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March 1 Today’s Reading: — Deuteronomy 19-21
A Double Portion
Deuteronomy 19 reminds us that Christ alone is the Refuge for our poor souls. What a blessed refuge he is, our sure Hiding Place from the broken law of God, all the accusations of our own consciences, and all the malice of Satan! Oh, may God the Holy Spirit speed our flight to our mighty Refuge day by day! What a complete and satisfying refuge our Savior is! No plague shall come nigh our dwelling, if Christ is our Dwelling. By the 20th chapter, we are reminded that Christ, the Captain of our salvation, our mighty Man of War, has gone before us and conquered our foes. And what a blessed thing it is to be reminded of our portion as the Lord’s firstborn.
The Spirit of God describes God’s elect as “the church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23), and calls his chosen, “my firstborn” (Exodus 4:2; Jeremiah 31:9), identifying his own as a people who are one with Christ, his Firstborn. And by the precept of God’s law, the firstborn must be given “a double portion.”
Double for Our Sins
Twice in Holy Scripture the Lord God woos and entices poor, needy, empty, bankrupt sinners to Christ by proclaiming that all who trust his darling Son shall receive in him the heritage of the Firstborn. This is the message he sends his servants to proclaim. — “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:1-2). — “Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee” (Zechariah 9:12).
He who has put an end to our warfare, finished our transgressions, and put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself has given us a double portion of grace. He has both pardoned our iniquity and made us the very righteousness of God. And he says to all who turn to the Stronghold, to Christ our Refuge and High Tower, “even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.”
Double for our Troubles
He will give us double for all our troubles, just as he gave Job twice as much as he had lost. He will give us double for all our shame. — “For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them” (Isaiah 61:7). He will give us double, “grace for grace,” for all our need (John 1:16). And he will give us double for all our expectation. — “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
All who turn to the Stronghold, Christ Jesus, may do so confidently expecting to enjoy all fulness of grace, all the blessings of his salvation, all the promises of God for this life and that which is to come, and all the glory of heaven as “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).
The word “double” is to be connected with the word “declare,” and should be read, “This day, at this present time, no matter how distressing the day may be, or how uncomfortable and distressed you may be in it, I declare double to you. Double grace! Double blessedness! Double joy! Double satisfaction!” He is saying, where sin abounds and sorrow abounds, grace does much more abound!