Last two sermons (29 and 30) in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33

5th Mar 2015

The following are the last two sermons in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33 by William Parkinson:

In Sermon 29 - "Israel Dwelling Safely Alone" (pages 1041-1075), Parkinson looks at Israel dwelling safely as a type of the gospel church. Comparing Israel’s safety by its isolation, Parkinson encourages the church to avoid the world with its allures and coercion. Inviting the world into our churches encourages “abominable idolatries.” The church has dwelt in most safety when it has dwelt alone. Parkinson takes us on a church and more specifically Baptistic historic journey. He does this by pointing out that John the Baptist was preparing for a coming kingdom that Jesus would initiate during his personal ministry. Individuals become members of Christ’s church by “undergoing a new and spiritual birth.” As the church is invaded by nominal Christians, we have seen a “mixed multitude both doctrinally and practically. Christ encouraged the church to not be unequally yoked. Parkinson points out the greatest invasions to be under the Roman Empire and Constantine. The time of the dissenters began during this time. Parkinson points out the Donatists, Waldenses and Albigenses. During the time of the Reformation, baptism was an issue. Parkinson points out that Calvin agreed that the early church did not re-baptize those baptized by John even though not baptized during the Gospel age indicating that John the Baptist lived during the Gospel age. Parkinson compares the Waldenses to the passage in Revelation 12:6 indicating that the church fled into the wilderness. Parkinson completes this message by discussing the conflict with the American Bible Society and the new formed American and Foreign Bible Society. As Israel lived in a “land of corn and wine,” so Spiritual Israel, the church, has been blessed as it has avoided being yoked to the world and its systems. --DD

Sermon 30: “The Happiness of God’s Israel,” pages 1077-1118.

In this concluding chapter of his series, Parkinson beautifully illustrates what a myriad of blessings God has bestowed on His people. The text is from Deuteronomy 33:29. As Parkinson informs us, “these are the last words that Moses, eminently styled the man of God, publicly uttered.” Parkinson rightly affirms that though the text is addressed to the physical nation of Israel, in a much greater sense it refers prophetically to “the Israel of God,” the nation comprising a redeemed host of God’s elect, mainly drawn from those formerly known as the Gentiles (Rom. 15:12; Eph. 3:6). In Christ Jesus there are no longer the distinctions of Jew and Gentile (Gal. 3:26-28), but only a people “saved by the Lord.” “The happiness of national Israel, as such,” writes Parkinson, “consisted in the numerous advantages which God, so mercifully and so sovereignly, had assigned to them. By these advantages, Divine Providence had very remarkably distinguished that nation from every other nation—nay, had eminently exalted that nation above all the other nations of the earth….He made them an incomparable nation: who is like unto thee, O people.” God had vicariously redeemed Israel and covenanted with their fathers. Can we not see in these instances a foreshadowing of what God has done for His people in all ages since Calvary? They have become the “excellent ones” of the earth, in whom He delights (Psa. 16:3). Their happiness consists in their salvation and future glory in Christ. These thoughts led Parkinson to declare that “the extraordinary manner in which God distinguished and saved national Israel, served only to render them an appropriate type of His mystical Israel, the people whom He had more eminently distinguished, and whom He more marvelously saves; to wit, His Elect of all nations, generations, and conditions.” --TW