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Deuteronomy 7:12-26 -

Reward in proportion to arduous service.

The enterprise upon which the Jews were entering was one of prodigious difficulty. They had to contend at the same time with stalwart human foes, and with the internal foes of evil lust. Here was a splendid field for eternal renown. In proportion to the difficulty of the enterprise would be the glory of success.


1. Their adversaries were more numerous than they . The adhesion of numbers to a particular side naturally excites enthusiasm. Yet, in war, unless order and discipline be maintained, mere numbers have contributed to defeat.

2. The Canaanites were actually in possession . They could, therefore, choose their military positions, and felt that they were fighting for their altars and their homes.

3. The Hebrews were the subjects of internal fears . Their fathers had actually refused to fight with the giant races of Canaan, and had turned back again into the desert. The habit of fearless courage was not suddenly engendered: it was a growth.

4. The Hebrews had also a lingering lust for the costly things devoted to idolatry . To suppress their own concupiscence was as arduous as to withstand the Amorites. Hence, on many occasions, their hearts counseled compromise and alliance.

5. They could anticipate only tardy results . If there had been the prospect of swift progress of triumph—the rapid march from victory to victory—they could have braced themselves up for a brief campaign. But they knew that slow processes of siege, with its privations and exposures, were essential. God had forewarned them that he would not drive out the heathen suddenly, lest other evils should ensue. They had to contend with their own impatience.

6. The necessity for extermination added to the difficulty of the war . If, when the Canaanites had suffered defeat in two or three pitched battles, the Hebrews had been permitted to accept a surrender and make them tributaries, their task had been comparatively easy. But the command of Jehovah was unmistakable: Israel was bound to destroy their foes, "with a mighty destruction," till they were consumed. So neither can we have peace until every sin within us is completely annihilated.


1. God ' s immeasurable might . The visible features of the undertaking were depressing enough; but faith could discover an invisible Ally, who was more than a match for all opposition. If we can only realize that God is on our side, we shall be confident of victory.

2. God ' s past deliverances should assure us for the future . What an unchanging God has done for us, he can and will do again. Omnipotence is never exhausted. It is impossible for God to be inconsistent with himself.

3. God ' s plain promises of help . If we can only be absolutely sure of a promise from God, we may set at defiance every fear, and calmly face every foe. "He is not a man, that he should lie."

4. Proofs that God is even now present . " The Lord thy God is among you." If we would only rub off from our eyes the drowsiness of unbelief, we might see the tokens of God's presence on every side—the footprints of his feet, as he leads our way. The Good Shepherd always goes before his sheep.

5. In God ' s service the meaner forms of life often become efficient allies . The locusts have been commissioned to do service for God. In Egypt, flies and lice formed a brigade in his army. So now also wasps and hornets were sent out as sappers and miners to prepare Jehovah's way. Let no insignificant helper be despised!


1. The rewards were based on Divine equity . If we keep his precepts, he will keep his covenant. A singular thread of equity runs through all God's dealings. History supplies a thousand examples. We may find fresh ones daily in our own observation.

2. The rewards are various and ample . They embrace the present and the future . To be the conscious object of God's love is a rich reward; and the smile of God will make all our ways to prosper. Large and rapid increase has been, from the Creation, a mark of Jehovah's favor. "Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."

3. The rewards are distinctive . Not only do they impart a large measure of personal enjoyment, but they are known and recognized by others as the rewards conferred by God. They make men conspicuous among their fellows. "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee." As our work and warfare are spiritual, so are our rewards spiritual also. Our reward, as conquerors over sin, is manifold, generous, enduring, satisfying. God will surely distinguish between the righteous and the wicked—between him that serveth him well, and him that serveth him not. In honor, they shall be as the antipodes asunder.—D.


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