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the promised land ; and thus to be led to feel their obligations to the almighty and covenant-keeping God, who had watched over them.
This was followed by the most earnest exhortations to obedience, in view of all that God had done for them.
Hearken, O Israel,” said Moses, unto the statutes and unto the judgments which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.” “Keep therefore and do them ; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon
him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine
seen, lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life : but teach them thy sons and thu
which would debar him from the privilege of entering the promised land. He thus wished to show them, most forcibly, from his own example, that their disobedience must bring down upon them, also, the divine indignation. "For," said he, "the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”
Should they, however, in spite of all the commands and threatenings of the Almighty, become idolatrous, he added, with deep solemnity, this prophetic denunciation. “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the Lord shall lead you. And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart, and with all thy soul. When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (for the Lord thy God is a merciful God ;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.”
These words of Moses deserve a place in our narrative, without alteration or abridgment. The subsequent history of the Israelites, and their present condition, furnish a wonderful fulfillment of the prediction. How have they, indeed, been scattered among the nations ! How are they now, in these latter days, in tribulation! Let us earnestly supplicate the throne of grace in their behalf; and use all the means in our power to lead them back to the God of their fathers, and to persuade them, under the divine blessing, to accept of that Saviour whom they have so long rejected.
May it not be—will it not soon be—that they will turn to the Lord, and be obedient unto his voice; and that he will remember the covenant of their fathers which he sware unto them ?
The passage that has just been quoted, is an affecting exhibition of the character of God : jealous of his own honor; resolved to maintain the dignity of his government, and to take vengeance, even by the most terrible judgments, upon those that resist his authority, and set up other gods, idols of worship or affection, above him who claims the supreme love of his creatures : and yet merciful and forgive ing to these very offenders, when they will truly repent of their sins, and come back to a state of submissive and cordial obedience.
My young friend, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice ; (for the Lord thy God is u merciful God ;) he will not for
sake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of his gruce which he made with Abraham, and all his spiritual seed.
But remember, the voice of God to all sinners now is, " He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life : and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Repentance, in order to be sincere, must be accompanied with faith in Christ. For, of all other sins to be repented of, the most aggravated is, that the pride of the heart has so long rejected a crucified Redeemer, as the only source of justification before God, and of pardon and peace. Repentance, in order to be accepted, must be accompanied with faith in Christ. For, God has declared, that he can be just to his own authority, while he forgives the sinner, in no other way. In this way he can be just, and yet the justifier of all who believe in Jesus.
Will you, thus, turn unto God ? Have you already done it ? Is every idol banished from your heart, that Christ may reign in it, the supreme object of your affection and service ? Magnify the grace of God, if it is so; and pray continually, that you may have more of this grace, and love Christ more, and become more and more like him.
Further exhortations of Moses.
To enforce his appeal to the Israelites, in calling upon them to remain loyal and obedient to the God of their fathers, Moses reminded them of the wonderful prodigies that they had witnessed, and which were unknown to any other people; and of the divine power that had been so signally exercised in their behalf, especially in rescuing them, an entire nation, from the grasp of another nation which was holding them in bondage. And all this was done, he added, that they might know that the Lord he is God; and that there is none else beside him. shalt keep, therefore, his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.”
This seems to have ended the first exhortation of Moses to the people. We next find him specifying the three cities on the east side of the Jordan, which were to be the cities of refuge; and soon