfulness, and love, as revealed in Christ and the gospel,form a foundation which cannot be changed or moved, on which wemay build our hopes of happiness. And under his protection wemay find refuge from all our enemies, and in all our troubles;as the rocks in those countries sheltered from the burning raysof the sun, and from tempests, or were fortresses from theenemy. "His work is perfect:" that of redemption and salvation,in which there is a display of all the Divine perfection,complete in all its parts. All God's dealings with his creaturesare regulated by wisdom which cannot err, and perfect justice.He is indeed just and right; he takes care that none shall loseby him. A high charge is exhibited against Israel. Even God'schildren have their spots, while in this imperfect state; for ifwe say we have no sin, no spot, we deceive ourselves. But thesin of Israel was not habitual, notorious, unrepented sin; whichis a certain mark of the children of Satan. They were fools toforsake their mercies for lying vanities. All wilful sinners,especially sinners in Israel, are unwise and ungrateful. 7-14 Moses gives particular instances of God's kindness andconcern for them. The eagle's care for her young is a beautifulemblem of Christ's love, who came between Divine justice and ourguilty souls, and bare our sins in his own body on the tree. Andby the preached gospel, and the influences of the Holy Spirit,He stirs up and prevails upon sinners to leave Satan's bondage.In ver. #13,14|, are emblems of the conquest believers have overtheir spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world, in andthrough Christ. Also of their safety and triumph in him; oftheir happy frames of soul, when they are above the world, andthe things of it. This will be the blessed case of spiritualIsrael in every sense in the latter day. 15-18 Here are two instances of the wickedness of Israel, eachwas apostacy from God. These people were called Jeshurun, "anupright people," so some; "a seeing people," so others: but theysoon lost the reputation both of their knowledge and of theirrighteousness. They indulged their appetites, as if they hadnothing to do but to make provision for the flesh to fulfil thelusts of it. Those who make a god of themselves, and a god oftheir bellies, in pride and wantonness, and cannot bear to betold of it, thereby forsake God, and show they esteem himlightly. There is but one way of a sinner's acceptance andsanctification, however different modes of irreligion, or falsereligion, may show that favourable regard for other ways, whichis often miscalled candid. How mad are idolaters, who forsakethe Rock of salvation, to run themselves upon the rock ofperdition! 19-25 The revolt of Israel was described in the foregoingverses, and here follow the resolves of Divine justice as tothem. We deceive ourselves, if we think that God will be mockedby a faithless people. Sin makes us hateful in the sight of theholy God. See what mischief sin does, and reckon those to befools that mock at it. 26-38 The idolatry and rebellions of Israel deserved, and thejustice of God seemed to demand, that they should be rooted out.But He spared Israel, and continues them still to be livingwitnesses of the truth of the Bible, and to silence unbelievers.They are preserved for wise and holy purposes and the propheciesgive us some idea what those purposes are. The Lord will neverdisgrace the throne of his glory. It is great wisdom, and willhelp much to the return of sinners to God, seriously to considertheir latter end, or the future state. It is here meantparticularly of what God foretold by Moses, about this people inthe latter days; but it may be applied generally. Oh that menwould consider the happiness they will lose, and the misery theywill certainly plunge into, if they go on in their trespasses!What will be in the end thereof? #Jer 5:31|. For the Lord willin due time bring down the enemies of the church, in displeasureagainst their wickedness. When sinners deem themselves mostsecure, they suddenly fall into destruction. And God's time toappear for the deliverance of his people, is when things are atthe worst with them. But those who trust to any rock but God,will find it fail them when they most need it. The rejection ofthe Messiah by the Jewish nation, is the continuance of theirancient idolatry, apostacy, and rebellion. They shall be broughtto humble themselves before the Lord, to repent of their sins,and to trust in their long-rejected Mediator for salvation. Thenhe will deliver them, and make their prosperity great. 39-43 This conclusion of the song speaks, 1. Glory to God. Noescape can be made from his power. 2. It speaks terror to hisenemies. Terror indeed to those who hate him. The wrath of Godis here revealed from heaven against them. 3. It speaks comfortto his own people. The song concludes with words of joy.Whatever judgments are brought upon sinners, it shall go wellwith the people of God. 44-47 Here is the solemn delivery of this song to Israel, witha charge to mind all the good words Moses had said unto them. Itis not a trifle, but a matter of life and death: mind it, andyou are made for ever; neglect it, and you are for ever undone.Oh that men were fully persuaded that religion is their life,even the life of their souls! 48-52 Now Moses had done his work, why should he desire to livea day longer? God reminds him of the sin of which he had beenguilty, for which he was kept from entering Canaan. It is goodfor the best of men to die repenting the infirmities of whichthey are conscious. But those may die with comfort and ease,whenever God calls for them, notwithstanding the sins theyremember against themselves, who have a believing prospect, anda well-grounded hope of eternal life beyond death.
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