Deuteronomy 33

* The glorious majesty of God. (1-5) The blessings of the twelve

tribes. (6-23) Strength to believers. (24,25) The excellency of

Israel. (26-29)

1-5 To all his precepts, warnings, and prophecies, Moses added

a solemn blessing. He begins with a description of the glorious

appearances of God, in giving the law. His law works like fire.

If received, it is melting, warming, purifying, and burns up the

dross of corruption; if rejected, it hardens, sears, pains, and

destroys. The Holy Spirit came down in cloven tongues, as of

fire; for the gospel also is a fiery law. The law of God written

in the heart, is a certain proof of the love of God shed abroad

there: we must reckon His law one of the gifts of his grace.
6-23 The order in which the tribes are here blessed, is not the

same as is observed elsewhere. The blessing of Judah may refer

to the whole tribe in general, or to David as a type of Christ.

Moses largely blesses the tribe of Levi. Acceptance with God is

what we should all aim at, and desire, in all our devotions,

whether men accept us or not, #2Co 5:9|. This prayer is a

prophecy, that God will keep up a ministry in his church to the

end of time. The tribe of Benjamin had their inheritance close

to mount Zion. To be situated near the ordinances, is a precious

gift from the Lord, a privilege not to be exchanged for any

worldly advantage, or indulgence. We should thankfully receive

the earthly blessings sent to us, through the successive

seasons. But those good gifts which come down from the Father of

lights, through the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the

pouring out of his Spirit like the rain which makes fruitful,

are infinitely more precious, as the tokens of his special love.

The precious things here prayed for, are figures of spiritual

blessing in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and

comforts of the Spirit. When Moses prays for the good will of

Him that dwelt in the bush, he refers to the covenant, on which

all our hopes of God's favour must be founded. The providence of

God appoints men's habitations, and wisely disposes men to

different employments for the public good. Whatever our place

and business are, it is our wisdom and duty to apply thereto;

and it is happiness to be well pleased therewith. We should not

only invite others to the service of God, but abound in it. The

blessing of Naphtali. The favour of God is the only favour

satisfying to the soul. Those are happy indeed, who have the

favour of God; and those shall have it, who reckon that in

having it they have enough, and desire no more.
24,25 All shall be sanctified to true believers; if their way

be rough, their feet shall be shod with the preparation of the

gospel of peace. As thy days, so shall thy strength be. The

"day" is often in Scripture put for the events of the day; it is

a promise that God would graciously and constantly support under

trials and troubles, whatever they were. It is a promise sure to

all the spiritual seed of Abraham. Have they work allotted? They

shall have strength to do it. Have they burdens appointed? They

shall have strength, and never be tempted above what they are

able to bear.
26-29 None had such a God as Israel. There is no people like

the Israel of God. What is here said of the church of Israel is

to be applied to the spiritual church. Never were people so well

seated and sheltered. Those who make God their habitation, shall

have all the comforts and benefits of a habitation in him, #Ps

91:1|. Never were people so well supported and borne up. How low

soever the people of God are at any time brought, everlasting

arms are underneath them, to keep the spirit from sinking, from

fainting, and their faith from failing. Divine grace is

sufficient for them, #2Co 12:9|. Never were people so well

commanded. Thus believers are more than conquerors over their

spiritual enemies, through Christ that loved them. Never were

people so well secured and protected. Israel shall dwell in

safety alone. All who keep close to God, shall be kept safe by

him. Never were people so well provided for. Every true

Israelite looks with faith to the better country, the heavenly

Canaan, which is filled with better things than corn and wine.

Never were people so well helped. If in danger of any harm, or

in want of any good, they had an eternal God to go to. Nothing

could hurt those whom God helped, nor was it possible the people

should perish who were saved by the Lord. Never were people so

well armed. Those in whose hearts is the excellency of holiness,

are defended by the whole armour of God, #Eph 6|. Never were

people so well assured of victory over their enemies. Thus shall

the God of peace tread Satan under the feet of all believers,

and shall do it shortly, #Ro 16:20|. May God help us to seek and

to set our affections on the things above; and to turn our souls

from earthly perishing objects; that we may not have our lot

with Israel's foes in the regions of darkness and despair, but

with the Israel of God, in the realms of love and eternal

happiness.
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