All the commandments which I command you this day shall you observe to do, that you may live, and multiply…
I. The afflictive dispensations of providence ARE INTENDED TO HUMBLE BELIEVERS BY TEACHING THEM ABSOLUTE AND CONSTANT DEPENDENCE ON GOD FOR EVERYTHING THAT THEY ENJOY.
II. The afflictive dispensations of providence ARE INTENDED TO PROVE THE SINCERITY AND TO INCREASE THE STRENGTH OF RELIGION IN THE HEART OF THE GODLY. 'Tis the battle that tries the soldier, and the storm the pilot. How would it appear that Christians can be not only patient, but cheerful in poverty, in disgrace, and temptations, and persecutions, if it were not often their lot to meet with these? He that formed the heart knows it to be deceitful, and He that gives grace knows the weakness and strength of it exactly. The Word of God speaks to men; therefore it speaks the language of men. "Now," said the Lord to Abraham, "I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from Me." In the wisdom of God, believers are thus put in possession of an undeniable evidence of their own sincerity, and which goes further to assure them of their final salvation than a thousand inward feelings, which are often the effect of imagination alone. It is of importance, besides, to observe that every such trial is a means not only of proving the reality of their religious principles, but of confirming and increasing them. It is with the mind as with the body. Exercise and exertion increase its vigour and strength.
III. Consider THE ULTIMATE DESIRE AND EFFECT OF ALL THESE DISPENSATIONS. "To do thee good at thy latter end." When entered into heaven, their knowledge will be enlarged and perfected; and what is at present concealed from them will burst on their view as a necessary part of the discipline of grace in conducting and completing their everlasting salvation. They will then perceive that by poverty they were guarded from the dangers to which wealth would have exposed them, or that the meanness of their station preserved them from the snares of ambition, or that sickness was the means of correcting their tendency to the pursuit of sensual pleasures and worldly joys. Penetrating into the counsels of the Lord, they will see the mercy even of His heaviest judgments, and the wisdom of His most unsearchable ways. At present they may be in heaviness through many tribulations, but the trial of their faith being much more precious than that of gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, shall be found to praise and honour and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
(D. Dickinson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.