Deuteronomy 7:9-16 -
The Divine veracity.
Moses here speaks of the Divine faithfulness to those that love him, and also to those that hate him. Those who love him will have his mercy unto a thousand generations; those who hate him will have their hatred returned. He will repay such to their face.
Let us look at the Divine veracity in the two aspects of blessing and of judgment.
I. GOD 'S GRATITUDE FOR MAN 'S LOVE . God has a love of sovereignty, as we have just seen, which has no reason but itself; and he has also a love of gratitude for love shown to him. It is of this Moses here speaks. It is thus expressed elsewhere: "I love them that love me." And here notice—
1. When we love God we try to keep his commandments . This is exactly what Christ, incarnate Love, claimed. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Love is the spirit in which Law should be kept, and through which Law becomes blessedness.
2. Obedience secures blessing . God promised Israel certain temporal blessings: increase of the nation and fertility of soil and increase of their flocks and herds. And, in the rude age in which they lived, it was needful to encourage them by such very sensible signs.
This is not so needful now. The blessing comes now in more spiritual ways, but still it comes in the wake of obedience. Answers to prayer are still doubted by men who doubt God's existence and reign, but they are most thoroughly believed in by believers. The blessing comes to those who look for it.
3. It is expected to characterize generations . For this is the greatest blessing of all when the succeeding generation grows up true to God. It is this form of the Divine faithfulness which is most sought—that even to a "thousand generations" they may remain true to him.
II. GOD 'S RIGHTEOUS WRATH AT MAN 'S HATRED . Under a righteous government, hatred should have its retribution just as well as love its reward. So is it with God. Men may hate him, and when he repays them to their face they are getting only their due. God is as faithful in his threatenings as in his promises. Why should he not be so? And his hatred can have but one issue-destruction! How needful, then, to lay down the arms of our rebellion l If our hard hearts cherish any hatred towards him, the sooner we repent of this the better, and take refuge in his love. He waits to be gracious; but, should we despise his mercy and still do him the injustice to hate him, we must prepare for encountering his righteous wrath.—R.M.E.
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