Call to Worship September 29 2019
Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Commentary, Deuteronomy Chapter 4
GOD hath given commandment concerning those cities of refuge: Numbers 35:9-34. But of such importance was the thing itself, that Moses in the very opening as it were, of his sermon, breaks off to follow up the LORD’S precept concerning this thing. But is there not a gospel sense in it, and that of a very interesting nature? I think there is. Are not those cities of refuge all typical of JESUS? Is not everyone a manslayer, that slays his own soul by sin? And if the avenger of blood, which is death, overtake the sinner (and death is hourly pursuing him) before the poor soul-murderer hath found refuge in the blood, and righteousness of JESUS is not his ruin inevitable? Reader! do not overlook the sweet mercy read to us in these verses, in that the city of refuge was open every way. Yes! JESUS is the way for every poor sinner to find refuge in; and he is open to both the Israelite and the stranger, from all parts of the earth: they shall come (our JESUS saith) from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south…
The Man of GOD is particular in marking down the very spot, where he rehearsed and performed these things for Israel: because the place was truly memorable; for Israel now possessed, as it were, the earnest of the promised land. And there is somewhat striking also in the observation, that it was over against Beth-peor; that is, the idol temple of the GOD of the Moabites. And where so proper to show GOD’S people their mercies, as in the very face of the ungodly world? Oh! how ought the people of GOD to enumerate their mercies, and to mark down the several tokens of distinguishing grace, when they are in the very moment beholding that the LORD hath called them out from among the carnal, and manifested himself to them otherwise than he doth to the world. That is a precious Scripture of Paul’s to this purpose, 1 Corinthians 4:7.
SWEET and precious Chapter, when explained to my soul by the HOLY GHOST, in reference to my adored Redeemer. May the LORD give me grace to read it with all possible reverence and affection; and may he open mine eyes to see the wondrous things of his law. Oh! may I be enabled to see the vast claims there are upon me, by virtue of my covenant relationship in CHRIST JESUS and as powerfully find grace to live in them. And as I trust the LORD hath stretched forth his Almighty arm, and assayed, as in the case of Israel, to go and gather me from another nation, greater and mightier than I am; and hath brought me out: Oh! may the same most merciful GOD in CHRIST, which hath called me by his grace, support and keep me by his power. Dear JESUS! be thou my city of refuge, my hiding place, my security, my GOD, my portion! LORD, I come to thee, and do thou remember thy sweet promise, for thou hast said, all that the FATHER giveth thee shall come, and him that cometh thou wilt in no wise cast out.” (Robert Hawker, The Poor Man’s Commentary: Deuteronomy, pg. 33-36)