For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you are already rebelling against the LORD while I am still alive, how much more will you rebel after my death!
I. THE SACRED BOOKS ARE NOT COMPLIMENTARY TO HUMAN NATURE. The Pentateuch, in its tremendous charges and indictments against mankind, is in unison with the rest of the Word. It is a sustained witness against the human race. "Others may perhaps suspect," says Henry Rogers, "that Jewish vanity led the writers thus to ignore or treat lightly the affairs of all nations except their own. The answer is concise, but conclusive. Let Jewish vanity in general be what the reader pleases, these writers would seem to have had none of it. If they have passed by the glorious achievements of secular history, they have recorded all the infamies of their own nation; and, indeed, their principal references to other nations are as 'scourges' of their own - scourges justly sent, they confess and avow, for apostasies which had wearied out the patience of Heaven!" The marvel is that the Jews and Christians should conspire to preserve what is a most humiliating account of the race.
II. THE ARK WAS THE TREASURE-HOUSE OF GOD PROTECTED BY HIS PRESENCE. It was the "safe" of Israel, not, alas! "fire-proof," like Milner's, as the Babylonians demonstrated, yet as durable and as sacred as the times allowed. It was fenced around by the holiest sanctions. Nowhere could the manuscripts be so safe. Now, the ark is regarded as a type of Jesus; and if so, then the depositing of the Law within the ark would convey the idea of the Law of God being within the heart of Christ (Psalm 40:8). In other words, Jesus Christ embodies the Divine Law or will, add is at once its most brilliant exposition and the most tremendous indictment of human nature. The Jews were not so careful of the living Law as their forefathers were of the written Law. They recognized its charge against themselves: the charge had become oral; it walked before them; it was something that they could not shake off except through the desperate alternative of assassination. They killed in Christ their living Conscience.
III. WE SHOULD LEARN FROM THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST TO TREASURE UP GOD'S LAW WITHIN OUR OWN HEARTS. We cannot have too much of the Bible in our minds and memories. The more we study it, the more like Christ shall we become. He whose "delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in his Law doth he meditate day and night," is blessed, and he shall be like the tree whose roots are in the waters, duly fruitful and ever green (Psalm 1:2, 3). His conscience shall be reinforced and become increasingly tender; his heart shall be elevated in its affections and longings; and his mind shall be trained to what is high and holy. Thus is the whole being enriched and the life enlarged. May we deposit the Word of God with as much care in our hearts as the Levites did the rolls of Moses in the ark! - R.M.E.
Thy stiff neck.
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