47. Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the Lord. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.
47. Et reducam captivitatem Moab in fine dierum (hoc est, post longum tempus,) dicit Jehova. Hactenus judicium Moab.
Here, as we see, God gives place to his mercy, so that the Moabites should not wholly perish. At the same time, things which seem to be contrary agree together, even that destruction was nigh the people of Moab, and yet that some would remain alive, who would afterwards renew the name of the nation, as it was God's purpose to restore the Moabites to their former state. These things, as I have said, seem inconsistent, and yet they may be easily reconciled; for it was God's will so to destroy the Moabites, that those who died might not be without hope; and then, those who remained alive were not deemed to be among the living, but in exile they were like the dead. God, indeed, ever supported the godly with hope, even when they were driven into Babylon: but as to the Moabites, the living as well as the dead, had no hope. Why, then, was this promise given? not for the sake of the Moabites; but that the Jews might feel assured that God would at length be propitious to them; he promises pardon to the Moabites as it were accidentally, so to speak, and thus unavowedly stretches forth his hand to them, but with a design through this mercy to give to the Israelites a taste of his paternal favor. What remains we must reserve for the lecture tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou wert formerly pleased to extend thy mercy to aliens, who were wholly estranged from thee, that the children of Abraham, whom thou didst adopt, might hence have a hope of deliverance, -- O grant, that we may also, at this day, cast our eyes on the many proofs of thy goodness, manifested towards the ungodly and the unworthy, so as to make an application for our own benefit, and never to doubt but that however miserable we may be, thou wilt yet be ever propitious to us, since thou hast deigned to choose us for thy peculiar people, and hast promised to be ever our God and Father in Christ Jesus our Lord. -- Amen.
Lecture One Hundred and Seventy-Third
We began in our last lecture to explain what the Prophet has said of the restoration of Moab; and we said that some hope of mercy to the unworthy is left here. For though they had in various ways provoked the wrath of God, yet he was unwilling wholly to destroy them; and from that nation also Christ, the Redeemer of the world, derived his origin. Here, then, we have a memorable instance of God's favor, that he did not wholly obliterate that nation, which yet had deserved extreme punishment. We said further, that it was, as it were, accidental that the Prophet promised favor to the Moabites; for we know that the people of Israel were then a people distinct from other nations. God then so disposed of his favor, that when a few drops came to heathens, it was, as it were, adventitious. For it was not his will to cast indiscriminately to all the bread which he had designed for his own children, as Christ also says, that it is not right that the children's bread should be given to dogs. (Matthew 15:26.) God, however, designed to show some preludes of his mercy towards alien nations, when he so directed the promises of salvation to his chosen people as not wholly to exclude the heathens, as we have an example here in the Moabites. We shall hereafter see the same as to the Ammonites. Now follows --
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