Deuteronomy 8:19
And it shall be, if you do at all forget the LORD your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
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8:10-20 Moses directs to the duty of a prosperous condition. Let them always remember their Benefactor. In everything we must give thanks. Moses arms them against the temptations of a prosperous condition. When men possess large estates, or are engaged in profitable business, they find the temptation to pride, forgetfulness of God, and carnal-mindedness, very strong; and they are anxious and troubled about many things. In this the believing poor have the advantage; they more easily perceive their supplies coming from the Lord in answer to the prayer of faith; and, strange as it may seem, they find less difficulty in simply trusting him for daily bread. They taste a sweetness therein, which is generally unknown to the rich, while they are also freed from many of their temptations. Forget not God's former dealings with thee. Here is the great secret of Divine Providence. Infinite wisdom and goodness are the source of all the changes and trials believers experience. Israel had many bitter trials, but it was to do them good. Pride is natural to the human heart. Would one suppose that such a people, after their slavery at the brick-kilns, should need the thorns of the wilderness to humble them? But such is man! And they were proved that they might be humbled. None of us live a single week without giving proofs of our weakness, folly, and depravity. To broken-hearted souls alone the Saviour is precious indeed. Nothing can render the most suitable outward and inward trials effectual, but the power of the Spirit of God. See here how God's giving and our getting are reconciled, and apply it to spiritual wealth. All God's gifts are in pursuance of his promises. Moses repeats the warning he had often given of the fatal consequences of forsaking God. Those who follow others in sin, will follow them to destruction. If we do as sinners do, we must expect to fare as sinners fare.To do thee good at thy latter end - This is presented as the result of God's dealings. 15. Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions—Large and venomous reptiles are found in great numbers there still, particularly in autumn. Travellers must use great caution in arranging their tents and beds at night; even during the day the legs not only of men, but of the animals they ride, are liable to be bitten.

who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint—(See on [122]De 9:21).

No text from Poole on this verse. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God,.... Either the mercies they received from him, not acknowledging they came from him, but ascribing them to themselves; or their duty to him, to whom they were so greatly obliged: and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them; which would be to forget him indeed, forsaking his worship, and giving homage and adoration to idols, which is what is intended by these expressions:

I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish; by one judgment and calamity or another, as the sword, famine, pestilence, and captivity; there being nothing more provoking to God than idolatry, which so much detracts from his honour and glory: and which besides, in such a people, so highly favoured of God, it argued the basest ingratitude.

And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I {k} testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

(k) Or take to witness the heaven and the earth, as in De 4:26.

19. I testify against you] Here begins the Pl.: the phrase is found only with Pl. passages, here, Deuteronomy 4:26, Deuteronomy 30:19, Deuteronomy 32:46, cp. Deuteronomy 31:26; Deuteronomy 31:28; elsewhere only in Jeremiah 11:7; Jeremiah 42:19.

ye shall surely perish] Only here, Deuteronomy 4:26, Deuteronomy 30:18 all Pl.

19, 20. The change from the Sg. to the Pl. address (substantially so in Sam. and LXX) suggests that an expanding hand has been at work in these verses; and the suggestion is confirmed by the fact that the leading phrases in them are found elsewhere only with the Pl. Further, the destruction of the nation seems regarded as imminent.Verses 19, 20. - Moses enforces his counsel by reminding them again that only destruction awaited them should they forget the Lord their God and apostatize from him (cf. Deuteronomy 4:25, etc.; Deuteronomy 6:14).

But if the Israelites were to eat there and be satisfied, i.e., to live in the midst of plenty, they were to beware of forgetting their God; that when their prosperity - their possessions, in the form of lofty houses, cattle, gold and silver, and other good things - increased, their heart might not be lifted up, i.e., they might not become proud, and, forgetting their deliverance from Egypt and their miraculous preservation and guidance in the desert, ascribe the property they had acquired to their own strength and the work of their own hands. To keep the people from this danger of forgetting God, which follows so easily from the pride of wealth, Moses once more enumerates in Deuteronomy 8:14-16 the manifestations of divine grace, their deliverance from Egypt the slave-house, their being led through the great and terrible desert, whose terrors he depicts by mentioning a series of noxious and even fatal things, such as snakes, burning snakes (saraph, see at Numbers 21; 6), scorpions, and the thirsty land where there was no water. The words from נחשׁ, onwards, are attached rhetorically to what precedes by simple apposition, without any logically connecting particle; though it will not do to overlook entirely the rhetorical form of the enumeration, and supply the preposition בּ before נחשׁ and the words which follow, to say nothing of the fact that it would be quite out of character before these nouns in the singular, as a whole people could not go through one serpent, etc. In this parched land the Lord brought he people water out of the flinty rock, the hardest stone, and fed them with manna, to humble them and tempt them (cf. Deuteronomy 8:2), in order (this was the ultimate intention of all the humiliation and trial) "to do thee good at thy latter end." The "latter end" of any one is "the time which follows some distinct point in his life, particularly an important epoch-making point, and which may be regarded as the end by contrast, the time before that epoch being considered as the beginning" (Schultz). In this instance Moses refers to the period of their life in Canaan, in contrast with which the period of their sojourn in Egypt and their wandering in the desert is recorded as the beginning; consequently the expression does not relate to death as the end of life, as in Numbers 23:10, although this allusion is not to be altogether excluded, as a blessed death is only the completion of a blessed life. - Like all the guidance of Israel by the Lord, what is stated here is applicable to all believers. It is through humiliations and trials that the Lord leads His people to blessedness. Through the desert of tribulation, anxiety, distress, and merciful interposition, He conducts them to Canaan, into the land of rest, where they are refreshed and satisfied in the full enjoyment of the blessings of His grace and salvation; but those alone who continue humble, not attributing the good fortune and prosperity to which they attain at last, to their own exertion, strength, perseverance, and wisdom, but gratefully enjoying this good as a gift of the grace of God. חיל עשׂה, to create property, to prosper in wealth (as in Numbers 24:18). God gave strength for this (Deuteronomy 8:18), not because of Israel's merit and worthiness, but to fulfil His promises which He had made on oath to the patriarchs. "As this day," as was quite evident then, when the establishment of the covenant had already commenced, and Israel had come through the desert to the border of Canaan (see Deuteronomy 4:20).
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