And when the LORD brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites, and Jebusites--the land He swore to your fathers that He would give you, a land flowing with milk and honey--you shall keep this service in this month.
fact add the might of their redemption. They are to commemorate it by observance of appointed ordinances. They are to beware of forgetting it in days of prosperity. They are to show their remembrance of it by a holy walk, and by due instruction of their children.
I. REMEMBER THE FACT AND THE MIGHT OF YOUR REDEMPTION.
1. The fact of it (vers. 3-8). How Jesus has brought you up "out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay" (Psalm 40:1); has redeemed you from the law's curse, from Satan's tyranny, from a condition of wrath, and from spiritual death; has introduced you into the liberty of God's children, and started you on your journey to an everlasting and glorious inheritance. Redemption from the thraldom of Pharaoh sinks into insignificance as compared with this "so great salvation." If Israel was summoned to remember the day on which they came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, much more is it the duty of Christians to remember what great things God has done for them.
2. The might of it. "By strength of hand the Lord brought you out of this place" (vers. 3, 9, 14). They were to remember this as enhancing their sense of the greatness of their redemption, and as affording a pledge that God was able to accomplish all else that he had promised (ver. 5). The might expended in the Christian redemption is not less, but greater, than in the exodus from Egypt. It does not detract from its greatness that it is chiefly moral strength - power exerted in overcoming evil, in producing moral effects in the minds and consciences of men, and in making them new creatures in Christ Jesus. Redemption has both its objective and its subjective sides, and in both is displayed the power of God. God's might is seen in the upholding of Christ; in the victories which, while on earth, he was enabled to gain over the powers of evil; in the gigantic triumph of the Cross; and in the spiritual effects produced since, through eighteen centuries, by the preaching of his Gospel; in the regeneration of souls, in the strength given to his servants to do spiritual work, in the victory whereby they overcome the world.
II. BEWARE OF FORGETTING YOUR REDEMPTION IN THE DAYS OF YOUR PROSPERITY, ver. 15. Prosperity has a subtle influence in leading away the heart from God. When men have eaten, and are full (Deuteronomy 8:12-18), they are very apt to grow haughty and self-sufficient. This danger is one to be jealously watched against.
III. SHOW THAT YOU REMEMBER YOUR REDEMPTION BY DOING THE THINGS THAT GOD COMMANDS.
1. By observing his ordinances. The special ordinance here alluded to is the feast of unleavened bread - a sequel to the passover (vers. 3-10). Christians are to observe the Lord's Supper.
2. By a holy life. The observance of the outward ordinance would be valueless if that which it spiritually represented was lost sight of, viz., the need of a walk in "newness of life." We are to "keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:7). To this end has Christ redeemed us, that we may walk in holiness (Romans 6:4-7; Ephesians 5:25-28; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18).
3. By instruction of children. God lays stress on this (vers. 8-14; cf. Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Deuteronomy 11:18-22). It is his chief way of perpetuating a holy seed. The responsibility of instruction rests primarily on the parent. No task should be more delightful to him, or should be discharged more faithfully. If the parent is willing, many opportunities will present themselves. A child's curiosity is ever active. The ordinances of the Church will furnish starting-points for conversation. We have in these verses, and elsewhere in the book, specimens of the instruction that is to be given. - J.O.
Keep this service.I. THAT THE ORDINANCES OF THE LORD MUST BE OBSERVED IN THE TIMES OF PROSPERITY (ver. 5).
II. THAT THE ORDINANCES OF THE LORD MUST BE OBSERVED WITH TRUE INTELLIGENCE (vers. 8, 9).
III. THAT THE ORDINANCES OF THE LORD MUST BE OBSERVED WITH PARENTAL SOLICITUDE. God has appointed the family the moral nursery of the young. Lessons:
1. To attend to all the ordinances of the Lord.
2. To attend to them at the most appropriate time.
3. To attend to them in right spirit and temper.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
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