And it shall be, when the LORD your God shall have brought you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac…
I. THE PRONENESS OF THE HEART TO ADMIT THE WORLD INTO GOD'S PLACE. (Ver. 12.) The tendency is universal. A result of the Fall, in subverting the original constitution of man's nature. That result twofold:
1. In giving to the worldly and sensuous principles in the soul an undue predominance; while:
2. Destroying that love of God, and sense of dependence on him, which would counteract their operation. There may be no "going after other gods" in the sense of ver. 14, yet the first commandment may be broken by making the world itself our god - giving it the place of the true God in our affections. The principle of worldliness usually operates secretly. The heart is "secretly enticed," does not perceive the progress of its declensions (Hosea 7:9), fights against the admission of it (Revelation 3:17).
II. THE PECULIAR CONNECTION OF THIS TEMPTATION WITH PROSPERITY, (Vers. 10, 11.) Not, indeed, so peculiarly connected with it, but that the poor man may fall into the same snare. But riches unquestionably constitute a temptation which few succeed in resisting (cf. Deuteronomy 8:11-19; Proverbs 30:8, 9; Matthew 19:22-27; 1 Timothy 6:9, 10, 17, etc.). The temptation is the greater:
1. If worldly possessions are very abundant (ver. 11).
2. If the prosperity, is sudden (vers. 10, 11).
3. If it is freely enjoyed (ver. 11) - "hast eaten, and art full" (Deuteronomy 8:10).
III. THE SAFEGUARDS AGAINST THIS TEMPTATION. There are safeguards. Bible examples show that riches may be used with glory to God, happiness to self, and good to mankind (Abraham, Joseph, Job, Daniel, etc.). Among the foremost we would place the cultivation of a thankful spirit (cf. Deuteronomy 8:10) - the remembrance of God as the Giver of what we have; also the remembrance of God's past mercies to us (vers. 12, 13). Other safeguards are:
1. Serving God with our possessions (ver. 13). The serving will include serving with our wealth, using what he has given for his glory, as good stewards, and not luxuriously and wastefully spending all on self (Luke 12:15-21).
2. Making public acknowledgment of God (ver. 13). The spirit of this command is kept by being willing, on all proper occasions, boldly and without shame to avow God to be our God. The man of wealth who will do this is carried at one stroke above half the dangers of his position.
3. Non-conformity to the world's ways (ver. 14). It is not easy to avoid being led away by fashion, love of appearance, social custom, etc. The good man will beware of the snare, and keep aloof (Romans 12:2).
IV. THE PENALTY OF YIELDING TO THE TEMPTATION. (Ver. 15.) God's wrath is kindled and destroys the transgressor.
1. He is destroyed spiritually.
"2. He may be temporally (Psalm 37:35; Psalm 73:18, 19).
"3. He will be eternally. - J. O.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not,