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Bible Commentaries

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

Deuteronomy 8

 

 

Verses 1-20

CRITICAL NOTES.—In addition to the danger of being ensnared by idolatry, after their settlement in Canaan, Israel might fall into pride and forget God in the enjoyment of its products. To guard against this, Moses reviews the past and indicates the Divine purpose in the 40 years' wanderings.

Deu . Renewed admonition to keep the law.

Deu . Remember that God's designs may be realised and right effects produced (Deu 13:3; 2Ch 32:31). Humble, i.e., to bring them by means of distress and privations to depend upon God. Prove, i.e., to test in positions which would reveal their thoughts and hearts.

Deu . Manna (Exo 16:14-15), previously unknown to them and their fathers; not only to sustain natural life, but to show that man lives not by bread only, but by every word, lit., every outgoing of the mouth of the Lord; not by material bread, but by the fulfilment of God's will (cf. Mat 4:4). God sustains life by extraordinary as well as ordinary means.

Deu . God provided for clothing as well as nourishment. Waxed, lit., did not fall off, waste away, foot swell, become soft (Deut. 70, got callous; Neh 9:21), which would have been the case if their sandals had not been preserved from wearing out.

Deu Thus did God chasten, lit., admonish, educate them as a father his son.

Deu . Israel were to be mindful of this paternal discipline when they entered the good land. We have a contrast between Palestine and Egypt. Brooks, streams, mountain torrents, and water-courses in valleys; water the chief source of fertility. Wheat, cereal fruits specially promised to faithful allegiance (Psa 81:16; Psa 104:15). Vines covering limestone rocks. Honey, a great delicacy.

Deu . Stones are iron, i.e., ferruginous. Brass, not the alloy brass, but the ore of copper. Mines now exhausted or neglected were worked anciently (Job 28:1-11 Isa 60:17; 1Ch 22:3).

Deu . Israel in the midst of plenty were to beware of forgetting God.

Deu . Goodly houses would be strange after moveable tents.

Deu . Lifted up, like the Pharisee in the temple.

In Deu Moses again gives a summary of the dangers of the desert; snakes, scorpions, and drought. Yet Divine goodness brought water out of the hardest stone, and gave manna to humble them, and ultimately to do good at latter end, i.e. the settlement of Israel in Canaan—the end and climax of the Mosaic dispensation, to which the sojourn in Egypt, the wandering in the desert, and the arrangements of the law, all led up (Speak. Com.).

Deu . Wealth. God gave power to get wealth, to create property (Num 24:18), not on account of Israel's merit, but to fulfil His promise this day; the oath was confirmed, and Israel had come through the desert to the border of Canaan.

Deu . To strengthen his admonition, Moses pointed again in conclusion, as in Deu 6:14 (cf. Deu 4:25 sqq.), to the destruction which would come upon Israel through ostacy from God (Keil.)

THE RETROSPECT OP LIFE.—Deu

The long wandering in the wilderness was designed to teach self-distrust, humility and reliance on God for the necessities of life. God's special providence had blessed them, and without this they could not prosper in Canaan. Hence they are urged to remember the experience of the past to secure obedience in the future.

REMEMBERING THE WAY.—Deu

I. The way we are called to remember is "all the way," etc. But those things are to be most remembered which are more immediately connected with heaven, as—

1. The means which brought us into the way:

2. The afflictions with which we have been visited since we have been walking in the path of life:

3. Our mercies:

4. Our sins.

II. To be beneficial the remembrance must be accompanied by a lively conviction of the overruling providences of God in all that has happened to us.

1. They are intended to humble us:

2. To prove us:

3. To teach the in sufficiency of earthly things to make us happy.

III. Besides these immediate ends they answer—

1. To confirm our faith in the Bible:

2. To increase our knowledge of ourselves:

3. To strengthen our confidence in God.—C. Bradley.

THE RETROSPECT OF LIFE.—Deu

1. Life is a journey. "All the way." It is a most solemn and eventful way. We are strangers and pilgrims on earth as our fathers were. "You have not passed this way before."

1. Under Divine guidance. "The Lord thy God led thee." Moses and Aaron, priests and counsellors, were with Israel, but they prayed "let thy presence go with us" (Exo ; Exo 33:17). Many looked upon Moses alone, God's guidance was needful. The Christian has a divine and omnipotent leader. "So I am with you," Sad for those who journey without God.

2. Displaying divine goodness. From beginning to end life is filled with tokens of divine favours. (a) In redeeming it from destruction as Israel were delivered from Egypt. Dangers seen and unseen, enemies in every period and stage—perils, personal, social, and peculiar, have been overcome. (b) In sustaining it in time of need. Food, clothing, and shelter have been given. Manna never ceased; supplies came every day. Decay made no progress, and God provided for every emergency. "God will pay all our expenses to heaven," says an old writer.

3. Under divine discipline. "To prove thee." Hardships, trials, and changes, are ways by which God discovers what is in our hearts. The bitter and sweet are mixed together in heavenly discipline, give life a moral value and test faith, disposition and character.

4. Directed to a special end. There is direction, dark and perplexing as events may be. We train and educate our children for ultimate ends. God disciplines his people for special work, special enjoyment, and "good at the latter end." The moral end to prove us, and the real end eternal rest.

II. The journey of life should be remembered. "Thou shalt remember all the way." Life's meaning can only be understood by its retrospect and remembrance. We cannot discern God's purpose in the midst of its movement and events. But when raised to some mount, or brought to some crisis, then we calmly review the past and learn its lessons.

1. In its marked duration. "These forty years" in the wilderness. Long or short our days are limited. The longest life brief regarded in the light of eternity. Brief contrasted with the age of the world and the duration of God 1 But filled with human folly and divine mercy!

2. In its special dangers. "In the wilderness," a land of dearth, scorpions and fiery serpents, Deu . "A land of deserts and of pits; through a land of drought and of the shadow of death; through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt" (Jer 2:6; Hos 13:5).

3. In its peculiar trials. The Red Sea with its triumphs, Marah with its bitterness, Rephidim with its murmurs, Sinai with its thunders and the wilderness with its supplies, contests and incidents must never be forgotten. The past records, the wonders of God; memory must treasure them up to aid faith. "Memory is a fit handmaid for faith. When faith has its seven years of famine, memory like Joseph in Egypt opens her granaries."—(Spurgeon.)

4. In its moral nature. Life is more than meat which sustains it, greater than natural existence. Man doth not live by bread alone, but by the word, the will of God or what is pleasing to God. God sustained Israel forty years with manna, and Moses forty days and forty nights without bread to show that our well-being depends not upon material things. Our life is nourished by God's will, we should therefore be more anxious to do that will, than become impatient, fretful, and selfish in helping ourselves (cf. Mat ; Joh 6:52-55).

III. The habit of remembering life will be helpful to us. As an exercise of memory it is useful. Memory may help or hinder according to our tastes and moral condition. We should review the past.

1. To acquaint us with ourselves. "Know thyself" is a difficult lesson. We blame the Jews and are guilty ourselves. We measure ourselves with ourselves or others, and think too highly of ourselves. But God knows what is in man, puts us into circumstances which test our character, and which bring out what we have in us, what we have in our hearts, "whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no."

2. To teach us dependence upon God. "To humble thee," and uproot all pride and self-sufficiency. "He suffered thee to hunger," that God might be recognised and trusted. What could Israel, what can we do in the wilderness without God. Supplies came not from earth but from heaven.

3. To excite gratitude to God. Gratitude cures bad memories. If we forget God's works we have need to learn the art of remembering. "Eaten bread is soon forgotten. Nothing so soon grows stale as a favour" (Trapp). Memory quickens the heart and supplies fuel to grateful feeling.

4. To prompt obedience to God. "Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments," etc. (Deu ). Without a sense of obligation there can be no real obedience. "Those who forget God's works," says Spurgeon, "are sure to fail in their own." "Thanksgiving is good," observes Matthew Henry, "but thanksliving is better." We should make grateful acknowledgment of God's goodness by unreserved dedication to His service. "All the commandments shall ye observe to do."

DIVINE DISCIPLINE.—Deu

The sufferings of Israel were not only chastisements for sin, but trials of obedience; methods of discovering their unbelief, inconstancy and rebellion. Thus God trained or disciplined them, that they might obey Him.

I. The nature of this discipline. In earthly families there must be correction, "for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not!" Among God's people there is "a needs be "for this discipline.

1. It is often severe. "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievious." Some are heavily afflicted. They suffer in body and mind, in family and business. Dark, indeed are their days, most intense are the flames in which they are put, until their "flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen" (Job ; Job 14:22.

2. It is always affectionate. "As a man chasteneth his son"—God never suffers His children to be ruined for want of correction; whom He loves He chastens, and chastens because He loves. "He rejoiceth over His child to do Him good" (Jer ). Not as a master beating his slaves, nor a judge condemning criminal; "God deals with His servants," says an old writer, "not as a passionate master, but as a compassionate father." The principle which prompts him is not judicial nor retributive, but parental. Hence cried Luther, "Strike on, Lord, strike on, for now I know I am Thy child."

II. The design of this discipline. God has a purpose in view. His strokes are not random strokes. Earthly fathers chastise foolishly, often for their own pleasure and err in their method of discipline (Heb .) "They err at one time in severity, at another in indulgence (1Sa 3:12; Eph 6:4), and do not so much chasten as think they chasten" (Bengel.) But God trains for our well-being and never errs in the means to accomplish it. 1 To give instruction. "Consider in thine heart." Afflictions are not to be despised, but thought of and felt. Seneca could say "it is inhuman not to feel thine afflictions, and unmanly not to bear them." In this school we are taught the folly of pride, the need of purity and the mercy of God. It throws light into our character and leads to moral decision. God "taught the men of Succoth (made them to know) with "thorns of the wilderness and briars" (Jud 8:16). We are made to know much of sin, of Christ, of God, and of the world, through affliction. Luther said there were many of the Psalms that he could never understand till he had been afflicted. Rutherford declared that he had gained a new Bible through the furnace.

2. To produce obedience. "Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments." Children are wayward, self-willed, and must be preserved from disobedience. Jesus had to "learn obedience by the things which he suffered." "Sufferings, disciplinings" (trainings) is the Greek adage. God melts in the furnace that he may stamp with His image; corrects that we may partake of His holiness. The rod is sent to wean from sin, train to obedience and discipline for heaven. "Blessed is the man whom Thou chasteneth, O Lord, and teachest him out of Thy law."

"Among the choicest of my blessings here,

Stands this the foremost, that my heart has bled."

HOMILETIC HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Deu . I. Duty to be rightly performed.

1. Right in its method. "Observe to do."

2. Right in its motive. From the fear of God.

3. Right in its scope. "All the commandments." II. Duty rightly performed brings enjoyment. Physical exercise gives health, vigour, and pleasure. Obedience to God gives satisfaction of heart and mind. Israel would (a) live, (b) multiply, and (c) gain the inheritance. "Employment is true enjoyment," says Shakespeare.

All the commandments. "All" is but a little word, but of large extent. There are magnalia legis and minutula legis. Look to both the greater and the lesser things of the law (Mat ).—Trapp.

Deu . Practical religion. Know yourselves thoroughly—store memory wisely—live obediently. Remembrance of God's commandments. Consider: I. The duty of remembrance. A positive duty, an obligation upon us, with regard to—

1. Earthly things;

2. Heavenly things. II. The benefit resulting from it. These events, which we should remember, were intended to—

1. Humble us;

2. Prove us. III. Its comfort: it is all "to do thee good at thy latter end" (J. J. Day, M.A.). The Retrospect. I. Let us return to the call to remembrance. II. Observe the subject to be reviewed.

1. The place: "the wildernesss;"

2. The Conductor: "the Lord thy God;"

3. The passages: "all the way;"

4. The period: "these forty years."—Jay.

Deu . Chasteneth. This is reckoned here as an high favour. So Job accounts it (Deu 7:17-18), and Paul describes it (Heb 12:7-8), and Jeremiah prays for it (Jer 10:24).—Trapp.

Divine chastisement. Afflictions are—

1. Divine in their appointment.

2. Paternal in their character. Inflicted with tender reluctance, deliberate wisdom, and with great leniency.

3. Painful in their exercise.

4. Affectionate in their design.

"He nothing does, or suffers to be done,

But thou would'st do thyself, could'st thou but see,

The end of all events as well as he."

Rev. R. Bond.

THE GOOD LAND.—Deu

It is significant that Deuteronomy should abound more than earlier books in praises of the beauty and fertility of Canaan. "Such a topic," says Dean Graves, "at an earlier period would have increased the murmurings and impatience of the people at being detained in the wilderness; whereas now it encouraged them to encounter with more cheerfulness the opposition they must meet with from the inhabitants of Canaan."

I. A good land displaying Divine bounties. Ancient and modern writers testify to the natural beauty and fertility of Palestine. Most striking features are mentioned first. Water abounds in natural springs, fountains, and in the clouds of heaven. Its cereal fruits yielded sixty and often an hundred fold (Gen ; Mat 13:8), and under its hills iron and brass were found. It was a land of plenty and rich variety; displaying Divine goodness in its produce and position "a wealthy place" (Psa 66:12). What forethought, wisdom, and affection God displays in causing the earth to furnish us with the necessities of life! Everything to satisfy the eye, promote health, and gratify the taste. But this possession is only a type of spiritual blessings, and a richer inheritance in the land beyond.

II. A good land in contrast to the wilderness. Compared with Egypt from whence they came, and with the desert through which they passed, the land was remarkable. Contrasts in life are many and striking—in its different stages, in its beginning and end. Deserts and fruitful fields, poverty and wealth, light and darkness, "are set the one over against the other," in Divine appointment, wise proportion and benevolent design. "To the end that man should find nothing after him." Nothing superfluous, defective, or irregular in the review (Ecc ). "If a man should take upon himself to review the work after him, and conceive that a greater or less degree of prosperity or adversity would have been better, or that either would have sufficed, without the balance of the other—he only stands before us in all the folly and presumption of fancying himself to be wiser than God. What God has done, he has done best."—Bridge.

III. A good land for which Israel was prepared. There was, not only a natural preparation in the physical changes and human cultivation of Canaan, but a moral preparation of the people for their position. The earth is prepared for man, and the world to be the theatre of redemption; but man is trained and disciplined for his inheritance. We are not always fit to receive the things we cry for. Blessings would never be appreciated without a sense of need and adaptation. The wealth of the soul is the wealth of experience; faith confirmed after trial and deliverance. The place of the believer is gained through humility, affliction and discipline, and men are always trained and prepared for their lot in life. Heaven is "a prepared place for a prepared people." "To bring thee into the place which I have prepared."

THE PERILS OF PROSPERITY.—Deu

When Israel entered the good land it would be one of the greatest changes in their history. In the midst of plenty they might forget God, who sustained them in the wilderness, brought them into their possession and lavished his gifts upon them. "Beware thou forget not the Lord thy God."

I. Prosperity leads to self-indulgence. "When thou hast eaten and art full." Wealth leads to surfeiting. In abundance men indulge sinful appetites. "Eating and drinking are themselves religious acts, or, at least, ought to be so," says Feuerback, "with every mouthful we should think of the God who gave it." God gives bread for necessities, man craves "meat for his lust." (Psa .) Self-indulgence is dangerous as "a knife to thy throat," (Pro 23:2) and must be avoided lest ruin ensue. "Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."

II. Prosperity tends to forgetfulness of God. Forgetfulness of His providence, gifts and commandments. A sense of divine favours dies in the memory. The mercy of God is only remembered when it is taken away. In the order of nature and in the events of life, God is forgotten, and self or second causes are praised. "She did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal." (Hos .)

III. Prosperity begets pride of heart. "Then thine heart be lifted up." Adversity may depress, but prosperity elevates to presumption. It lifts up the mind against God. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar and Herod are fearful examples. It is not mere aversion from God, but direct resistence to God, against which God places himself in battle array; "God resisteth the proud." (Jas .) "They were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me." (Hos 13:6.)

IV. Prosperity genders self-glorification. "My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth." (Deu .) Proud men esteem themselves too highly, demand reverence from their fellow men, and glorify themselves instead of God. Nebuchadnezzar ascribed all the praise to himself in his prosperity. "Is not this great Babylon that I have built," etc. (Dan 4:30-32). It is false, unreasonable, and mischievous to say that we gain our wealth and positions. Do not sacrifice to your own nets (Hab 1:16), "for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth." (Deu 8:18.)

"In pride, in reasoning pride our error lies;

All quit the sphere, and rush into the skies.

Pride still is aiming at the blessed abodes;

Men would be angels, angels would be Gods."—Pope.

ARGUMENTS FOR OBEDIENCE.—Deu

God's purpose was to do Israel good at the latter end. There was no event in their journey separate and independent in itself. There was divine issue in everything. The end in view was to make them humble and obedient. Hence Moses enforces his lesson by a recapitulation of mercies and points out the danger of disobedience.

I. The past mercies of God should lead to present obedience (Deu .) These are again specified, and should never be forgotten. Deliverance from bondage; guidance and preservation in danger, want and distress; bountiful supplies and careful training. Our life wonderfully displays power, mercy, and grace; and its review should beget profound sense of gratitude and prompt to consecration. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

II Our dependence upon God should lead to present obedience. God gives power to get wealth and gain success in life (Deu .) Israel were perfectly helpless from beginning to end of their history. Supplies in the wilderness came from heaven. "The good land "was a special gift. We can never cease to be dependent upon God, and should, therefore, not attribute prosperity to "the laws of nature," or to our own skill and wisdom. We should seek to please and obey God. "What hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it."

III. Future destiny should lead to present obedience. Moses often puts the condition of blessings upon their obedience. In some respect their future was in their own hands. Apostacy would lead to ruin. As God had destroyed "the nations before their face," so they would perish if they "would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord." Loyal obedience would secure length of days, and national glory. Our eternal weal or woe depends upon our conduct and character here. "As all good things are come upon you, which the Lord your God promised you; so shall the Lord bring upon you all the evil things," etc. (Jos .)

A CAUTION AGAINST FORGETFULNESS OF GOD.—Deu

The text, though delivered by Moses thousands of years ago, is addressed to us now; it contains an assumption, an intimation, and a charge.

I. Men are liable to forget God. This is assumed in the text, and needs but little confirmation. All acknowledge it, but to impress it deeply upon our minds, notice the following considerations:—

1. We infer our liability to forget from the mysteriousness of His nature. Things near that we handle and see are not easily forgotten; but things remote, unseen and mysterious, are not generally remembered. No man hath seen God; our ideas of Him are imperfect, and hence we are liable to forget Him.

2. We infer our liability to forget God from the moral dislike we have to Him. We easily remember those to whom we are deeply attached, but forget those whom we dislike. Sinners hate God—are contrary in their nature to Him, and are aliens and enemies in their hearts: hence they often forget Him.

3. We infer our liability to forget God from the facts that fall under our notice. We need not go among pagans, nor penetrate recesses of licentiousness or haunts of vice. Let each individual examine his own heart. How often we forget God's presence, mercies, and laws.

4. We infer our liability to forget God, from the testimonies of the Scriptures. Read Psa ; Psa 14:1-3; Job 21:14-15; Rom 1:28.

II. Forgetfulness of God is an evil against which we should be peculiarly on our guard. This is intimated in the text, founded on the following. reasons:—

1. They who forget God must necessarily remain ignorant of Him. Ignorance of God is censurable, for man has capacity for knowing God. He is the most worthy object we can know. The Holy Spirit will help us to gain knowledge. But those who forget can never know Him; nothing can be known that is forgotten.

2. They who forget God must necessarily disobey Him God's commandments are founded in justice, goodness, and truth; bind us to hate sin and love holiness; and in keeping them there is great reward. But they who forget God disobey, and disobedience is a great curse (cf. Deu ).

3. They who forget God must necessarily prove ungrateful to Him. As our Creator, we are indebted to Him for bodies wonderfully made; souls exalted in their nature, and adapted for elevated and eternal enjoyments. As our Benefactor, He feeds, clothes, and defends us. As our Saviour, He gave His Son to die for us, His Spirit to strive with us, and His Gospel to encourage us. This loudly calls for gratitude. But who can be grateful that forgets God? Is not ingratitude a hateful, execrable crime?

4. They who forget God must necessarily be punished by Him. Necessarily, for God has threatened, and it is impossible for Him to lie (cf. Psa ; Jud 3:7-8).

III. Means should be used for the avoidance of this heinous crime. This is the object of the charge;—"Beware that thou forget not."

1. Serious consideration should be exercised on all things that belong to our peace. How lamentable the extreme thoughtlessness of men concerning their souls, salvation, and God! Avoid the crime of forgetting by giving yourselves up to serious consideration. "I thought on my ways." (Psa ; Deu 32:29; 2 Timothy 2-4.)

2. Fervent and unremitting prayer should be offered up to God for a change of heart. If not renewed in the spirit of our minds, we shall be habitually liable to forget God. If renewed and a right spirit put within us, we shall love and delight ourselves in God.

3. We should constantly avoid those things which tend to exclude God from our thoughts. The expression of the text is emphatic, Beware—be wary and suspicious of danger. Shun needless association with sinners who forget God and excite others to forget him. Be not too anxious to increase worldly prosperity, for nothing conduces more to forgetfulness of God than this! What a propensity to forget God when riches increase!

4. Let us use all the means which tend to turn our thoughts towards God. Associate with the godly—frequent religious ordinances—read God's holy word—contemplate death, judgment and eternity! In conclusion.

1. Inquire, do we forget God? This may serve as a discriminating mark of moral character. Christians love to think of God—sinners strive to forget him.

2. Exhort those who forget God to consider their folly, ingratitude, and danger.—Beta.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF WORLDLY SUCCESS.—Deu

1. How worldly success is to be obtained. By strict obedience to God's laws; by this only. Work is what He demands, and work is the only condition under which the prize may be won.

2. The nature of the profit we are to look for. Not merely worldly profit. No life so dreary, so deadly as that of the mere millionaire. The joys of the true man's life he cannot taste; the holy fellowships of spiritual being he cannot enter; God stamps him reprobate. There is a vast wealth of faculty in him, "fusting" from want of use. And power unused soon gets acrid, and mordant, and gnaws and wears within.

3. Why we should remember the Lord God. Because—

1. It will bring us out at once into the glad sunlight, and will make even our toil lightsome;

2. It will spare us all wearing and crushing anxieties;

3. It will save us the shame and anguish of finding ourselves bankrupt at last and for ever.—J. B. Brown, B.A.

HOMILETIC HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS

Deu . Bringeth thee into a good land. "A blessed issue to a mournful story. Canaan was, indeed, a broad and royal domain for the once enslaved tribes. God, who took them into Egypt, also brought them into the land which flowed with milk and honey, and Egypt was in his purposes en route to Canaan. The way to heaven is vi tribulation.

"The path of sorrow and that path alone,

Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown."

—Spurgeon.

A good land—free from scarceness, void of sorrow, and secure from dangers.

Deu . Bless the Lord. Suitable requital, for goodness most constant, for gifts in rich abundance and undeserved.

Deu . Forget not. God hates forgetfulness of His blessings. First, because He has commanded that we should not forget them. (Deu 4:9.) Secondly, because forgetfulness is a sign of contempt. Thirdly, it is the peculiarity of singular carelessness. Fourthly, it springs from unbelief. Fifthly, it is the greatest mark of ingratitude.—Thomas le Blanc.

Deu . Flint turned into a fountain. Supplies from unlikely sources—a type of Divine grace in the hardest heart, and an argument for undeserving fidelity. Mighty streams flow to us in the wilderness. Has our return been commensurate?

Deu . Divine supplies—seasonable, plentiful and miraculous, or Divine interpositions in direction, "led thee" protection, and necessities of life. Manna in the wilderness. A celebrated event.

1. On account of the excellence of the gift. Angel's food." (Psa .)

2. On account of the rarity of the gift "which thy fathers knew not."

3. On account of the source of the gift "from heaven."

4. On account of the place in which it was given "in the wilderness." "God's banquets are never stinted; He gives the best diet and plenty of it. Gospel provisions deserve every praise that we can heap upon them; they are free, full, and pre-eminent; they are of God's preparing, sending and bestowing. Happy pilgrims who in the desert have their meat sent from the Lord's own palace above."—Spurgeon.

Deu . Good at latter end.

1. Life divided into distinct periods which have beginning and end.

2. God has a purpose in view in the whole of life.

3. This purpose is good.

4. This purpose will only be fully realised at life's end. Canaan and heaven. "The ‘latter end' of any one is the time which follows some distinct point in his life, particularly an important epoch-making point, and which may be regarded as the end by contrast, the time before that epoch being considered as the beginning."—Delitzsch.

Deu . The danger of forgetting God.

1. It leads to idolatry. If true God forgotten, another will be chosen, for we must have a God.

2. It leads to destruction. "Ye shall surely perish."

ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 8

Deu . Years. Life is crowded with pleasures. When there is shadow, it is because there is sunshine not far off. Its weeds and thorns are known by contrast with surrounding flowers, and though upon many even of the latter there may be raindrops, those that are without are yet more abounding. There are more smiles in the world than there are tears; there is more love than hate, more constancy than forsaking. Those that murmur the contrary choose not for thy companions.—Leo. H. Grindon.

Deu . Chasteneth. Afflictions are blessings to us when we can bless God for them. Suffering has kept many from sinning. God had one Son without sin, but He never had any without sorrow. Fiery trials make golden Christians; sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions. (Dyer.) O God, I have made an ill use of thy mercies, if I have not learnt to be content with thy correction.—Bp. Hall.

Deu . Good land. O the splendour of this brilliant conclusion to a gloomy history. Glory be unto him who saw in the apparent evil the true way to the real good. With patience we will endure the present gloom, for the morning cometh. Over the hills faith sees the daybreak, in whose light we shall enter into a wealthy place. (Spurgeon.) However long and dreary be the winter, we are always indemnified by the spring; not merely by the enjoyment of it when it comes, but by the anticipation. So with the mists and wintry days of life; while they last they are painful, but their clearing away is glorious, and we find that they are only veils and forerunners of something bright. Nature never forgets her destination, nor Divine love its compensation.—Leo. H. Grindon.

Deu . Eaten and full. "An epicure digs his grave with his teeth. Gluttony kills more than the sword." In the day of good be thou in good. When God gives thee prosperity, do thou enjoy it with a cheerful and thankful heart. (Bp. Reynolds.) "In all time of our wealth, good Lord deliver us."

Deu . Latter end. Works of providence, as works of creation, may begin in chaos, and seem "without form and void" (Genesis 1, 2;) but they end in admirable order and beauty. (Bp. Reynolds.)

Deu . Wealth. When the danger is past God is forgotten. (Ray's proverbs.) No sooner does the warm aspect of good fortune shine, than all the plans of virtue, raised like a beautiful frost-work in the winter season of adversity, thaw and disappear. (Warburton.) "What shall I come to, Father!" said a young man, "If I go on prospering in this way?" "To the grave," replied the father.—G. S. Bowes.

Deu . Other gods. Any opinion which tends to keep out of sight the living and loving God, whether it be to substitute for Him an idol, or an occult agency, or a formal creed—can be nothing better than the portentous shadow projected from the slavish darkness of an ignorant heart. (Hallam.) Perish. All the princes of the earth have not had so many subjects betrayed and made traitors by their enemies, as God hath lost souls by the means of images.—Bp. Hooper.

With what unutterable humility

We should bow down, thou blessed cross, to Thee,

Seeing our vanity and foolishness,

When to our own devices left, we frame

A shameful creed of craft and cruelty.

London.

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 8:4". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/deuteronomy-8.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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