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DEUTERONOMY 33:27 COMMENTARY

August 4, 2012


The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and He drove out the enemy from before you, and said ‘Destroy!’  (Deuteronomy 33:27)

OUR DWELLING PLACE:
IN THE ALL ENCOMPASSING GOD

C H Spurgeon comments on the Comforting Doctrine, the Omnipresence of God Who “everywhere surrounds” His Beloved (1Th 1:4-note) Children (1Jn 3:1-note) on all sides: Indeed, they dwell in Him. (See related topic “In Christ“):

“The passage before us shows that the Lord is ABOVE, for we read, “There is no one like God, O Jeshurun (Israel), Who rides upon the heaven to help (Hebrew = ezer; Lxx = boethos;cp His great Name = Jehovah Ezer) you, on the clouds in majesty.” (Dt 33:26

Assuredly He is AROUND them, for “The eternal God is thy refuge;” and He is BEFORE them, for “He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee and shall say ‘Destroy them.’” Here according to the text the LORD is also UNDER His saints, for Underneath are the everlasting arms.”

“LORD, Thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations” (Ps 9o:1-note; Spurgeon’s sermon) and by Thee we are everywhere surrounded as the earth by the atmosphere.”

“Within Thy circling power I stand;
On every side I find Thy hand;
Awake, asleep, at home, abroad,
I am surrounded still with God.”

OUR DWELLING PLACE:
THE ETERNAL GOD

Spurgeon:
The word REFUGE (“dwelling place”) may be translated “abiding place” which gives the thought that God is our Abode, our Home. There is a fulness and sweetness in the
metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage or the scantiest garret (attic) and dearer far is our blessed God, in Whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

 IT IS AT HOME that we feel safe: we shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we “fear no evil.” He is our Shelter and Retreat, our Abiding Refuge (Ps 62:7-note).

 AT HOME we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God, when, wearied with life’s conflict, we turn to Him, and our soul dwells at ease (Ps 37:7-note, Spurgeon Sermon #1, Spurgeon Sermon #2;  Mt 11:28-30-note, read Jer 6:16-Spurgeon sermon).

 AT HOME, also, we let our hearts loose: we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with Him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if the “secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him,” (Ps 25:14-Spurgeon sermon; Additional Note) the secrets of them that fear Him ought to be & must be, with their Lord.

HOME TOO is the place of our truest and purest happiness & it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in Him which far surpasses all other joy (“fulness of joy” Ps 16:11-note).

IT IS ALSO FOR HOME
that we work and labour. The thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden and quickens the fingers to perform the task and in this sense we may also say that God is our Home. Love to Him strengthens us. We think of Him in the person of His dear Son and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to labor in His cause (2Cor 5:13-14-note). We feel that we must work, for we have brethren yet to be saved and we have our Father’s heart to make glad by bringing home His wandering sons; we would fill with holy mirth the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy are those who have thus the God of Jacob for their refuge!”

OUR DWELLING PLACE:
UNDERNEATH ARE HIS EVERLASTING ARMS

Spurgeon: “God—the eternal God—is Himself our Support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons wh…en the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet “UNDERNEATH” thee “ARE EVERLASTING ARMS.” (The Old Hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” by Iris Dement) Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have fallen so low as “the uttermost”; and to the uttermost he saves (Hebrews 7:25KJV-note). Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are “THE EVERLASTING ARMS!” He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict, but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the “everlasting arms”—they are underneath him; and, while thus sustained, all Satan’s efforts to harm him avail nothing. This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary but earnest worker in the service of God. It implies a PROMISE OF STRENGTH FOR EACH DAY, GRACE FOR EACH NEED AND POWER FOR EACH DUTY. And, further, when death comes, the promise shall still hold good. When we stand in the midst of Jordan (on “death’s doorstep”), we shall be able to say with David, “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” (Psalm 23:4 Spurgeon sermon; Additional NoteWe shall descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the “EVERLASTING ARMS”—arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for “THE EVERLASTING GOD FAINTETH NOT, NEITHER IS WEARY!” (Isaiah 40:28

Illustration: A lady who was facing difficult trials and troubling circumstances came to W. B. Hinson at the close of a sermon and said, “I’m very much afraid I might fall.” Hinson replied, “Well, why don’t you do it?” “But Preacher,” she protested, “where would I fall to?” “You would fall down into the everlasting arms of God,” came his reply. Then he said, “I have read in the Bible that His everlasting arms are underneath His children. And you know, I believe that if you fall down upon those everlasting arms, it is sure and certain that you will never fall through them.” Yes, the believer can rest in the unfailing strength and support of the omnipotent Father. God bolsters this assurance with a progression of truth in Isaiah 41:10 when He says through the prophet, “I am with thee.” “I will strengthen thee.” “I will help thee.” “I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness.” And in John 17:11 we read this prayer of our Lord: “Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me.” His request will not be thwarted because our Savior has given every believer into the keeping, safeguarding power of the Father. So even when we stumble, we fall into the everlasting arms of His grace. – Paul Van Gorder

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Elisha A Hoffman
Vocal by Twila Paris

OUR DWELLING PLACE:
IN TRIALS BOTH GREAT & SMALL

Spurgeon: Some of you are enduring deep affliction. In your extraordinary trial, remember the depth of divine faithfulness. You may be unable to comprehend why, but I urge you to believe in the firmness and stability of divine affection. You will have comfort in proportion to your trials. If you have shallow sorrows you will receive shallow graces (Ed: Compare “variegated” [Gk = poikilos = various “sizes” and “shapes” of] trials in 1Peter 1:6-note with manifold or “variegated” [poikilos] grace in 1Pe 4:10-note, grace of just the right “size” and “shape” for your trial). If you have deep afflictions you will obtain deeper proof of God’s faithfulness.  I could lay down and die when I think of life’s trials, but like Sarah (Ge 21:6-note) I recover and laugh when I remember that the eternal God is our refuge and that underneath are the everlasting arms (Deut. 33:27). God will not fail. God will not take away His hand until He has finished His purpose concerning us (cp Php 1:6-note).  Great trials bring great promises. Much afflicted one, there are great and mighty words that are not meant for saints of easier experiences. You will drink from the deep golden goblets reserved for those giants who can drink a great portion of wormwood, but God will also supply deep drinks of the well-refined wines on the lees (Isaiah 25:6-Spurgeon sermon).  Trials greatly enlarge the soul. Thus I do not want, in my better mind, to escape great trials, since they involve great graces. If my strength shall be as my days (Deut. 33:25), then let my days be long and dark, for my strength will be mighty, God will be glorified, and I will be blessed. I earnestly urge every tested Christian to dwell on this truth, for it may be a great comfort.  There is love, immortal and unchanging love, in heaven toward you, which will never grow cold. You will be helped. God would sooner cease to be than cease to be faithful. Be of good courage, for today He will strengthen your heart.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase;
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.
Annie Johnson Flint

Resources:
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 Biblical Illustrator
Deuteronomy 33:27 Biblical Illustrator
Deuteronomy 33:26-27 Sermon Notes – Rich Cather
Deuteronomy 33:27 – God Who is our Home  (22 pp!) James Hastings
Deuteronomy 33:26 Israel’s God – Henry Law
Deuteronomy 33:26 God’s Israel – Henry Law
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 Preacher’s Homiletical Commentary
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 Israel’s Happiness – Pulpit Commentary
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 The Eternal God a Refuge – Pulpit Commentary
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 God the Crown of Israel’s Glory – Pulpit Commentary
Deuteronomy 33:27 Faith that Cancels Fear – Chuck Smith
Deuteronomy 33:27 Sermon – Chuck Smith
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 Israel’s God and God’s Israel – C H Spurgeon
Deuteronomy 33:27 The Everlasting Arms  – C H Spurgeon
Deuteronomy 33:27  Present Privilege and Future Favor – C H Spurgeon
Deuteronomy 33:27 Underneath  – C H Spurgeon
Illustrations: Our Daily Bread, Our Daily Bread -2

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4 Comments
  1. Pastor Newton M xetor permalink

    God bless you for the had work out there .

    • Pastor Newton M xetor permalink

      God bless you for your had work out there.

  2. Sobe permalink

    For such a time like this in my life. I’m lifted and encouraged.

  3. Susan permalink

    Deut 33:27 is a covenant verse for me, Thanks for helping us with more understanding of the Word.
    God Bless You, Greetings from India as well:)

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