Deuteronomy 8:5
Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee.
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(5) As a man chasteneth his son.—This is the foundation of many similar sayings in Holy Scripture: Proverbs 13:24, “He seeketh chastening for him,” i.e., seeks it early. All our ideas of training necessarily imply time; it cannot be done in a moment. But the main point of the illustration is to prove God’s love. “Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth;” else, why should He be at the pains to chasten at all?

Deuteronomy 8:5. As a man chasteneth his son — That is, unwillingly, being constrained by necessity; moderately, in judgment remembering mercy; and for his reformation, not his destruction.

8:1-9 Obedience must be, 1. Careful, observe to do; 2. Universal, to do all the commandments; and 3. From a good principle, with a regard to God as the Lord, and their God, and with a holy fear of him. To engage them to this obedience. Moses directs them to look back. It is good to remember all the ways, both of God's providence and grace, by which he has led us through this wilderness, that we may cheerfully serve him and trust in him. They must remember the straits they were sometimes brought into, for mortifying their pride, and manifesting their perverseness; to prove them, that they and others might know all that was in their heart, and that all might see that God chose them, not for any thing in them which might recommend them to his favour. They must remember the miraculous supplies of food and raiment granted them. Let none of God's children distrust their Father, nor take any sinful course for the supply of their necessities. Some way or other, God will provide for them in the way of duty and honest diligence, and verily they shall be fed. It may be applied spiritually; the word of God is the food of the soul. Christ is the word of God; by him we live. They must also remember the rebukes they had been under, and not without need. This use we should make of all our afflictions; by them let us be quickened to our duty. Moses also directs them to look forward to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward, to Canaan. Look which way we will, both to look back and to look forward will furnish us with arguments for obedience. Moses saw in that land a type of the better country. The gospel church is the New Testament Canaan, watered with the Spirit in his gifts and graces, planted with trees of righteousness, bearing fruits of righteousness. Heaven is the good land, in which nothing is wanting, and where is fulness of joy.They had clothes, it would seem, in abundance (compare Exodus 12:34-35) at the beginning of the 40 years; and during those years they had many sheep and oxen, and so must have had much material for clothing always at command. No doubt also they carried on a traffic in these, as in other commodities, with the Moabites and the nomadic tribes of the desert. Such ordinary supplies must not be shut out of consideration, even if they were on occasions supplemented by extraordinary providences of God, as was undoubtedly the case with their food. 4. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years—What a striking miracle was this! No doubt the Israelites might have brought from Egypt more clothes than they wore at their outset; they might also have obtained supplies of various articles of food and raiment in barter with the neighboring tribes for the fleeces and skins of their sheep and goats; and in furnishing them with such opportunities the care of Providence appeared. But the strong and pointed terms which Moses here uses (see also De 29:5) indicate a special or miraculous interposition of their loving Guardian in preserving them amid the wear and tear of their nomadic life in the desert. Thirdly, Moses expatiated on the goodness of the promised land. i.e. Unwillingly, being constrained by thy necessity; moderately, in judgment remembering mercy; and for thy reformation, not for thy destruction. Compare Proverbs 3:11,12 Heb 12:5, &c.

Thou shalt also consider in thine heart,.... Frequently think of, and meditate upon, revolve in their thoughts, well weigh in their minds, and take into thorough and deliberate consideration in their hearts; it being a matter of great moment and importance to them for their peace and comfort and the glory of God, namely, what follows:

that as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee; that they stood in the same relation to God as a son to a father, and therefore happy and honourable; that all their afflictions came from God, were appointed, sent, directed, and overruled by him for his own glory and their good; that these were the chastenings and corrections of a father, and were not done in wrath, but in love, and therefore should be patiently endured; and it became them to consider well from what hand they came, and in what manner, and for what ends and purposes, how they ought to behave under them, and what they should do, as follows.

Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God {e} chasteneth thee.

(e) So that his affliction are signs of his fatherly love toward us.

5. And thou shalt consider in thine heart] Lit. know with thy heart; cp. ‘conscire sibi,’ and see above on Deuteronomy 7:9.

as a man chasteneth his son] disciplineth, cp. Deuteronomy 4:36, Deuteronomy 11:2 q.v.; Hosea 11:1-4, also Deuteronomy 2:14 on the wilderness as a school of discipline. In Deut. which so frequently emphasises physical suffering and adversity as God’s punishment for sin this explanation of them as signs not of His hostility, but of His fatherly providence, is remarkable. It anticipates the more developed doctrine of later O.T. writings and of the N.T.

Verse 5. - Thus God educated, disciplined, and trained his people as a father does his child. Chasteneth. The idea is not so much that of punishment or chastisement, properly so called, as that of severe discipline and training. God made them feel his hand upon them, but ever for their good; the end of the discipline to which they were subjected was that they might keep his commandments and walk in his ways, so as to enjoy his favor (cf. Hebrews 12:5, etc.). Deuteronomy 8:5In this way Jehovah humbled and tempted His people, that they might learn in their heart, i.e., convince themselves by experience, that their God was educating them as a father does his son. יסּר, to admonish, chasten, educate; like παιδεύειν. "It includes everything belonging to a proper education" (Calvin).
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