« הקודםהמשך »
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 sfcalt 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.
For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?
Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?
Grhath God assayed to go, and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors,, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
Unto thee it was shewed, that thou Slightest know •that the Lord he is God; there is none else besides.
Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire, and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.
•And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt;
'To drive out nations from before thee, greater and
mightier than thou art, to bring thee in; to give thee
their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.
Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath'; there is none else.
Thou 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.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
This excellent discourse is so affecting and pathetic, that one would think it could scarcely fail of majting a lasting impression on the minds of the hearers. ./ . ,
Moses was going to leave the Lord's people to. another leader;. but he determined before he was. taken from, them, to use every mean in his. power of enforcing their obedience to the law of Gop, and of persuading them not to forsake the Lord, or worship false Gods.
It was the practice of idolatrous nations to pay Divine honours to the various creatures which Moses enumerates ; and, as the Israelites would be under the necessity in future of having a frequent intercourse with many of them, Moses warned them before hand to avoid their abominations. It certainly was very wrong for man to attempt to make a representation of the Lord God; but particularly so for , those, who knew that there was a Divine Image of the infinite Deity.; for M°ses and the Elders had beheld Hinv and the people themselves had heard His glorious voice. For them, X say, to make an image, or to adore any creature, would, have been a direct affront to the Divine Majesty of the Lord God ;. and we may understand why the Lord.
styles Himself a jealous, Gop, or. one that would not suf
... ....... . ...... fer fer the glory that belongs to Him alone, to be given, to another, or His praise to graven images*.
Moses cautioned the people not to make to themselves any Image of God, since it was utterly impossible. to represent by any object in nature the great Creator of the Universe. Of his Divink Image they could not forth an idea, because He was hidden from them, on mount Sinai, by devouring fire and awful darkness. Even this phenomenon, the wonderful mixture of light and darkness, was so singular and astonishing, that it could not be accounted for in a natural way, neither could it be imitated by the art of man ; nay, it was beyond the power of language to 'describe, though the mind of each individual that beheld it, must have received perfect conviction that it was an evident token o£the Presence of God; and that none but an Al. Mighty Being could manifest Himself by such marks of Omnipotence. „ Moses observed, as a still farther confirmation that God was, in an especial manner, present on mount Sinai, that the people had heard a voice speaking out of trfe midst of the fire, saying, / am the Lord thy God, &c.
. Moses fully set forth the kind of punishments that would be inflicted upon God's people for idolatrous practices, that they might know the dangers they would incur by apostacy ; and he was, on this occasion, a true"prophet ;' for the' Lord chastised and forgave them, as they transgressed or offended, exactly as Moses foretold, and proved Himself to be a merciful God, ever mindful of His Covenant.
That the Israelites might not suppose the Loud to be a created Being, Moses repeatedly told that people, that the Lord is God in heaven above, and in earth be•eath ; and that there is no other-God beside Him. * IsaialtTiKi. 87 -'
To keep them from supposing that their own merit* had gained the favour of God, Moses informed them, that it was for the sake of their progenitors, they had been selected from the rest of the nations to be his peculiar people; and exhorted them, by motives of worldly interest, as • well as of duty, to keep the Divine Statutes and Commandments.
Though this exhortation of Moses was delivered go many ages ago, it affords much valuable instruction to Christians. Let us therefore study it with attention* and practise its precepts, that we may be a .wise and understanding people; that the Lord our God may be nigh unto us in all that we call upon him for; that it may be 'well with us, and our children after us; that our day* may be prolonged upon earth, and that we may he happy. for ever in heaven hereafter.
We do not indeed live among idolaters, and have few temptations to make graven images ; but we have many enticements to dishonour the Lord God in the eyes of the world, by levelling Him, in idea, with the creatures that are the works of His hands ; which those certainly do, who deny the divinity of our Saviour. Let us, therefore, take heed to ourselves, lest we forget the conditions of the Christian Covenant; Let us keep> in mind, that the Lord He is God, and>as such,let us. honour Him ourselves, and train up our children, and "<)ur children's children, to know, and to serve Him.
From Deut. Chap, v.
Anij> Moses called all Israel, and said unto them* Hear, 0 Israel, the statutes and judgments which I
speak. speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep and do them.
The Lord our 60D made a covenant with us in Horeb.
The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive thi* day.
The Lord talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire (I stood between the Lord and you at that time, to shew you the word of the Lor D ; for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount).
These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire*, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and he added no more; and he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.
And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness (for the mountain did burn with fire) that ye came near unto me, even'all the heads of your tribes, and your elders; And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory, and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire : we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.
Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us. If we hear the voice of the Lo-r D our God any more, then we shall die.
For who is there of all flesh that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire as we have, and lived?
Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God. shall say; and speak thou unto us all that the Lok»
* The Ten Commandments.