Destruction threatened for the impiety of Israel. (1-4) For
their idolatry. (5-10) Further threatenings for the same sins.
When Israel was hard pressed, they would claim protection
from God, but this would be disregarded. What stead will it
stand in to say, My God, I know thee, if we cannot say, My God,
I love thee, serve thee, and cleave to thee only?
They promised themselves plenty, peace, and victory, by
worshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. What
they sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shall
yield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darkness
are unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopes
of sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. In
times of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnal
devices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like a
wild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey for
the lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, than
in seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in the
creature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrow
a little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will be
brought to sorrow everlastingly.
It is a great sin to corrupt the worship of God, and will
be charged as sin on all who do it, how plausible soever their
excuses may seem to be. The Lord had caused his law to be
written for them, but they cared not to know, and would not obey
it. Man seems by the temples he builds to be mindful of his
Maker, yet really he has forgotten him, because he has cast off
all his fear; but none ever hardened his heart against God and
prospered. So long as men despise the truths and precepts of
God's word, and the ordinances of his worship, all the
observances and offerings, however costly, of their own
devising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only are
acceptable to God, which are done according to his word, and
through Jesus Christ.