God's mercies to Israel after their rebellion. (1-11) An
exhortation to obedience. (12-22)
Moses reminded the Israelites of God's great mercy to
them, notwithstanding their provocations. There were four things
in and by which the Lord showed himself reconciled to Israel.
God gave them his law. Thus God has intrusted us with Bibles,
sabbaths, and sacraments, as tokens of his presence and favour.
God led them forward toward Canaan. He appointed a standing
ministry among them for holy things. And now, under the gospel,
when the pouring forth of the Spirit is more plentiful and
powerful, the succession is kept up by the Spirit's work on
men's hearts, qualifying and making some willing for that work
in every age. God accepted Moses as an advocate or intercessor
for them, and therefore appointed him to be their prince and
leader. Moses was a type of Christ, who ever lives, pleading for
us, and has all power in heaven and in earth.
We are here taught our duty to God in our principles and
our practices. We must fear the Lord our God. We must love him,
and delight in communion with him. We must walk in the ways in
which he has appointed us to walk. We must serve him with all
our heart and soul. What we do in his service we must do
cheerfully, and with good will. We must keep his commandments.
There is true honour and pleasure in obedience. We must give
honour to God; and to him we must cleave, as one we love and
delight in, trust in, and from whom we have great expectations.
We are here taught our duty to our neighbour. God's common gifts
to mankind oblige us to honour all men. And those who have
themselves been in distress, and have found mercy with God,
should be ready to show kindness to those who are in the like
distress. We are here taught our duty to ourselves. Circumcise
your hearts. Cast away all corrupt affections and inclinations,
which hinder you from fearing and loving God. By nature we do
not love God. This is original sin, the source whence our
wickedness proceeds; and the carnal mind is enmity against God,
for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be;
so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God, Ro
8:5-9. Let us, without delay or reserve, come and cleave to our
reconciled God in Jesus Christ, that we may love, serve, and
obey him acceptably, and be daily changed into his image, from
glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord. Consider the
greatness and glory of God; and his goodness and grace; these
persuade us to our duty. Blessed Spirit! Oh for thy purifying,
persevering, and renewing influences, that being called out of
the state of strangers, such as our fathers were, we may be
found among the number of the children of God, and that our lot
may be among the saints.