The great work God wrought for Israel. (1-7) Promises and threatenings. (8-17) Careful study of God's word requisite. (18-25) The blessings and the curse set forth. (26-32)
Verses 1-7 Observe the connexion of these two; Thou shalt love the Lord, and keep his charge. Love will work in obedience, and that only is acceptable obedience which flows from a principle of ( 1 John. 5:3 ) works of God which their eyes had seen. What our eyes have seen, especially in our early days, should affect us, and make us better long afterwards.
Verses 8-17 Moses sets before them, for the future, life and death, the blessing and the curse, according as they did or did not keep God's commandment. Sin tends to shorten the days of all men, and to shorten the days of a people's prosperity. God will bless them with an abundance of all good things, if they would love him and serve him. Godliness has the promise of the life that now is; but the favour of God shall put gladness into the heart, more than the increase of corn, and wine, and oil. Revolt from God to idols would certainly be their ruin. Take heed that your hearts be not deceived. All who forsake God to set their affection upon any creature, will find themselves wretchedly deceived, to their own destruction; and this will make it worse, that it was for want of taking heed.
Verses 18-25 Let all be directed by the three rules here given. 1. Let our hearts be filled with the word of God. There will not be good practices in the life, unless there be good thoughts, good affections, and good principles in the heart. 2. Let our eyes be fixed upon the word of God, having constant regard to it as the guide of our way, as the rule of our work, ( Psalms 119:30 ) . 3. Let our tongues be employed about the word of God. Nor will any thing do more to cause prosperity, and keeping up religion in a nation, than the good education of children.
Verses 26-32 Moses sums up all the arguments for obedience in two words, the blessing and the curse. He charged the people to choose which they would have. Moses then appointed a public and solemn proclamation of the blessing and curse, to be made upon the two mountains of Gerizim and Ebal. We have broken the law, and are under its curse, without remedy from ourselves. In mercy, the gospel again sets before us a blessing and a curse. A blessing, if we obey the call to repentance, to faith in Christ, and newness of heart and life through him; an awful curse, if we neglect so great salvation. Let us thankfully welcome these glad tidings of great joy; and let us not harden our hearts, but hear this voice of God while it is called to-day, and while he invites us to come to him upon a mercy-seat. Let us be diligent to make our calling and election sure.
In this chapter, the exhortation to love the Lord, and keep his commands, is repeated and urged again and again from various considerations; as not only from the chastisement of Pharaoh and the wicked Egyptians, but of such Israelites who offended the Lord, and transgressed his law, De 12:1-7, from the goodness and excellency of the land they were going to inherit, De 11:8-11, from the blessing of rain that would come upon it, and be productive of all good things for man and beast, in case of obedience, and a restraint of it in case of disobedience, De 11:12-17, from the continuance of them and their offspring in the land, should they be careful to observe the commands themselves, and teach them their children, De 11:18-21, and from the extensiveness of their conquests and dominions, De 11:22-25 and from the different issue and effects of their conduct and behaviour, a blessing upon them if obedient, but a curse if disobedient, De 11:26-28 and the chapter is concluded with an exhortation to pronounce the blessing on Mount Gerizim, and the curse on Mount Ebal; the situation of which places is described when they should come into the land of Canaan, of which they are assured, De 11:29-32.