The remains of the dead exposed. (1-3) The stupidity of the
people, compared with the instinct of the brute creation. (4-13)
The alarm of the invasion, and lamentation. (14-22)
Though no real hurt can be done to a dead body, yet
disgrace to the remains of wicked persons may alarm those yet
alive; and this reminds us that the Divine justice and
punishments extend beyond the grave. Whatever befalls us here,
let us humble ourselves before God, and seek his mercy.
What brought this ruin? 1. The people would not attend to
reason; they would not act in the affairs of their souls with
common prudence. Sin is backsliding; it is going back from the
way that leads to life, to that which leads to destruction. 2.
They would not attend to the warning of conscience. They did not
take the first step towards repentance: true repentance begins
in serious inquiry as to what we have done, from conviction that
we have done amiss. 3. They would not attend to the ways of
providence, nor understand the voice of God in them, ver.
They know not how to improve the seasons of grace, which God
affords. Many boast of their religious knowledge, yet, unless
taught by the Spirit of God, the instinct of brutes is a more
sure guide than their supposed wisdom. 4. They would not attend
to the written word. Many enjoy abundance of the means of grace,
have Bibles and ministers, but they have them in vain. They will
soon be ashamed of their devices. The pretenders to wisdom were
the priests and the false prophets. They flattered people in
sin, and so flattered them into destruction, silencing their
fears and complaints with, All is well. Selfish teachers may
promise peace when there is no peace; and thus men encourage
each other in committing evil; but in the day of visitation they
will have no refuge to flee unto.
At length they begin to see the hand of God lifted up.
And when God appears against us, every thing that is against us
appears formidable. As salvation only can be found in the Lord,
so the present moment should be seized. Is there no medicine
proper for a sick and dying kingdom? Is there no skilful,
faithful hand to apply the medicine? Yes, God is able to help
and to heal them. If sinners die of their wounds, their blood is
upon their own heads. The blood of Christ is balm in Gilead, his
Spirit is the Physician there, all-sufficient; so that the
people may be healed, but will not. Thus men die unpardoned and
unchanged, for they will not come to Christ to be saved.