I.   Verse 1-6 - "Understand".

A.     Verse 1-5 - God has taken from the mighty and given to the weak.

1.       Moses is telling Israel this fact before they enter the promised land.

a.      This should cause them to look to the Lord for strength.

b.      If they look to their own strength, they know it is small.

c.      It is good for us to know that our enemies are greater and mightier than we.  When we know this, we will trust in God instead of our own strength.

2.       Israel's victory, as well as our victory, is in God.

a.      He is a consuming fire for His enemies.

b.      Israel must go and fight, but it is God that drives out the enemy.

3.       Verse 4,5 - A warning to remember God's strength and their weakness.

a.      Don't think God blessed you because of your righteousness.

b.      Verse 4 - He cast out the nations because of their wickedness.

c.      Verse 5 - God cast them out so He would keep the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

B.     Verse 6 - Your wickedness.

1.       If Israel would remember this, they would not be filled with pride and self satisfaction.

2.       2.      Remembering this fact goes back to remembering the fall into sin.      3.      I believe it would be good for every individual today to know that we are a stiff-necked people.  If we could only see our wickedness before God, we would be more trusting in Him and less trusting in our own talents and devices.


II.   Verse 7-29 - "Remember and forget not".

A.     Verse 7-26 - Remember your wickedness.  Moses wants Israel to really realize what a stiff-necked people they are.  Not so they will be depressed and discouraged, but so they will realize that the great love of God for them allows Him to put up with their wickedness.

1.       Verse 7 - Remember all your wickedness from the time you left Egypt until now.

a.      Moses does not list these wicked acts because it is God's purpose for each individual to think of the act most prominent in their minds, and this act would be different for each person.

b.      This would cause an "individual sorrow for sin", not a false "national sorrow for sin".

c.      There can be no "national sorrow for sin" until there is an "individual sorrow for sin".

2.       Verse 8-21 - Remember the broken law.

a.      Moses goes over all the details of the broken law just in cast some of the people have compromised the truth in their own minds.

b.      The significance of the broken law is that Israel might remember that it was when Moses saw their wickedness that he broke the tables of stone in his anger.

c.      If Moses was that angry at the sins of Israel, how angry was God? Remember that Moses is a sinner just like every other Israelite, but he had been sustained by God 40 days and 40 nights while on the mount getting the law and the instructions for building the tabernacle.

d.      Verse 14 - There are two reasons God didn't destroy Israel.  (1) Moses prayed for them, and (2) God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  (For additional comments on this passage see my notes on Exodus 32-34.)

e.      Verse 18 - Moses prayed for 40 days and 40 nights, eating or drinking nothing.  God sustained him.

f.       Verse 20 - God had in mind to kill Aaron because he was the leader and should have stopped Israel from making the golden calf.  Moses also prayed for Aaron during this 40 day fast.  g.            Verse 21 - Moses made Israel drink "golden water".

3.       Verse 22 - Moses mentions three other places where Israel rebelled against God.

a.      Taberah - See my comments on Numbers 11:1-3.

b.      Massah - See my comments on Exodus 17:1-7.

c.      Kibrothhattaavah - See my comments on Numbers 11:4-34.

4.       Verse 23-26 - Remember the final rebellion which causes the 40 year wilderness wandering.

a.      Verse 24 - Moses wants Israel to remember that they have been rebellious ever since he knew them.            This is a terrible condemnation for a leader to put upon the people God has chosen for him to lead.  Israel will be not rewarded for the trouble they caused Moses.  They would have been rewarded if they had made his time of leadership easy.

b.      Verse 26 - Moses prayed the third time, also for 40 days and 40 nights, to keep the Lord from destroying them.

1)      Leaders ought to pray for their people regardless of how rebellious they are.

2)      If God has called a man to lead a people, they must be the people of God.

3)      God must have a purpose in calling the man for that particular people.

B.     Verse 27-29 - Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

1.       In his final 40 day prayer, Moses calls upon God to remember His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

2.       Moses begs God to not look on the wickedness of the people because they are just sinners like everybody else.

3.       Moses begs God to remember the wickedness of the Egyptians who will say that God was able to deliver Israel from their land, but unable to keep them in His service, therefore He killed them and made a people of      Moses.

a.      Egypt would say that God wasn't strong enough to make a great people of terrible sinners.

b.      He had to have a person, like Moses, who wasn't so great a sinner since he was able to do miracles.