Deuteronomy 10:10-22 - Renewed Exhortations To Obedience.
Moses, having detailed the success of his intercession in Horeb, and that the threatened doom was averted and the pilgrimage proceeded with, goes on in this passage to analyze the obedience to be rendered. It is all summed up in fearing the Lord, walking in his ways, loving him, serving him with heart and soul, and keeping his commandments. Let us try to grasp the description of new obedience here presented.
I. ISRAEL WAS TO BE A GOD - FEARING PEOPLE . A fine word this, "the fear of God"—not indicative of slavish consternation, but of reverential awe. It is the fear which springs from a fitting sense of God's greatness and majesty. He is too great and too glorious ( Deuteronomy 10:17 ) for any of his people to trifle with or to presume upon him, as in the familiarities of ordinary intercourse.
II. AND CONSEQUENTLY ISRAEL WILL SERVE GOD WITH HEART AND SOUL . For when in faith we fear God, we find that "faith worketh by love," and so we throw ourselves " heart and soul" into his service. We adore his excellencies, and then are "proud to serve him." His commandments become our songs in the house of our pilgrimage, and we find in keeping them a great reward ( Psalms 119:54 ; Psalms 19:11 ).
III. THE NEED OF SPIRITUAL CIRCUMCISION WILL THEN BE FELT . "The circumcision of the foreskin of the heart" can only mean the use of all lawful means to restrain the willfulness and waywardness of the heart. The lusts must be subdued, of which self is the center and selfishness the essence. God has become central and supreme, and so all that interferes in any way with his rights must be "cut off," no matter how painful the process be. This is the cure for "stiffneckedness."
IV. THE CARE OF THE FATHERLESS , WIDOW , AND STRANGER , IS FELT TO BE DIVINEST DUTY . God is impartial, he respects not persons. He is just in all his reign. But he is also compassionate, and makes the defenseless and the helpless his special care ( Deuteronomy 10:17 , Deuteronomy 10:18 ).
And in this we feel it our privilege as well as duty to follow him. This is manifested in—
1. Orphan societies . Where the widow is considered with the fatherless, and as much of the wrecked home as can be kept together is tried by loving care to be preserved. We are finding more considerate ways every day of ministering to the lonely and the desolate.
2. Hospitality . This means love manifested to a stranger because he is a stranger. There is a speculative hospitality that is poor and mean; and there is a Divine hospitality that asks those who cannot repay the attention, and asks them for the good Lord's sake.
For if we are redeemed of God, like Israel, we must feel that it is due to God's kindness to strangers. We were naturally "aliens," but his love made us friends, and we have entered into his fellowship and joy. It is this felt obligation which sustains the attention to "strangers" which the Lord enjoined.
It is evident that the Jewish religion was intended to be a lovely thing because a thing of love; a matter of broad and genial sympathies and of noble efforts after divinest duties.—R.M.E.
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