Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Deuteronomy 10; Psalm 94: Isaiah 38; Revelation 8

Once again although my intent is to shorten my blog posts I really can’t see any way to leave out one or more of these readings. I do continue to be amazed that the KJV translators were able to do such an excellent job in making the translation from Hebrew and the received Greek texts in English that uplifts so well the words of scripture to our minds. There are almost too many echos in these chapters to list. In my highlights below if you are familiar with the whole of the Bible you will catch a glimpse of some of these “echos” I.e. repetitive use of the same words which increase their depth. Listen here in this link.

It’s a blessing that our Lord was patient enough with his rebellious people to personally hand write the second copy of the Ten Commandments.

Deu 10:1  At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood.

Deu 10:2  And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark.

Deu 10:3  And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand.

Deu 10:4  And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.

Here is a bit more of the chapter, so powerful:

Circumcise Your Heart

Deu 10:12  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

Deu 10:13  To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

This really hasn’t changed….

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mat 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.

Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mat 22:40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

1Jn 3:23  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

1Jn 3:24  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Deu 10:14  Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

Deu 10:15  Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.

Deu 10:16  Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Deu 10:17  For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Deu 10:18  He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

Deu 10:19  Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deu 10:20  Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.

Deu 10:21  He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.

Deu 10:22  Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and now the LORD thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Here are a few select verses from the other chapters:

God does care for those oppressed and the greatest of wickedness is shown here:

Psa 94:3  LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

Psa 94:4  How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

Psa 94:5  They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.

Psa 94:6  They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

I’ve mentioned it before but there are over 100 times the word Rock is used in the Bible. Often revealing that the LORD is our Rock. The Rock of Salvation is not a man.

Psalms 94:22  But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

It’s worth noting Jesus’ teaching which is often misinterpreted.

Mat 16:15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Mat 16:16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Mat 16:17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 16:18  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Read John Gill’s excellent account, I know it’s a bit long but needs to be read. There is plenty to comment upon in the last two chapters but that is too much for me today.

Matthew 16:18

And I say also unto thee,…. Either besides what he had already said concerning his happiness; or, as the father had revealed something great and valuable, so likewise would he; or inasmuch as he had freely said and declared who, and what he was, in like manner he also would say what Peter was, thou art Peter: intimating, that he was rightly called Peter, or Cephas, by him, when he first became a follower of him, Mat 4:18, which words signify the same thing, a rock, or stone; because of his firmness and solidity, and because he was laid upon the sure foundation, and built on the rock Christ, and was a very fit stone to be laid in the spiritual building. The aptness of this name to him is easy to be seen in his full assurance of faith, as to the person of Christ, and his free, open, and undaunted confession of him.

And upon this rock will I build my church: by the church, is meant, not an edifice of wood, stones, &c. but an assembly, and congregation of men; and that not of any sort; not a disorderly, tumultuous assembly, in which sense this word is sometimes taken; nor does it design the faithful of a family, which is sometimes the import of it; nor a particular congregated church, but the elect of God, the general assembly and church of the first born, whose names are written in heaven; and especially such of them as were to be gathered in, and built on Christ, from among the Jews and Gentiles. The materials of this building are such, as are by nature no better, or more fit for it, than others: these stones originally lie in the same quarry with others; they are singled out, and separated from the rest, according to the sovereign will of God, by powerful and efficacious grace; and are broken and hewn by the Spirit of God, generally speaking, under the ministry of the word, and are, by him, made living stones; and being holy and spiritual persons, are built up a spiritual house: and these are the only persons which make up the true and invisible church of Christ in the issue, and are only fit to be members of the visible church; and all such ought to be in a Gospel church state, and partake of the privileges of it: these materials are of different sorts, and have a different place, and have a different usefulness in this building; some are only as common stones, and timber; others are as pillars, beams, and rafters; and all are useful and serviceable; and being put, and knit together, grow up as an holy temple to the Lord: and are called, by Christ, “my” church, because given him by the Father; and he has purchased them with his own blood; are built by him, and on him; inhabited by him, and of whom he is the head, king, and governor; though not to the exclusion of the Father, whose house they also are; nor of the Spirit, who dwells in them, as in his temple. This church Christ promises to “build”. Though his ministers are builders, they are but under builders; they are qualified, employed, directed, encouraged, and succeeded by him; he is the wise, able, and chief master builder. This act of building seems to have a special regard to the conversion of God’s elect, both among Jews and Gentiles, particularly the latter; and to the daily conversions of them in all ages; and to the building up of saints in faith and holiness; each of which will more manifestly appear in the latter day; and are both generally effected through the word, and ordinances, as means, the Spirit of Christ blessing them. By the rock on which Christ builds his church, is meant, not the person of Peter; for Christ does not say, upon thee Peter, but upon this rock, referring to something distinct from him: for though his name signifies a rock, or stone, and there may be some allusion to it; and he is so called because of his trust and confidence in the Lord, on whom he was built; but not because he was the foundation on which any others, and especially the whole church, were built: it is true, he may be called the foundation, as the rest of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are, Eph 2:20 without any distinction from them, and preference to them; they and he agreeing in laying doctrinally and ministerially Christ Jesus as the foundation of faith and hope, but not in such sense as he is; neither he, nor they, are the foundation on which the church is built, which is Christ, and him only. Moreover, what is said to Peter in these, and the following words, is not said to him personally and separately from the rest of the apostles, but is designed for them, as well as him, as appears by comparing them with Mat 18:18. As he spoke in the name of them all, to Christ; so Christ spake to him, including them all. Peter had no preeminence over the rest of the apostles, which he neither assumed, nor was it granted; nor would it ever have been connived at by Christ, who often showed his resentment at such a spirit and conduct, whenever there was any appearance of it in any of them; see Mat 18:1 and though Peter, with James, and John, had some particular favours bestowed on him by Christ; as to be at the raising of Jairus’s daughter, and at the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, and with him in the garden; and he appeared to him alone after his resurrection, and before he was seen by the rest of the disciples; yet in some things he was inferior to them, being left to deny his Lord and master, they did not; and upon another account is called Satan by Christ, which they never were; not to mention other infirmities of his, which show he is not the rock: and, after all, what is this to the pope of Rome, who is no successor of Peter’s? Peter, as an apostle, had no successor in his office; nor was he bishop of Rome; nor has the pope of Rome either his office, or his doctrine: but here, by the rock, is meant, either the confession of faith made by Peter; not the act, nor form, but the matter of it, it containing the prime articles of Christianity, and which are as immoveable as a rock; or rather Christ himself, who points, as it were, with his finger to himself, and whom Peter had made such a glorious confession of; and who was prefigured by the rock the Israelites drank water out of in the wilderness; and is comparable to any rock for height, shelter, strength, firmness, and duration; and is the one and only foundation of his church and people, and on whom their security, salvation, and happiness entirely depend. Christ is a rock that is higher than they, where they find safety in times of distress, and the shadow of which is refreshing to them; and therefore betake themselves to him for shelter, and where they are secure from the wrath of God, and rage of men: he is the rock of ages, in whom is everlasting strength; and is the sure, firm, and everlasting foundation on which the church, and all true believers, are laid: he is the foundation of their faith, and hope, and everlasting happiness, and will ever continue; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The Jews speak of the gates of hell: sometimes of the gate of hell, in the singular number (p); and sometimes of the gates of hell, in the plural number. They say (q), that

“Mnhygl vy Myxtp hvlv, “hell has three gates”, one in the wilderness, one in the sea, and one in Jerusalem.”

They talk (r) of

“an angel that is appointed על תרעי דגיהנם, “over the gates of hell”, whose name is Samriel; who has three keys in his hands, and opens three doors.”

And elsewhere (s) they say, that

“he that is appointed over hell his name is Dumah, and many myriads of destroying angels are with him, and he stands על פתחא דגיהנם, “at the gate of hell”; and all those that keep the holy covenant in this world, he has no power to bring them in.”

Our Lord may allude to these notions of the Jews, and his sense be, that all the infernal principalities and powers, with all their united cunning and strength, will never be able to extirpate his Gospel, to destroy his interest, to demolish his church in general, or ruin anyone particular soul that is built upon him. Again, the gates of “Hades”, or hell, sometimes seem to design no other than the gates of death, and the grave, and persons going into the state of death; see Job 38:17 where the Septuagint use the same phrase as here; and then the sense is, that neither death, nor the grave, shall finally, and totally prevail over the people of God, and members of Christ; but they shall be raised out of such a state, and live gloriously with him for ever. By it here is not meant Peter himself; though it is true of him, that Satan, and his posse of devils that beset him, did not prevail against him, so as to destroy his grace, hurt his estate, and hinder his salvation: nor could death, in all its frightful appearances, deter him from holding, and preaching, and maintaining the doctrine of Christ; and though death, and the grave, have now power over him, yet they shall not always detain him: but rather, it designs the doctrine Peter made a confession of; which, though it may be opposed by hell and earth, by Satan, and his emissaries, by the open force of persecutors, and the secret fraud of heretics, it may be brought into contempt by the scandalous lives of professors; and though the true professors of it may die off, yet truth itself always lives, and defies the power of death, and the grave: or else the church in general is meant, and every true believer. These words do not ascertain the continuance of anyone particular congregated church, but secures the church universal, which will continue as long as the sun and moon endure, and the perseverance of everyone of God’s elect; and assure that death, and the grave, shall not always have the dominion over the saints, but that they shall be rescued from them. Once more, this “it” may refer to Christ the rock, who, though he was brought to the dust of death, by the means of Satan, and the powers of darkness, yet to the ruin of him that had the power of death; and though death, and the grave, had power over him for a while, yet could not hold him; he rose victorious over them, and ever lives, having the keys of hell and death, to open the gates thereof, and let his people out when he thinks fit.

(p) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 39. 1. Succa, fol. 32. 2. Bava Bathra, fol. 84. 1. (q) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 19. 1. Menasseh ben Israel, Nishmat Chayim, fol, 33. 1, 2. (r) Zohar in Gen. fol. 47. 4. (s) Ib. fol. 7. 1.

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