Deuteronomy 32

* The song of Moses. (1,2) The character of God, The character

of Israel. (3-6) The great things God had done for Israel.

(7-14) The wickedness of Israel. (19-25) The judgments which

would come upon them for their sins. (15-18) Deserved vengeance

withheld. (26-38) God's deliverance for his people. (39-43) The

exhortation with which the song was delivered. (44-47) Moses to

go 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 of

Christ; the doctrine of grace and mercy through him, and of life

and salvation by him.
3-6 "He is a Rock." This is the first time God is called so in

Scripture. 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 we

may build our hopes of happiness. And under his protection we

may find refuge from all our enemies, and in all our troubles;

as the rocks in those countries sheltered from the burning rays

of the sun, and from tempests, or were fortresses from the

enemy. "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 creatures

are regulated by wisdom which cannot err, and perfect justice.

He is indeed just and right; he takes care that none shall lose

by him. A high charge is exhibited against Israel. Even God's

children have their spots, while in this imperfect state; for if

we say we have no sin, no spot, we deceive ourselves. But the

sin of Israel was not habitual, notorious, unrepented sin; which

is a certain mark of the children of Satan. They were fools to

forsake 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 and

concern for them. The eagle's care for her young is a beautiful

emblem of Christ's love, who came between Divine justice and our

guilty souls, and bare our sins in his own body on the tree. And

by 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 over

their spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, and the world, in and

through Christ. Also of their safety and triumph in him; of

their happy frames of soul, when they are above the world, and

the things of it. This will be the blessed case of spiritual

Israel in every sense in the latter day.
15-18 Here are two instances of the wickedness of Israel, each

was apostacy from God. These people were called Jeshurun, "an

upright people," so some; "a seeing people," so others: but they

soon lost the reputation both of their knowledge and of their

righteousness. They indulged their appetites, as if they had

nothing to do but to make provision for the flesh to fulfil the

lusts of it. Those who make a god of themselves, and a god of

their bellies, in pride and wantonness, and cannot bear to be

told of it, thereby forsake God, and show they esteem him

lightly. There is but one way of a sinner's acceptance and

sanctification, however different modes of irreligion, or false

religion, may show that favourable regard for other ways, which

is often miscalled candid. How mad are idolaters, who forsake

the Rock of salvation, to run themselves upon the rock of

perdition!
19-25 The revolt of Israel was described in the foregoing

verses, and here follow the resolves of Divine justice as to

them. We deceive ourselves, if we think that God will be mocked

by a faithless people. Sin makes us hateful in the sight of the

holy God. See what mischief sin does, and reckon those to be

fools that mock at it.
26-38 The idolatry and rebellions of Israel deserved, and the

justice of God seemed to demand, that they should be rooted out.

But He spared Israel, and continues them still to be living

witnesses of the truth of the Bible, and to silence unbelievers.

They are preserved for wise and holy purposes and the prophecies

give us some idea what those purposes are. The Lord will never

disgrace the throne of his glory. It is great wisdom, and will

help much to the return of sinners to God, seriously to consider

their latter end, or the future state. It is here meant

particularly of what God foretold by Moses, about this people in

the latter days; but it may be applied generally. Oh that men

would consider the happiness they will lose, and the misery they

will certainly plunge into, if they go on in their trespasses!

What will be in the end thereof? #Jer 5:31|. For the Lord will

in due time bring down the enemies of the church, in displeasure

against their wickedness. When sinners deem themselves most

secure, they suddenly fall into destruction. And God's time to

appear for the deliverance of his people, is when things are at

the worst with them. But those who trust to any rock but God,

will find it fail them when they most need it. The rejection of

the Messiah by the Jewish nation, is the continuance of their

ancient idolatry, apostacy, and rebellion. They shall be brought

to humble themselves before the Lord, to repent of their sins,

and to trust in their long-rejected Mediator for salvation. Then

he will deliver them, and make their prosperity great.
39-43 This conclusion of the song speaks, 1. Glory to God. No

escape can be made from his power. 2. It speaks terror to his

enemies. Terror indeed to those who hate him. The wrath of God

is here revealed from heaven against them. 3. It speaks comfort

to his own people. The song concludes with words of joy.

Whatever judgments are brought upon sinners, it shall go well

with the people of God.
44-47 Here is the solemn delivery of this song to Israel, with

a charge to mind all the good words Moses had said unto them. It

is not a trifle, but a matter of life and death: mind it, and

you 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 live

a day longer? God reminds him of the sin of which he had been

guilty, for which he was kept from entering Canaan. It is good

for the best of men to die repenting the infirmities of which

they are conscious. But those may die with comfort and ease,

whenever God calls for them, notwithstanding the sins they

remember against themselves, who have a believing prospect, and

a well-grounded hope of eternal life beyond death.
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