And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.
And the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they. We have here a remarkable obedience - very remarkable, as being found in a book marked with records of murmuring, disobedience, and rebellion. Whence the possibility of such a statement here?
I. THE OBEDIENCE WAS IN AN OUTWARD THING. If inward disposition had been demanded as well as outward action, we should hardly have heard such complete obedience spoken of. It is easier to make a pilgrimage to Rome or Jerusalem than to live for one hour in complete surrender to God.
II. THE OBEDIENCE WAS MADE AS EASY AS POSSIBLE. Jehovah told them not only the thing to be done, but the way in which to do it. Besides, something of the same kind had been done a little while before.
III. THERE WERE CERTAIN ENDS TO BE ATTAINED WHICH MADE THE WORK ATTRACTIVE. A certain carnal satisfaction in counting up the full warlike strength of the nation; also a sense of rivalry between tribe and tribe to see which was most numerous. Some commands of God, so far as the letter is concerned, may jump with our own inclination. It is further to be noticed that this remarkable obedience did not prevent an early and extensive disobedience in other ways. A command to number the people was not a sufficient test of obedience. Recollect one who said to Christ with respect to the commandments, "All these have I kept from my youth." He little knew a searching test was close at hand. It is possible to render outward service, and that in many ways, and for a long time, with an unchanged heart. The spirit that underlies every ordinance of God may. be repugnant to our natural disposition (Matthew 7:21-23). The practical warning is, that we should labour to make the outward things the fruit and manifestation of the inward. "These things ought ye to have done," - the numbering, etc., - "and not left the other undone" - the loving of the Lord with all the heart and soul and might. - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the children of Israel did according to all that the LORD commanded Moses, so did they.