It is a work of time to make souls meet for the heavenly Canaan and it must be done by many a long train of experiences.
1 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the LORD spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.
2 And the LORD spake unto me, saying,
3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.
4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:
5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.
6 Ye shall buy meat of them for money, that ye may eat; and ye shall also buy water of them for money, that ye may drink.
7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
8 And when we passed by from our brethren the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, through the way of the plain from Elath, and from Ezion-gaber, we turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
9 And the LORD said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.
10 The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims;
11 Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims.
12 The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them, when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession, which the LORD gave unto them.
13 Now rise up, said I, and get you over the brook Zered. And we went over the brook Zered.
14 And the space in which we came from Kadesh-barnea, until we were come over the brook Zered, was thirty and eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were wasted out from among the host, as the LORD sware unto them.
15 For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from among the host, until they were consumed.
16 ¶ So it came to pass, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people,
17 That the LORD spake unto me, saying,
18 Thou art to pass over through Ar, the coast of Moab, this day:
19 And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.
20 (That also was accounted a land of giants: giants dwelt therein in old time; and the Ammonites call them Zamzummims;
21 A people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims; but the LORD destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead:
22 As he did to the children of Esau, which dwelt in Seir, when he destroyed the Horims from before them; and they succeeded them, and dwelt in their stead even unto this day:
23 And the Avims which dwelt in Hazerim, even unto Azzah, the Caphtorims, which came forth out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and dwelt in their stead.)
24 ¶ Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.
25 This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee.
26 ¶ And I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth unto Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
27 Let me pass through thy land: I will go along by the high way, I will neither turn unto the right hand nor to the left.
28 Thou shalt sell me meat for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink: only I will pass through on my feet;
29 (As the children of Esau which dwell in Seir, and the Moabites which dwell in Ar, did unto me;) until I shall pass over Jordan into the land which the LORD our God giveth us.
30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the LORD thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into thy hand, as appeareth this day.
31 And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.
32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to fight at Jahaz.
33 And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.
34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:
35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.
36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:
37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.
Deuteronomy 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Deuteronomy 2:1-15 – Journeying and Dying in the Wilderness
Even when we are rebellious and unbelieving, God does not forget nor forsake us, Deuteronomy 2:7. He knows our walking through the great wilderness which we have chosen. Through all the forty years He goes with His people as their fellow-pilgrim. Even under such circumstances they lack nothing that is necessary to a complete and blessed life.
Edom was not to be injured, because of the ancient grant, Genesis 32:3. So with Moab. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. He will remember His Abrahams and His Lots long after they have passed from this mortal sphere, and will care for their children and children’s children. See Isaiah 59:21. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Deuteronomy 2:16-37 – Conquering beyond Jordan
In the earlier verses of this portion we catch a glimpse of the former history of Palestine, with the wars of conquest and changes of tenure that swept over it. The Almighty Governor of the world was, as the Apostle Paul said afterward, determining seasons and frontiers. Nations enervated by their sins are continually being judged by the Prince of the kings of the earth. See Leviticus 18:28; Acts 17:26-27; Revelation 1:5; Matthew 25:32.
A pacific and fair offer, in all good faith, was made to Sihon, which he refused to accept. The heart which is already hardened by sin becomes harder with every fresh rejection of God’s love. In that sense we understand how the Lord hardened his heart. No ice is so hard as that which freezes at night after a day of thaw. The sun that melts wax, hardens clay; but the fault is not with the sun, but with the clay. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Deuteronomy 2:37—Whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.
This chapter is full of restrictions and prohibitions. There were territories which Israel was forbidden to enter at that time; though afterwards, in the days of David, Solomon, and Hezekiah, they were all included in the possessions of the chosen people.
There are temporary limitations in all lives. Paul was forbidden to preach the Word in Asia, when first he came on its frontiers; though two or three years after he so filled it with his teaching that the trade of the silversmiths, who made shrines for Diana, was affected.
Limitations in our Usefulness.—Provinces of holy endeavor seem shut against you, as the Gentile world from the public ministry of Jesus. Nevertheless, do your best in what is open, as He did for the Jews, and the rest will be unbarred; but if not, in God’s good time, the field will be cultivated by hands specially instructed and prepared.
Limitations in Knowledge.—There are mysteries which, in the earlier stages of their experience, are not made known to the saints; but which we come to know, as we follow on to know the Lord. And while there may be much in God’s providence that is difficult to understand, yet our knowledge of Himself may increase as the years go by, until we glory in this, that we understand and know Him (Jeremiah 9:23).
Limitations in Experience.—Not to every one is it given to feel Christ’s love as Rutherford did. Some are excluded from the sunny realms, as Cowper was. Such is the choice of God for them, and it must be best; but they shall all attain one day to the stature of the perfect man, and possess the blessedness from which they are now restrained. —Our Daily Homily