The invasion of Judea. (1-8) The justice of God's proceedings.
(9-17) All methods used to amend them had been without success.
Whatever methods are used, it is vain to contend with God's
judgments. The more we indulge in the pleasures of this life,
the more we unfit ourselves for the troubles of this life. The
Chaldean army shall break in upon the land of Judah, and in a
little time devour all. The day is coming, when those careless
and secure in sinful ways will be visited. It is folly to trifle
when we have eternal salvation to work out, and the enemies of
that salvation to fight against. But they were thus eager, not
that they might fulfil God's counsels, but that they might fill
their own treasures; yet God thereby served his own purposes.
The corrupt heart of man, in its natural state, casts out evil
thoughts, just as a fountain casts out her waters. It is always
flowing, yet always full. The God of mercy is loth to depart
even from a provoking people, and is earnest with them, that by
repentance and reformation, they may prevent things from coming
When the Lord arises to take vengeance, no sinners of any
age or rank, or of either sex escape. They were set upon the
world, and wholly carried away by the love of it. If we judge of
this sin by God's word, we find multitudes in every station and
rank given up to it. Those are to be reckoned our worst and most
dangerous enemies, who flatter us in a sinful way. Oh that men
would be wise for their souls! Ask for the old paths; the way of
godliness and righteousness has always been the way God has
owned and blessed. Ask for the old paths set forth by the
written word of God. When you have found the good way, go on in
it, you will find abundant recompence at your journey's end. But
if men will not obey the voice of God and flee to his appointed
Refuge, it will plainly appear at the day of judgment, that they
are ruined because they reject God's word.
God rejects their outward services, as worthless to atone
for their sins. Sacrifice and incense were to direct them to a
Mediator; but when offered to purchase a license to go on in
sin, they provoke God. The sins of God's professing people make
them an easy prey to their enemies. They dare not show
themselves. Saints may rejoice in hope of God's mercies, though
they see them only in the promise: sinners must mourn for fear
of God's judgments, though they see them only in the
threatenings. They are the worst of revolters, and are all
corrupters. Sinners soon become tempters. They are compared to
ore supposed to have good metal in it, but which proves all
dross. Nothing will prevail to part between them and their sins.
Reprobate silver shall they be called, useless and worthless.
When warnings, corrections, rebukes, and all means of grace,
leave men unrenewed, they will be left, as rejected of God, to
everlasting misery. Let us pray, then, that we may be refined by
the Lord, as silver is refined.