Deuteronomy 10:20
You are to fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name.
Religion in BriefJ. Orr Deuteronomy 10:20
New ObedienceR.M. Edgar Deuteronomy 10:10-22
Knowledge of God the Parent of Obedient FaithD. Davies Deuteronomy 10:12-22
The Supreme PersuasiveJ. Orr Deuteronomy 10:14-22

A text made illustrious by our Savior's use of it. Like ver. 12, a summary of duty, but in a form giving prominence to the truth that fear of God works from within outwards. This central religious principle particularizes itself into -

I. SERVING HIM - or religion in deed. In resistance of all seductions to a counter-service (Matthew 4:10). In the faithful and diligent discharge of all duties.

II. CLEAVING TO HIM - or religion in heart. Fear and love, rooted in faith, here reveal themselves as an energy of trust and adherence. They dread separation from God as the worst evil. They hold by him for support, for keeping, for strength, for direction.

III. SWEARING BY HIS NAME - or religion in word. This includes religious oaths, but denotes also willingness at any time to make public confession of God.

IV. REJOICING IN HIM. "He is thy praise" (cf. Philippians 4:4). - J.O.

Ye were strangers.
In both Jewish and Christian economy special kindness was to be shown to the stranger.

I. THE STRANGER'S CLAIM DOES NOT REST UPON ANY DOCTRINE OF ABSTRACT RIGHT, BUT UPON THE DISADVANTAGE OF HIS POSITION. He can hardly be said to have any right at all. He is a foreigner. He comes uninvited. He seeks only his own advantage. Why should I befriend him? He is seeking only to make his own way, and to secure a footing, probably at my cost, or that of my neighbour. Besides, it is impossible to befriend him without risk. Nothing is known of his history or his character. Why did he leave the place where he was known? If he couldn't succeed there, why should he expect to succeed here? The very fact that he had to come among strangers and start life afresh is a reason for caution and reserve. All this is true. Why should you trouble about him? Yet you must trouble. And the simple reason is, that his strangeness places him at a terrible disadvantage. In the Old Testament he is always classed with the widow and the orphan. They are the defenceless class. And because they are an easy prey of cunning and wickedness, God makes special provision for them. He comes into a community ignorant of all the well-established order of its life. The common places of their life are novelties to him. What an object for fleecing! The sailor on shore, and Young Evergreen on the turf, are striking examples of the readiness with which the simple-minded stranger falls a victim to wily and wicked men. The same thing happens in business and society. Most people regard it as quite the proper thing to make the stranger pay for his experience, and do not scruple to take advantage of his ignorance. The glory of our Jehovah is that He is the Defence and Champion of the helpless and oppressed. The world bullies the widow, exploits the poor, and considers the stranger fair game for plunder. But God says, My people shall protect the weak, provide for the poor, and show kindness to the stranger. One reason why they were to show kindness to the stranger was because he is especially sensitive to first impressions. His loneliness and comparative helplessness lay him open to the first influences that come upon him. He is ready to enter any door that opens. How much depends upon those first influences! He will form his estimate of the new community from the people who first get hold of him. The stranger's first impressions of Israel would be gathered from his first experiences among them. First impressions last. God was jealous for His name among the heathen and the stranger. The stranger is nervous, uncertain, apprehensive. He is easily offended, and apt to see slights where they do not exist. But he is just as easily pleased, and responds readily to kind and sympathetic interest. I am persuaded our churches have suffered great loss in our towns and cities through their neglect of the stranger. It would be safe to affirm that no church prospers that is not mindful of the stranger. "Forget not to show love unto the stranger." He is altogether a pathetic figure. Often behind him is a history full of tragedy; his heart is sore, sometimes even unto breaking; always he is in need of kindly and helpful sympathy.

II. OUR DUTY TO THE STRANGER. Our duty runs along the line of his need. The Old Testament law protects him against oppression, wrong, and vexation. No advantage was to be taken against him. But they were not to stand aloof, and let him severely alone. They must deal hospitably with him. He with the poor was to have the gleanings of the field, that he might secure his daily bread. In the New Testament the hospitality is extended. To care for the stranger was one of the marks of Christian character (Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 5:10). He was to be treated both in the Old and New Covenant as home-born, and admitted to the privileges of national and social life (Leviticus 19. 33, 34). The reason for such generous treatment was three fold.

1. The stranger's need. That in itself ought to be sufficient. The Good Samaritan does not stop to inquire into the merits of the man naked and bleeding on the roadside. His need is a sufficient passport to sympathy. Philanthropy in the guise of a detective is a very poor thing. The large-hearted pity of Jesus did not wait for a certificate of merit and respectability before it healed the sufferer or fed the hungry. The stranger's hunger is for brotherliness, rather than bread. Feed him, then, out of the fulness of your heart.

2. "Ye know the heart of a stranger." One would think such would need no exhortation to be considerate to strangers. The remembrance of a fellow feeling ought to make them kind. But it does not. The cruellest slave driver is the man who has been a slave. Suffering unsanctified by grace does not soften and sweeten; it hardens and sours. But the law ought to hold good. If suffering does not make us appreciate the troubles of those who may afterwards be passing through the same experience, what can we appreciate? We are comforted of God, that we in turn may comfort others in like affliction. We have all been strangers, for we began life as "the little stranger." Recall your experiences, and when you see a stranger, do unto him as you would that others should have done unto you.

3. God loves the stranger. "The Lord your God is God of gods, the Lord of lords, a great God,...and loveth the stranger. Love ye therefore the stranger" (Deuteronomy 10:17-19). The love of God over. flows the boundaries of the elect. It compasses the heathen as well as the Israelite. Be ye imitators of God. Because God loves him, you must love him for God sake. This motive is greatly strengthened in Jesus Christ. For His sake we are debtors unto all men. For His sake we must take up our cross and crucify the flesh with its narrow affections and selfish lust. In the stranger you may find an angel. Not that every stranger is an angel. Some are sharks. You are not asked to abandon the ordinary rules of prudence and common sense. There is all the difference in the world between being kind to a stranger and making him your bosom friend straight off. But in the stranger there are great possibilities. When God gave His great promise unto Israel, we are told "they were few men in number, yea, very few, and strangers in the land" (Psalm 105:11, 12). Only a few feeble strangers, but heirs of a great promise. Angels have a trick of dwelling in unsuspected places; they delight to travel in disguise, and be entertained unawares. In the stranger you may find appreciation and gratitude. St. Luke tells us that when Jesus healed ten lepers none returned to express their thanks, save only he who was a Samaritan and a stranger (Luke 17:18). In the stranger you may find more than an angel. You may find in him your Lord. At the last day you will be surprised to find you have been ministering not unto a needy brother, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. "I was a stranger, and ye took me in."

(S. Chadwick.)

Diderot rose on Shrove Tuesday morning and groping in his pocket found nothing wherewith to keep that day, which he spent wandering about Paris and its precincts. He was ill when he got back to his quarters, went to bed and was treated by his landlady to a little toast and wine. "That day," he told a friend in after life, "I swore that if ever I came to have anything, I would never in my life refuse a poor man help, never condemn a fellow creature to a day so painful."

(Francis Jacox.)

A Pittsburgh pastor writes: "It was at the close of the evening service last Sunday that, according to my wont, I stepped down from the pulpit and moved towards the door to greet old friends and welcome strangers. Presently there stood before me a shy, intelligent-looking lad, who grasped my hand with so much cordiality that, looking him in the face, I said, 'What is your name? Do you live somewhere near by?' 'My name,' said he, with a charming accent, 'is John Silas. I do not live here, I work at the K— Hotel.' 'How did you find your way here?' 'I looked for you many days,' responded the boy; 'I come from Germany one year ago — no father, no mother. I meet you one night, you preached at W— (one of our suburbs); you shook hands with me, and said you were glad to see me, and I've been looking for your church ever since.' The incident deeply touched several who were standing by, and hospitality to strangers will seem to us all more valuable than ever before."

Aaron, Eleazar, Jaakanites, Jakan, Levi, Moses
Beeroth Bene-jaakan, Beth-baal-peor, Egypt, Jotbathah, Moserah, Sinai
Cleave, Cling, Fast, Fear, Hold, Oaths, Serve, Swear, Taking, Worship
1. God's mercy in restoring the two tablets
6. in continuing the priesthood
8. in separating the tribe of Levi
10. in hearkening unto Moses' plea for his people
12. An exhortation to obedience

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Deuteronomy 10:20

     1349   covenant, at Sinai
     7160   servants of the Lord
     8223   dedication

Deuteronomy 10:12-20

     1335   blessing

Deuteronomy 10:20-21

     8334   reverence, and God's nature

Election and Holiness
Now, this morning it may be that some of you will not approve of what I have to say. You will remember, however, that I do not seek your approbation, that it will be sufficient for me if I have cleared my conscience concerning a grand truth and have preached the gospel faithfully. I am not accountable to you, nor you to me. You are accountable to God, if you reject a truth; I am accountable to Him if I preach an error. I am not afraid to stand before His bar with regard to the great doctrines which
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 6: 1860

Book iii. The Ascent: from the River Jordan to the Mount of Transfiguration.
{hebrew} In every passage of Scripture where thou findest the Majesty of God, thou also findest close by His Condescension (Humility). So it is written down in the Law [Deut. x. 17, followed by verse 18], repeated in the Prophets [Is. lvii. 15], and reiterated in the Hagiographa [Ps. lxviii. 4, followed by verse 5].' - Megill 31 a.
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

a survey of the third and closing discourse of the prophet
We shall now, in conclusion, give a survey of the third and closing discourse of the prophet. After an introduction in vi. 1, 2, where the mountains serve only to give greater solemnity to the scene (in the fundamental passages Deut. xxxii. 1, and in Is. 1, 2, "heaven and earth" are mentioned for the same purposes, inasmuch as they are the most venerable parts of creation; "contend with the mountains" by taking them in and applying to [Pg 522] them as hearers), the prophet reminds the people of
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The remarkable change which we have noticed in the views of Jewish authorities, from contempt to almost affectation of manual labour, could certainly not have been arbitrary. But as we fail to discover here any religious motive, we can only account for it on the score of altered political and social circumstances. So long as the people were, at least nominally, independent, and in possession of their own land, constant engagement in a trade would probably mark an inferior social stage, and imply
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

I. I will remind you of some points that have been settled in this course of study. 1. The true intent and meaning of the law of God has been, as I trust, ascertained in the lectures on moral government. Let this point if need be, be examined by reference to those lectures. 2. We have also seen, in those lectures, what is not, and what is implied in entire obedience to the moral law. 3. In those lectures, and also in the lectures on justification and repentance, it has been shown that nothing is
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

Parable of the Importunate Widow.
^C Luke XVIII. 1-8. ^c 1 And he spake a parable unto them to the end that they ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, and regarded not man [an utterly abandoned character]: 3 and there was a widow in that city; and she came oft unto him, saying, Avenge me of [rather, Do justice to me as to] mine adversary. [In Scripture language widowhood is symbolic of defenselessness (Ex. xxii. 22-24; Deut. x. 18; xxvii. 19; Mal. iii. 5; Mark xii. 40),
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Covenanting a Duty.
The exercise of Covenanting with God is enjoined by Him as the Supreme Moral Governor of all. That his Covenant should be acceded to, by men in every age and condition, is ordained as a law, sanctioned by his high authority,--recorded in his law of perpetual moral obligation on men, as a statute decreed by him, and in virtue of his underived sovereignty, promulgated by his command. "He hath commanded his covenant for ever."[171] The exercise is inculcated according to the will of God, as King and
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Thirtieth Lesson. An Holy Priesthood;'
An holy priesthood;' Or, The Ministry of Intercession. An holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.'--I Peter ii. 5. Ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord.'--Isaiah lxi. 6. THE Spirit of the Lord God is upon me: because the Lord hath anointed me.' These are the words of Jesus in Isaiah. As the fruit of His work all redeemed ones are priests, fellow-partakers with Him of His anointing with the Spirit as High Priest. Like the precious ointment upon
Andrew Murray—With Christ in the School of Prayer

Covenanting Confers Obligation.
As it has been shown that all duty, and that alone, ought to be vowed to God in covenant, it is manifest that what is lawfully engaged to in swearing by the name of God is enjoined in the moral law, and, because of the authority of that law, ought to be performed as a duty. But it is now to be proved that what is promised to God by vow or oath, ought to be performed also because of the act of Covenanting. The performance of that exercise is commanded, and the same law which enjoins that the duties
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Kadesh. Rekam, and that Double. Inquiry is Made, Whether the Doubling it in the Maps is Well Done.
The readers of the eastern interpreters will observe, that Kadesh is rendered by all Rekam, or in a sound very near it. In the Chaldee, it is 'Rekam': in the Syriac, 'Rekem': in the Arabic, 'Rakim'... There are two places noted by the name Rekam in the very bounds of the land,--to wit, the southern and eastern: that is, a double Kadesh. I. Of Kadesh, or Rekam, in the south part, there is no doubt. II. Of it, in the eastern part, there is this mention: "From Rekam to the east, and Rekam is as the
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

An Appendix to the Beatitudes
His commandments are not grievous 1 John 5:3 You have seen what Christ calls for poverty of spirit, pureness of heart, meekness, mercifulness, cheerfulness in suffering persecution, etc. Now that none may hesitate or be troubled at these commands of Christ, I thought good (as a closure to the former discourse) to take off the surmises and prejudices in men's spirits by this sweet, mollifying Scripture, His commandments are not grievous.' The censuring world objects against religion that it is difficult
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Jesus Attends the First Passover of his Ministry.
(Jerusalem, April 9, a.d. 27.) Subdivision B. Jesus Talks with Nicodemus. ^D John III. 1-21. ^d 1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. [Nicodemus is mentioned only by John. His character is marked by a prudence amounting almost to timidity. At John vii. 50-52 he defends Jesus, but without committing himself as in any way interested in him: at John xix. 38, 39 he brought spices for the body of Jesus, but only after Joseph of Arimathæa had secured the body.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Owing to the comparatively loose nature of the connection between consecutive passages in the legislative section, it is difficult to present an adequate summary of the book of Deuteronomy. In the first section, i.-iv. 40, Moses, after reviewing the recent history of the people, and showing how it reveals Jehovah's love for Israel, earnestly urges upon them the duty of keeping His laws, reminding them of His spirituality and absoluteness. Then follows the appointment, iv. 41-43--here irrelevant (cf.
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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