Confidence in the temple is vain. (1-16) The provocation by
persisting in idolatry. (17-20) God justifies his dealings with
them. (21-28) And threatens vengeance. (29-34)
No observances, professions, or supposed revelations, will
profit, if men do not amend their ways and their doings. None
can claim an interest in free salvation, who allow themselves in
the practice of known sin, or live in the neglect of known duty.
They thought that the temple they profaned would be their
protection. But all who continue in sin because grace has
abounded, or that grace may abound, make Christ the minister of
sin; and the cross of Christ, rightly understood, forms the most
effectual remedy to such poisonous sentiments. The Son of God
gave himself for our transgressions, to show the excellence of
the Divine law, and the evil of sin. Never let us think we may
do wickedness without suffering for it.
The Jews took pride in showing zeal for their idols. Let
us learn to be earnest in the service of our God, even from this
bad example. Let us think it an honour to be employed in any
work for God. Let us be as diligent ourselves, and as careful to
teach our children the truths of God, as many are to teach the
mysteries of iniquity. The direct tendency of this sin is malice
against God, but it will hurt themselves. And they shall find
there is no escaping. God's wrath is fire unquenchable.
God shows that obedience was required of them. That which
God commanded was, Hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord
thy God. The promise is very encouraging. Let God's will be
your rule, and his favour shall be your happiness. God was
displeased with disobedience. We understand the gospel as little
as the Jews understood the law, if we think that even the
sacrifice of Christ lessens our obligation to obey.
In token both of sorrow and of slavery, Jerusalem must be
degraded, and separated from God, as she had been separated to
him. The heart is the place in which God has chosen to put his
name; but if sin has the innermost and uppermost place there, we
pollute the temple of the Lord. The destruction of Jerusalem
appears here very terrible. The slain shall be many; they having
made it the place of their sin. Evil pursues sinners, even after
death. Those who will not, by the grace of God, be cured of vain
mirth, shall, by the justice of God, be deprived of all mirth.
How many ruin their health and property without complaining,
when engaged in Satan's service! May we learn to relish holy
joys, and to sit loose to all others though lawful.