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May not this teach us many lessons? May not the dead and the living both instruct us? Your fathers: where are they All gone the way of all the earth. The wicked were driven away in their wickedness. The righteous have always had hope in their death. Yourselves: what may you learn ? Why have you been preserved ; for your goodness No. Because you have not sinned Certainly not. Why, then “It is of the Lord's mercies you have not been consumed; because his compassions fail not.” (Lam. iii. 22.)
These things were not forgotten by Moses. He goes over the details of forty years with as much ease as if the events had only taken place yesterday. Experience is a great teacher. What we have gone through is not soon forgotten, and may be profitably used for the benefit of others, as time and occasion may serve. May the Lord grant us an abundant experience of the truth and mercy of his salvation; and, out of the abundance of the heart, may we speak of his love and mercy for the good of others! to the glory and praise of his name !
1 The story is continued, that they were not to meddle with the Edomites, 9 nor with the Moabites, 17 nor with the Ammonites, 24 but Sihon the Amorite was subdued by them. YTY HEN we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the Lord spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days. 2 And the LoRD spake unto me, saying, 3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. 4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore : 5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, 'no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession. 6 Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink. 7 For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness:
these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
8 And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Ezion-gaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
9 And the Lord said unto me, * Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.
10 The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; 11 Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims. 12 The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau "succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their 'stead ; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the Lord gave unto them. 13 Now rise up, said I, and get you over the "brook Zered. And we went over the brook Zered. 14 And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LoRD sware unto them. 15 For indeed the hand of the Lord was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed. 16 || So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, 17 That the LoRD spake unto me, saying, 18 Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day: 19 And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them : for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession. 20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims; 21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LoRD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead: 22 As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this dav : § And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.) 24 || Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Armon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: "begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. 25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee. 26 "I And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27 Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left. 28 Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet; 29 (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the Lord our God giveth us. 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day. 31 And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land. 32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz. 33 And the Lord our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people. 34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed 7 the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain : 35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took. 36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the Lord our God delivered all unto us: 37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place
The review of Israel's past history is carried on in this chapter. Moses here reminds them of some things they were not to do; and of others, which they were to perform. They were not to meddle with the children of Esau. Neither were they to distress the Moabites; nor contend with them in battle. Neither were they to distress the children of Ammon; nor meddle with them. But they were to pass on, and contend with Sihon ; to begin to possess his land; and contend with him in battle. And, although they offered terms of friendly passage, yet, being refused, he and all his possessions were given into their hand. Such is the summary of this chapter. Many useful remarks may arise. The Christian life is a life of obedience. That is, it ought to be. When he is living as he ought, it is. When it is not so, all is not well. In what does this obedience consist In doing the will of God. Of what does that will consist? . It consists of doing what he commands; and abstaining from what he forbids. Israel were commanded to do many things in the course of their journeys. They were also forbidden to do many others. Some nations they were not to molest; other nations they were to destroy and possess. In these two things consisted a large part of their national obedience. Are we not commanded, and forbidden Are there not many things which we are commanded to do? Are there not many things we are forbidden to do 2 Are not both of these to be equally attended to by us, as by Israel of old Let us see. Examine the law. It commands, and forbids; it commands some things, and forbids others. Commands imply prohibitions; and prohibitions imply commands. Thus, the law commands you to “love the Lord your God with all your heart; and your neighbour as yourself.” But it forbids you to have any other God; to worship any graven image; to take the Lord's name in vain. It commands you to keep murder, adultery, theft, false witness, or to covet. (See Ex. xx.)
holy the sabbath-day; to honour your father CHAPTER III. and mother. But it forbids you to commit 1 The story of the conquest of Q, king of Bashan. 11 The
Take a survey of the gospel. Here, again, you see the same tone of prohibition and command running through the whole, as in the law. But there is a marked difference. Law commands and prohibitions are given in the spirit of the law; gospel commands and prohibitions are given in the spirit of the gospel. The one are enforced by a tremendous penalty; the other are enjoined under a gracious provision. If you fail under the law, from the law there is no hope. If you fail under the gospel, from the gospel there is hope. These things are always to be borne in mind, when you come to consider law and gospel, or both.
How, then, does the gospel speak God “now commandeth all men every where to repent.” (Acts xvii. 30.) This is his commandment, that we should believe on his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. (1 John iii. 23.) These are positive injunctions of the gospel, given in the spirit of the gospel, with a gracious provision of supply. God gives the grace to repent, as well as the command. God gives the power to believe, as well as the command. (Acts v. 31 ; Eph. i. 19, 20.)
On the other hand, the gospel forbids. It forbids you to sin. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” (Eph. v. 11.) It forbids you to follow the world: “Be not conformed to this world.” (Rom. xii. 2.) It forbids you to be negligent or slothful: “Let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” (1 Thess. v. 6.) Now, these prohibitions are given in the same spirit as those commands. God will give you grace to overcome sin; to come out from the world; to give all “diligence to make your calling and election sure.” (2 Pet. i. 10.) Cherish, then, a right mind and an obedient heart in all things. Use the law as the law; and the gospel as the gospel; and you will neither stumble at the word, nor be disobedient. You will be “wise unto salvation.” (2 Tim. iii. 15.)
biyness of his bed. 12 The distribution of those lands to the two tribes and half. 23 Moses' prayer to enter into the land. 20. He is permitted to see it. WHEN we turned, and went up the way to Dashan : and Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 2 And the LoRD said unto me, Fear him not: for I will deliver him, and all his people, and his land, into thy hand; and thou shalt do unto him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. 3 So the LoRD our God delivered into our hands Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people: and we smote him until none was left to him remaining. 4 And we took all his cities at that time, there was not a city which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars; beside unwalled towns a great many. 6 And we utterly destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city. 7 But all the cattle, and the spoil of the cities, we took for a prey to ourselves. 8 And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan, from the river of Arnon unto mount Hermon; 9 (JWhich Hermon the Sidonians call Sirion; and the Amorites call it Shenir ;) 10 All the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, unto Salchah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man. 12 And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, and half mount Gilead, and the cities thereof, gave I unto the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13 And the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, being the kingdom of Og, gave I unto the half tribe of Manasseh ; all the region of Argob, with all Bashan, which was called the land of giants. 14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the country of Argob unto the coasts of Geshuri and Maachathi; and called them after his own name, Bashan-havoth-jair, unto this day. 15 And I gave Gilead unto Machir. 16 And unto the Reubenites and unto the Gadites I gave from Gilead even unto the river Arnon half the valley, and the border even unto the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; 17 The plain also, and Jordan, and the coast thereof, from Chinnereth even unto the sea of the plain, eren the salt sea, "under Ashdoth-pisgah eastward. 18 "I And I commanded you at that time, saying, The Lord your God hath given you this land to possess it: ye shall pass over armed before your brethren the children of Israel, all that are *meet for the war. 19 But your wives, and your little ones, and your cattle, (for I know that ye have much cattle,) shall abide in your cities which I have given you; 20 Until the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, as well as unto you, and until they also possess the land which the Lord your God hath given them beyond Jordan: and then shall ye return every man unto his possession, which I have given you. 21 *| And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto these two kings: so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. 22 Ye shall not fear them : for the Lord your God he shall fight for you. 23 And I besought the LoRD at that time, saying, 24 O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? 25 I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. 26 But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LoRD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. 27 Get thee up into the top of "Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. 28 But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see. 29 So we abode in the valley over against
Beth-peor. (1) Or, under the springs of Pisgah, (2) Heb, sons of power. or, the hill. (3) Or, The hill.
Moses is still recounting the past history of the children of Israel. He had carried it on in the last chapter to the conquest of Sihon, king of the Amorites; and the possession of his land. He now further mentions the conquest of Og, the king of Bashan; and how they took possession of his country likewise. The distribution of these lands among those two tribes which settled therein, is also named; and his prayer respecting his own entrance into the promised inheritance; together with the charge given to Joshua on the same subject. Many things hence arise for our own improvement. The Christian's life is a scene of conflict. Many were the battles which Israel had to fight on their way; many enemies had they to contend with ; many conquests had they to gain. Has not the believer in Jesus much of the same kind Are there not enemies of his soul? Must he not contend with and overcome them If they overcome him, is not his soul ruined Can he be otherwise safe, than as he overcomes them 2 Is not the world an enemy? Is not the flesh an enemy? Is not the devil an enemy Has he not “an evil heart of unbelief?” Has he not a corrupt nature ? Is he not plagued with vile affections Is there not the spirit of the world Are there not the ways of the world; and the works of the world Are there not the wiles of Satan; the devices of Satan; the assaults of Satan; the snares of Satan; the temptations of Satan? Can these be let alone May they be allowed to have their sway ? Must they not be withstood, resisted, overcome 2 If these enemies of the believer are not overcome by him, will they not overcome him, and sink him into ruin Here, then, is the battle-field of grace. Here the grace of God must strengthen, invigorate, encourage, animate, and make the soul victorious through the Lamb. You must fight the good fight of faith, and so lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. vi. 12.) Every help the Lord gives, and every triumph he enables you to gain, is a sure pledge of all needful grace by the way; and of sure and certain conquest in the end. These victories gained by Israel were of this kind. The Lord thus began to shew his greatness and the power of his mighty hand. And thus he would continue to display his mighty arm till Israel were safe in their promised inheritance. Is it not so, likewise, in the believer's way? Is not every mercy he receives a pledge of more ? Is not every victory he gains a pledge of further triumphs? Will he not, at length, be made more than conqueror, through him that loved him ; How reviving are these truths' How cheerfully should the believer march on his way ! How manfully should he fight under the banner of Christ against all the enemies of his soul! How steadily should he continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end We may say of every enemy of the soul, as Moses said to the people, “Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God, he shall fight for you” (v. 22).
Let us also observe the prayer of Moses, and his charge to Joshua. Earnestly did he desire to go over and see the good land that was beyond Jordan. That request was denied because of his sin, when he smote the rock, and forgat to glorify the Lord in the eyes of the people. What an evil thing is sin! Will it not as certainly exclude the soul from heaven, unless forgiven, as it prevented Moses from entering Canaan 2 Such is the spirit of that law, which was given by Moses; and he himself, in this respect, was made to shew its righteous severity. That request God would not grant. “Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter” (v. 26). Are there not some things which prayer will not procure ? What says John? “There is a sin unto death: I do not say he shall pray for it.” (1 John v. 16.) What cause for holy alarm | But did not the Lord hear and answer Moses at all He denied him the smaller mercy; but granted him a greater. He refused to allow him to enter Canaan; but he promised to take him to heaven' Oh, what grace is here ! Grace in answering prayer, even in refusing to grant the specified request! Christian, never lose sight of this; and, being assured of the Lord's favour and blessing, go on in the strength of the Lord, like Joshua, till you enter the rest above.
1 An exhortation to obedience. 41 Moses appointeth the three cities of refuge on that side Jordan.
OW therefore hearken, O Israel, 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. 2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LoRD your God which I command you. 3 Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you. 4. But ye that did cleave unto the LoRD your God are alive every one of you this day. 5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LoRD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. 6 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. 7 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 3 8 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 ? 9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; 10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the LoRD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children. 11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the 'midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. 12 And the LoRD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; "only ye heard a voice. 13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.