Deuteronomy 30: 1-4, 6-8, 15-20 Antique Commentary Quotes

John Calvin
Deuteronomy 30:1
1.And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come. He again confirms what we have elsewhere seen, that God never so severely afflicts His Church as not to be ready to return to mercy; nay, that by their punishments, however cruel in appearance, the afflicted, who were destroying themselves as if their hearts were bent upon it, are invited to repentance, so as to obtain pardon. Although, therefore, cause for despair is everywhere besetting them from the burning wrath of God, still he bids them take heart and be of good hope. Still, we must bear in mind what I have already shewn from the words of Moses, that reconciliation is not offered to all indiscriminately, but that this blessing exists by peculiar privilege in the Church alone; and this we gather also from the special promise, I will visit their iniquities with the rod; nevertheless I will not take away my loving-kindness from them. Now, however, it must also be added, that this is not common to all who profess to be members of the Church, but only belongs to the residue of the seed, and those whom Paul calls the remnant of grace, (Rom_11:5;) for it is no more profitable for the hypocrites, though they are mixed with believers, to be smitten with the scourges of God unto salvation, than it is for strangers. Wherefore this promise is only addressed to a certain number, because it was always necessary that some people should remain as a residue, in order that God’s covenant should stand firm and sure.

Still, Moses does not only enjoin the Israelites to profit by the corrections of God, but also to reflect upon His blessings whereby they might be led to serve Him with pleasure. For this comparison was of no slight avail in illustration of the judgments of God. If the punishments alone had occupied their minds, their knowledge would have been but partial or more obscure; whereas, when on the one hand they considered that they had not served God in vain, and on the ether, that in forsaking Him they had fallen from the height of felicity into the deepest misery, it was easy for them to infer that whatever misfortunes they suffered were the fruit and reward of their ungodliness. Nor is it to be doubted but that, under the Law, God so adapted Himself to a tender and ignorant people, that the course of his blessings and curses was perfectly manifest; so that it was plainly shewn that they neither threw away their labor in keeping the Law, nor violated it with impunity. Often does He declare by the Prophets, that, as long as His children were obedient, He on His part would be their Father; that thence it might be more clearly perceived that the deterioration of their circumstances arose from His just indignation. Under this pretext, indeed, the wicked formerly endeavored to defend their superstitions; as, for instance, when in order to refute Jeremiah, they proudly boasted that it was well with them when they “burnt incense unto the frame of heaven;” but such wanton depravity is admirably reproved by the Prophet, who shews that God had most manifestly avenged such pollutions by the destruction of their city and the fall of the Temple. (Jer_44:17.) The distinction, therefore, of which Moses now speaks, could not escape them, unless they willfully shut out the light. Moreover, because it rarely happens that men are wise in prosperity, he advises the Israelites to return to their senses, at any rate when sorely afflicted; for He addresses the exiles, who, disinherited by God, had no hope left; and promises them, that if, when banished to distant lands, they at length repented, God would be propitiated towards them. For “to bring back to their heart” is equivalent to considering what before had been despised through contempt, or neglect, or stupidity, and buried as it were in voluntary oblivion. Still, lest they should presume on God’s kindness, and only seek for pardon in a perfunctory manner, serious conversion is required, the results of which should appear in their life, since newness of life accompanies (genuine) repentance. Nor does Moses speak only of the outward correction of the life, but demands sincere desires to obey, for we have elsewhere seen that “all the heart” means with integrity of heart.

Pulpit Commentary
Deu 30:2
And shalt return unto the Lord thy God; retrain from the worship of false gods to worship and serve Jehovah the one true God, the God of their fathers, and the God whom as a nation they had before wet-shipped. (cf. Neh_1:8, Neh_1:9)

Keil and Delitzsch
Deu_30:1-3
“When all these words, the blessing and the curse which I have set before thee, shall come.” The allusion to the blessing in this connection may be explained on the ground that Moses was surveying the future generally, in which not only a curse but a blessing also would come upon the nation, according to its attitude towards the Lord as a whole and in its several members, since even in times of the greatest apostasy on the part of the nation there would always be a holy seed which could not die out; because otherwise the nation would necessarily have been utterly and for ever rejected, whereby the promises of God would have been brought to nought, – a result which was absolutely impossible. “And thou takest to heart among all nations,” etc., sc., what has befallen thee – not only the curse which presses upon thee, but also the blessing which accompanies obedience to the commands of God, – “and returnest to the Lord thy God, and hearkenest to His voice with all the heart,” etc. (cf. Deu_4:29); “the Lord will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and gather thee again.” אֶת־שְׁבוּת שׁוּב does not mean to bring back the prisoners, as the more modern lexicographers erroneously suppose (the Kal שׁוּב never has the force of the Hiphil), but to turn the imprisonment, and that in a figurative sense, viz., to put an end to the distress (Job_42:10; Jer_30:8; Eze_16:53; Psa_14:7; also Psa_85:2; Psa_126:2, Psa_126:4), except that in many passages the misery of exile in which the people pined is represented as imprisonment. The passage before us is fully decisive against the meaning to bring back the prisoners, since the gathering out of the heathen is spoken of as being itself the consequence of the “turning of the captivity;” so also is Jer_29:14, where the bringing back (הֵשִׁיב) is expressly distinguished from it. But especially is this the case with Jer_30:18, where “turning the captivity of Jacob’s tents” is synonymous with having mercy on his dwelling-places, and building up the city, again, so that the city lying in ruins is represented as שְׁבוּת, an imprisonment.

Pulpit Commentary
The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity. This does not mean will cause thy captives to return, for

(1) the verb in Kal (as it is here, bv;) never has the force of the Hiph.; and

(2) the returning of the dispersed is afterwards referred to as consequent on the turning of the captivity. The plural is used here as elsewhere to indicate the cessation of affliction or suffering. (cf. Job_41:10; Psa_14:7 Psa_85:2 Psa_126:1, Psa_126:4; Jer_30:18; Eze_16:53) The rendering of the LXX here is noticeable, kaisetai Kuriov taav: “and the Lord will heal thy sins,” i.e. will remit thy guilt and will deliver thee from the pernicious and destructive power of sin. (cf. Psa_41:4; Jer_3:22 Jer_17:14; Hos_14:4; Mat_13:15, etc.)

Albert Barnes
Deu_30:3
Will turn thy captivity – Will change or put an end to thy state of captivity or distress (compare Psa_14:7; Psa_85:2; Jer_30:18). The rendering of the Greek version is significant; “the Lord will heal thy sins.”

The promises of this and the following verses had no doubt their partial fulfillment in the days of the Judges; but the fact that various important features are repeated in Jer_32:37 ff, and in Eze_11:19 ff, Eze_34:13 ff, Eze_36:24 ff, shows us that none of these was regarded as exhausting the promises. In full analogy with the scheme of prophecy we may add that the return from the Babylonian captivity has not exhausted their depth. The New Testament takes up the strain (e. g. in Rom. 11), and foretells the restoration of Israel to the covenanted mercies of God. True these mercies shall not be, as before, confined to that nation. The “turning again of the captivity” will be when Israel is converted to Him in whom the Law was fulfilled, and who died “not for that nation only,” but also that he might “gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” Joh_11:51-52. Then shall there be “one fold and one shepherd” Joh_10:16. But whether the general conversion of the Jews shall be accompanied with any national restoration, any recovery of their ancient prerogatives as the chosen people; and further, whether there shall be any local replacement of them in the land of their fathers, may be regarded as of “the secret things” which belong unto God Deu_29:29; and so indeed our Lord Himself teaches us Act_1:6-7.

John Calvin
Deuteronomy 30:4
4.If any of thine be driven out. Since their dispersion into unknown countries might have altogether annihilated their hope of restoration, Moses anticipates this doubt, and teaches them that, although they might be driven out into the utmost regions of the earth, the infinite power of God sufficed to gather them from thence; as also it is said in Psa_147:2, “The Lord doth build up Jerusalem; he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.”

With this intent, the adverb “from thence” is twice repeated, lest they should imagine that the distance of place would be any impediment to the fulfillment of what God had promised.

We have seen elsewhere that it was not without reason that their dwelling in the land of Canaan was magnified as a peculiar blessing, because it behooved that, until the time of Christ’s coming, the hope of an eternal inheritance should be cherished in their minds by an earthly and visible symbol.

Keil and Delitzsch
Deu_30:4-5
The gathering of Israel out of all the countries of the earth would then follow. Even though the rejected people should be at the end of heaven, the Lord would fetch them thence, and bring them back into the land of their fathers, and do good to the nation, and multiply them above their fathers. These last words show that the promised neither points directly to the gathering of Israel from dispersion on its ultimate conversion to Christ, nor furnishes any proof that the Jews will then be brought back to Palestine. It is true that even these words have some reference to the final redemption of Israel. This is evident from the curse of dispersion, which cannot be restricted to the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities, but includes the Roman dispersion also, in which the nation continues still; and it is still more apparent from the renewal of this promise in Jer_32:37 and other prophetic passages. But this application is to be found in the spirit, and not in the latter. For if there is to be an increase in the number of the Jews, when gathered out of their dispersion into all the world, above the number of their fathers, and therefore above the number of the Israelites in the time of Solomon and the first monarchs of the two kingdoms, Palestine will never furnish room enough for a nation multiplied like this. The multiplication promised here, so far as it falls within the Messianic age, will consist in the realization of the promise given to Abraham, that his seed should grow into nations (Gen_17:6 and Gen_17:16), i.e., in the innumerable multiplication, not of the “Israel according to the flesh,” but of the “Israel according to the spirit,” whose land is not restricted to the boundaries of the earthly Canaan or Palestine (see p. 144). The possession of the earthly Canaan for all time is nowhere promised to the Israelitish nation in the law (see at Deu_11:21).

Pulpit Commentary
Vers. 4, 5. Consequent on this deliverance would be the gathering of Israel from all the places of the dispersion and their return to possess the land which their fathers possessed, in greater numbers than their fathers were. This last statement suggests doubt as to the literal interpretation of this prediction, for, as Keil remarks, “If there is to be an increase in the num-bet of the Jews when gathered out of their dispersion into all the world, above the number of their fathers, and therefore above the number of the Israelites in the time of Solomon and the first monarchs of the two kingdoms, Palestine will never furnish room enough for a nation multiplied like this.” The reference in the following verse to a spiritual renewal suggests the inquiry whether the reference here is not to such a gathering and restoration of Israel as that which St. Paul describes in Romans 11., when the branches that had been broken from the olive tree shall be again grafted into it, and all Israel shall be saved after the fullness of the Gentiles shall be, brought in. To Moses, and indeed to all the Old Testament prophets and saints, the Israel of God presented itself as a nation dwelling in a land given to it by God; but as the national Israel was the type of the spiritual Israel, and as Canaan was the type of the spiritual kingdom of God, the full import of what is said concerning the former is only to be perceived when it is viewed as realized in the latter. Certain it is that it was on this principle that the apostles interpreted the fulfillment of the Old Testament declarations concerning Israel, of which the explanation given by St. James of Amo_9:11, 12 may be noted as an instructive example. (Act_15:15-17) If the rebuilding of the ruined tabernacle of David is to be effected by “the residue of men” being brought to “seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon whom his Name is called,” we need not shrink from interpreting this prophecy of Moses as referring to the restoration of Israel by the bringing in of Jew and Gentile into the one fold under the one Shepherd, the Shepherd of Israel. (Joh_9:16)

John Calvin
Deuteronomy 30:6
6.And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart. This promise far surpasses all the others, and properly refers to the new Covenant, for thus it is interpreted by Jeremiah, who introduces God thus speaking, — “Behold, the days come that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, which covenant they brake, but I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” (Jer_31:31.)

Moses now declares the same thing in different words, that, lest the Israelites, according to their wonted instability, should fall back from time to time into new rebellions, a divine remedy was needed, i. e. , that God should renew and mould their hearts. In short, he reminds them that this would be the chief advantage of their reconciliation, that God should endow them with the Spirit of regeneration. There is a metaphor in this word circumcise; for Moses alludes to the legal sign of consecration, whereby they were initiated into the service of God. The expression, therefore, is equivalent to his saying, God will create you spiritually to be new men, so that, cleansed from the filth of the flesh and the world, and separated from the unclean nations, you should serve Him in purity. Meanwhile, he shews that, whatever God offers us in the Sacraments, depends on the secret operation of His Spirit. Circumcision was then the Sacrament of repentance and renewal, as Baptism is now to us; but “the letter,” as Paul calls it, (Rom_2:27,) was useless in itself, as also now many are baptized to no profit. So far, then, is God from resigning the grace of His Spirit to the Sacraments, that all their efficacy and utility is lodged in the Spirit alone.

Although Moses seems to make a division of the matter between men and God, so as to ascribe to them the beginning of repentance, and to make Him the author of perseverance (only,) nevertheless this difficulty is easily solved; for according to the ordinary manner of Scripture, when he exhorts them to repentance, he is not teaching them that it is a gift of the Spirit, but simply reminding them of their duty. Meanwhile, the defenders of free-will foolishly conclude, that more is not required of men than they are able to perform; for in other places they are taught to ask of God whatever He enjoins. Thus, in this passage, Moses treats of the means of propitiating God, viz., by returning into the right way with an unfeigned heart; but, after he has testified that God will be gracious to them, he adds, that there is need of a better remedy, so that, being once restored by Him, they may be perpetual recipients of His grace. Still, it is not his intention to restrict the circumcision of the heart to the subsequent course of their lives, as if it depended on their own will and choice to circumcise themselves before God should work in them. And surely it is not at all more easy to rise when you have fallen, than to stand upright after God has set you up. I confess that perseverance is an excellent grace; but how shall the sinner, who is enthralled to Satan, free himself from those chains, unless God shall deliver him? Therefore, what Moses lays down as to the gift, of perseverance, applies no less to the commencement of conversion; but he only wishes to teach us that, although God should pardon our sins, that blessing would be but transient, unless He should keep us in subjection to His Law. And, in fact, He regenerates by His Spirit unto righteousness all those whose sins He pardons.

Keil and Delitzsch
Deu_30:6
The Lord will then circumcise their heart, and the heart of their children (see Deu_10:16), so that they will love Him with all their heart. When Israel should turn with true humility to the Lord, He would be found of them, – would lead them to true repentance, and sanctify them through the power of His grace, – would take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, a new heart and a new spirit, – so that they should truly know Him and keep His commandments (vid., Eze_11:19; Eze_36:26; Jer_31:33. and Deu_32:39.).

“Because of thy life,” i.e., that thou mayest live, sc., attain to true life. The fulfilment of this promise does not take place all at once. It commenced with small beginnings at the deliverance from the Babylonian exile, and in a still higher degree at the appearance of Christ in the case of all the Israelites who received Him as their Saviour. Since then it has been carried on through all ages in the conversion of individual children of Abraham to Christ; and it will be realized in the future in a still more glorious manner in the nation at large (Rom_11:25.). The words of Moses do not relate to any particular age, but comprehend all times. For Israel has never been hardened and rejected in all its members, although the mass of the nation lives under the curse even to the present day.

Pulpit Commentary
Deu 30:6 The Lord will circumcise thine heart; “when thou wilt become better, God will help thereto” (cf. Deu_10:16) (Herxheimer). When Israel should return to the Lord, he would take away from them the evil heart of unbelief, and give them the new heart and the right spirit. “Qui pravis affectibus renunciat is circumcisus corde dicitur”. (Rosenm Cf. Jer_31:33 Jer_32:39; Eze_11:19, etc.; Rom_2:29; Col_2:11) comp. with Jer 30 Jer 31 Jer 34, and Heb_8:6.

The old and new covenants.

It may not be uninstructive at this stage of homiletic teaching upon this book, to place on record the points of comparison and of contrast between the old and new covenants; i.e. between the covenant made through Moses and that propounded and sealed through the Lord Jesus Christ.

I LET US NOTE THE POINTS OF COMPARISON.
1. Both are made with a people formed for God. (Isa_43:21; 1Pe_2:9)
2. Both make God all in all. (Deu_14:2; 1Co_6:20)
3. Both inculcate holiness. (Deu_7:6 1Pe_1:15)
4. Both of them are based on sacrifice. (Heb_9:22, Heb_9:23)
5. Both teach a mediatorial administration. (Le 16; Heb_8:6)
6. Both set before the people a future inheritance. (Deu_12:1)
7. Both urge to duty by the impulse of gratitude. (Deu_5:6; Heb_4:9)
8. Both appeal to fear as well as to hope. (Deu_11:16; Heb_4:1)

II THERE ARE ALSO POINTS OF CONTRAST.
1. In the form of the covenants.
(1) They differ as to the extent of their compass. One includes a nation, the other men of every nation.
(2) The spirituality of its genius, and paucity of definite rules and ritual is another mark of the New Testament covenant (cf. Rom_14:17)
(3) The new covenant has clearer revelations:

(a) Of the law of sacrifice (comp. Leviticus with Hebrews).

(b) Of the Divine character. (Heb 1)

(c) Of the destiny of mankind. (Heb_10:25-31)

(d) Of the tenderness of the Divine concern for man as man. (Lu 15)

2. In their promissory grounds they differ quite as widely.
(1) The old covenant ensures objective good, if there is a subjective fitness for it; the new covenant promises subjective fitness that objective good may be secured. The one says, “Do this, and thou shalt live.” The other, “Live, and you will do this”. (Deu_30:6)

(2) The security for the fulfillment of God”s promises to us is far more strikingly seen in Christ than it could possibly be under Moses. (2Co_1:20)

(3) The certainty of the fulfillment of the conditions of the covenant by those who are included in it, is provided for under “grace,” as it was not under “Law.” This covenant is “ordered in all things and sure,” and is in no way contingent on the fickleness of human will. It is a “better covenant,” and is “established upon better promises.” And the reason of the difference is found in the fact that the first covenant was intended to serve an educational purpose, and so to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ to bring in a greater and larger one, under which regeneration unto salvation should be certainly secured. (Joh_6:37-40)

Keil and Delitzsch
Deu_30:7
But after its conversion, the curses, which had hitherto rested upon it, would fall upon its enemies and haters, according to the promise in Gen_12:3.

John Calvin
Deuteronomy 30:8
8.And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord. The copula which Moses here employs is equivalent to the illative particle; for he argues from their certainty of obtaining pardon, that they should not hesitate to return to God, nay, rather that they should set about it with a cheerful and ready mind; and then that they should constantly proceed in the course of obedience. But, when he now requires of the people the perseverance which he had just before declared to be given by God alone, we may at once infer that they deal foolishly who estimate the powers of man by the commands of God. Meanwhile, let us bear in mind this main point, that true conversion is proved by the constant tenor of the life; because we are redeemed, as Zecharias testifies, to this end that we should serve God, our Deliverer, “in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life.” (Luk_1:74.)

John Calvin
Deuteronomy 30:15
15.See, I have set before thee this day. A solemn injunction, similar to the foregoing ones, that the Israelites should consider how inestimable a blessing it was that God should have condescended to deposit His Law with them; and that if they did not receive it with reverence, the punishments for such foul ingratitude would be by no means light. For, in order to deprive them of the pretext of error, He separates them from the heathen nations, which through ignorance of the right way vacillated, as in uncertainty, between life and death. He says, therefore, that He has set before their eyes life, and that indeed connected with true and complete happiness; and likewise death with its consequences. Now, there is no one who, under the guidance of nature, would not seek for life and recoil from death; and thence Moses reproaches them with being more than senseless if they should plunge voluntarily into all miseries. Meanwhile, he signifies that he is not addressing to them mere idle menaces, but that his doctrine is armed with the power of God, so that whosoever should embrace it would find salvation in it, whilst none would despise it with impunity. The distribution of the two clauses then follows, viz., that the love of God and the keeping of His Law is prescribed that they may live; but if they turn away from it, their destruction is denounced. It is not, then, without reason that I have called the promises and threats the Sanctions of the Law, because, in order that its authority may be assured to us, it is necessary that both the recompence of obedience, and also the punishment of transgression, should be set before us. By the worship of other gods, he means every revolt from God, as I have observed already. He does not speak of their being “drawn away” to superstition as an excuse for their instability, but rather as an aggravation of their crime, inasmuch as they are carried away by their depraved desires, and thus desert the truth of God when well acquainted with it.

Adam Clarke
Deuteronomy 30:15

Life and good – Present and future blessings.

Death and evil – Present and future miseries: termed, Deu_30:19, Life and death, blessing and cursing. And why were these set before them?

1. That they might comprehend their import.

2. That they might feel their importance.

3. That they might choose life, and the path of believing, loving obedience, that led to it.

4. That they and their posterity, thus choosing life and refusing evil, might be the favourites of God in time and eternity.

Were there no such thing as free will in man, who could reconcile these sayings either with sincerity or common sense? God has made the human will free, and there is no power or influence either in heaven, earth, or hell, except the power of God, that can deprive it of its free volitions; of its power to will and nill, to choose and refuse, to act or not act or force it to sin against God. Hence man is accountable for his actions, because they are his; were he necessitated by fate, or sovereign constraint, they could not be his. Hence he is rewardable, hence he is punishable. God, in his creation, willed that the human creature should be free, and he formed his soul accordingly; and the Law and Gospel, the promise and precept, the denunciation of woe and the doctrine of eternal life, are all constructed on this ground; that is, they all necessarily suppose the freedom of the human will: nor could it be will if it were not free, because the principle of freedom or liberty is necessarily implied in the idea of volition. See on the Deu_5:29 (note).

John Calvin
Deuteronomy 30:19
19.I call heaven and earth to record this day against you. Though the verb is in the past tense, it indicates a present act. It is in order to deal with them with greater urgency that he calls heaven and earth to witness the vengeance of God. In these words he does not address men and angels, as some tamely expound it, but in amplification attributes sense to things inanimate. I pass this over briefly, because I have treated it more fully before; as also what soon afterwards follows about life and death. For the Law, as respects its doctrine, contains in it life and death; for the reward of eternal life is not promised in it in vain; but since no one is found worthy of the promised reward, Paul justly teaches that the Law ministers death. Still this is accidental, and proceeds not from any fault in the doctrine, but from the corruption of men. Nevertheless, it is asked how, if the corruption of our nature causes that the Law should engender nothing but death, Moses commands us to “choose life,” which the sinner cannot attain to by it? Thence the Papists uplift their crests, both to extol free-will and to boast of merits; as if Moses did not also testify and proclaim the gratuitous mercy of God, and direct his disciples to Christ in order to seek salvation from Him. When, therefore, he speaks of keeping the Commandments, he does not exclude the two-fold grace of Christ, that believers, being regenerated by the Spirit, should aspire to the obedience of righteousness, and at the same time should be reconciled freely to God through the forgiveness of their sins. And assuredly, since the same covenant is common to us and to the ancient people, it is not to be doubted but that they “chose life” who of old embraced the doctrine of Moses. At the same time, in so far as his legation was different from the Gospel, he rather insists on the office peculiarly entrusted to him, so that the distinction between Christ and himself might more clearly appear. This is the reason why he more sparingly touches upon justification by faith, whilst he enlarges fully on loving and serving God and fulfilling His Commandments.

Pulpit Commentary
Deu 30:19
cf. Deu_4:26.
Nature a witness.
See for other instances. (Deu_4:26 Deu_31:28 Deu_32:1; Isa_1:2) The invocation of heaven and earth as witnesses turns on deep principles. They are “called to record

I BECAUSE THE MIND RECOGNIZES THEIR PRESENCE AS WITNESSES OF ITS TRANSACTIONS. It projects its own consciousness on its surroundings, and feels as if earth and sky, sun, moon, rock, river, tree, mountain, were not inanimate but animate and sympathetic witnesses of its doings. It attaches its own thoughts to the outward objects. In presence of the scene of any great transaction, it feels as if the place retained its memory; still spoke to it of the past; thought, felt, rejoiced, accused, praised, according to the nature of the deed. Define as we will this feeling of a “Presence” in nature this “sense of something far more deeply interfused,” which we inevitably carry with us into our relations with the outward universe it is a fact in consciousness, and furnishes a basis for such appeals as those of Moses.

II BECAUSE GOD IS PRESENT IN HEAVEN AND EARTH AS A WITNESS OF WHAT IS DONE. (cf. Mat_5:34, Mat_5:35) Heaven is his throne; earth, his footstool. He is present in them, upholding them by the word of his power, and through them is a true witness of all we say and do.

III BECAUSE HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE CREATURES THEMSELVES CONSPICUOUSLY FULFILLING THE ENDS OF THEIR CREATION. The universe as a whole is thus a standing protest against the apostasy and self-willedness of the sinner. (Isa_1:1, Isa_1:2) It bears witness against him by its very fidelity to its Creator. “They continue this clay according to thine ordinances, for all are thy servants”. (Psa_119:91)

IV BECAUSE HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE SIGNAL MONUMENTS OF THE DIVINE FAITHFULNESS AND IMMUTABILITY. (Psa_119:89, Psa_119:90) They testify to the reign of law, to God”s constancy of purpose, to the uniformity and inflexibility of his rule. They dash the sinner”s hopes of his Word failing, of his threatenings not being put in force.

V BECAUSE HEAVEN AND EARTH RETAIN AN ACTUAL RECORD OF WHAT IS DONE IN THEIR PRESENCE a record which may admit of being produced. This is simple truth of science.

VI BECAUSE HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE INTERESTED SPECTATORS OF WHAT IS BEING DONE. They have shared in the consequences of man”s transgression; they will share in the glory of the manifestation of the sons of God. They wait the day of their redemption with earnest expectation. (Rom_8:19-23)

That Moses, in connection with his appeal to the people, summoned heaven and earth to witness, was an evidence:

1. Of the solemnity of this appeal. It must be a matter of momentous importance when the universe is called in to witness it.

2. Of the rationality of this appeal. Nature and nature”s God were on his side. He had the universe with him, though a foolish people might reject his counsel.

3. Of the enduringness of the issues which depended on this appeal. Neither the blessing nor the curse would work themselves out in a day. It needed lasting witnesses to take account of the fulfillment of God”s words. J.O.

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