OPENING COMMENT by Robert
Do we consider what a God he is with whom we have to do, we should surely make conscience of our duty to him and not dare to sin against him? He reminds them here,
 That the Lord Jehovah is the one and only living and true God. This they must know and consider (Deuteronomy 4:39). We know many things but are not the better for them because we do not consider them, we do not apply them to ourselves, nor draw proper inferences from them. This is a truth so evident that it cannot but be known, and so influential that, if it were duly considered, it would effectually reform the world,
That the Lord Jehovah he is God, an infinite and eternal Being, self-existent and self-sufficient, and the fountain of all being, power, and motion–that he is God in heaven above, clothed with all the glory and Lord of all the hosts of the upper world, and that he is God upon the earth beneath, which, though distant from the throne of his glory, is not out of the reach of his sight or power, and though despicable and mean is not below his care and cognizance.
And there is none else, no true and living God but himself. All the heathen deities were counterfeits and usurpers, nor did any of them so much as pretend to be universal monarchs in heaven and earth, but only local deities.
The Israelites, who worshipped no other than the supreme Numen–Divinity, were forever inexcusable if they either changed their God or neglected him
 That he is a consuming fire, a jealous God, Deuteronomy 4:24. Take heed of offending him, for:
First, He has a jealous eye to discern an affront he must have your entire affection and adoration, and will by no means endure a rival.
God’s jealousy over us is a good reason for our godly jealousy over ourselves.
Secondly, He has a heavy hand to punish an affront, especially in his worship, for therein he is especially jealous.
He is a consuming fire his wrath against sinners is, so it is dreadful and destroying, it is fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries, Hebrews 10:27.
Fire consumes that only which is fuel for it, so the wrath of God fastens upon those only who, by their own sin, have fitted themselves for destruction (1 Corinthians 3:13; Isaiah 27:4).
Even in the New Testament, we find the same argument urged upon us as a reason why we should serve God with reverence (Hebrews 12:28,29). Because though he is our God and a rejoicing light to those that serve him faithfully, yet he is a consuming fire to those that trifle with him.
Thirdly, That yet he is a merciful God, Deuteronomy 4:31. It comes in here as an encouragement to repentance but might serve as an inducement to obedience and proper consideration to prevent their apostasy.
Shall we forsake a merciful God, who will never forsake us, as it follows here if we are faithful unto him? Whither can we go to better ourselves? Shall we forget the covenant of our God, who will not forget the covenant of our fathers? Let us be held to our duty by the bonds of love and prevailed with by the mercies of God to cleave to him.
God’s work is perfect; nothing can be put to it, nor taken from it, without making it worse. See Ecclesiastes 3:14.
CLOSING COMMENT by Robert
The end of our ministry is to bring people to God by bringing them to his law, not to bring them to ourselves by bringing them under any law of ours. This we have again (Nehemiah 9:30): Thou testified against them by thy Spirit in thy prophets. The testimony of the prophets was the testimony of the Spirit in the prophets, and it was the Spirit of Christ in them, 1 Peter 1:10,11.
They spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and what they said is to be received accordingly. God gave them his Spirit to instruct them (Nehemiah 9:20), but they not receiving that instruction; he did, by his Spirit, testify against them.
If we do not suffer God’s word to teach and rule us, it will accuse and judge us. God sends prophets, in compassion to his people (2 Chronicles 36:15), that he may not send judgments (10) The lengthening out of his patience and the moderating of his rebukes: Many years did he forbear them (Nehemiah 9:30), as loath to punish them, and waiting to see if they would repent and when he did punish them, he did not utterly consume them nor forsake them, Nehemiah 9:31.
Had he forsaken them, they would have been utterly consumed, but he did not stir up all his wrath, for he designed their reformation, not their destruction.
Thus do they multiply, thus do they magnify, the instances of God’s goodness to Israel, and we should do in like manner, that the goodness of God, duly considered by us, may lead us to repentance, and overcome our badness. The more thankful we are for God’s mercies, the more humbled we shall be for our own sins.
Their case was helpless and without remedy  God would not help them so he tells them plainly, Jeremiah 4:28. And, if the Lord do not help them, who can? This is that which makes their case deplorable “For this the earth mourns and the heavens above are black (there are no prospects but what are very dismal), because I have spoken it I have given the word which shall not be called back I have purposed it (it is a consumption decreed, determined) and I will not repent, not change this way, but proceed in it, and will not turn back from it”
They would not repent and turn back from the way of their sins (Jeremiah 2:25), and therefore God will not repent and turn back from the way of his judgments  They could not help themselves, Jeremiah 4:30,31. When the thing appeared at a distance they flattered themselves with hopes that, though God should not appear for them as he had done for Hezekiah against the Assyrian army, yet they should find some means or other to secure themselves and give check to the forces of the enemy.
But the prophet tells them that, when it comes to the setting to, they will be quite at odds, and consider this in time” He assures them that, whatever were now their contrivances and confidences, First, They will then be despised by their allies whom they depended upon for assistance. He had often compared the sin of Jerusalem to whoredom, not only her idolatry, but her trust in creatures, in the neighbouring powers. Now here he compares her to a harlot abandoned by all the lewd ones that used to make court to her. She is supposed to do all she can to keep up her interest in their affections.
Here, Sins are described which will bring judgments upon people: and this perhaps is not only a charge drawn up against the men of Judah who lived at that time. But the particular articles of the charge, though they may relate primarily to them, rather are intended for warning to all people, in all ages, to take heed of these sins, as destructive both to particular persons and to communities, exposing men to God’s wrath and his righteous judgments.
Those are here said to be in a woeful condition:
1. Who are eagerly set upon sin, and violent in their sinful pursuits (Isaiah 5:18), who draw iniquity with cords of vanity, who take as many pains to sin as the cattle do that draw a team; who put themselves to the stretch for the gratifying of their inordinate appetites, and, to humour a base lust, offer violence to nature itself.
They think themselves as sure of compassing their wicked project as if they were pulling it towards them with strong cart-ropes but they will find themselves disappointed, for they will prove cords of vanity, which will break when they come to any stress.
For the righteous Lord will cut in sunder the cords of the wicked, (Psalms 129:4; Job 4:8 Pr 4:822:8). They are by long custom and confirmed habits so hardened in sin that they cannot get clear of it (Luxurious Sin).
Those that sin through infirmity are drawn away by sin those that sin presumptuously draw iniquity to them, in spite of the oppositions of Providence and the checks of conscience.
Some by sin understand the punishment of sin: they pull God’s judgments upon their own heads as it were, with cart-ropes
2. Who set the justice of God at defiance, and challenge the Almighty to do his worst (Isaiah 5:19): They say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work this is the same language with that of the scoffers of the last days, who say, Where is the promise of his coming? And, therefore, it is they draw iniquity with cords of vanity, are violent and daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts, 2 Peter 3:3,4
(1) They ridicule the prophets and banter with them. It is in scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel because the prophets used with great veneration to call him so.
(2) They will not believe the revelation of God’s wrath from heaven against their ungodliness and unrighteousness unless they see it executed, they will not know it, as if the curse were brutum fulmen–a mere flash, and all the threatenings of the word bugbears to frighten fools and children
(3) If God should appear against them, as he has threatened, yet they think themselves able to make their part good with him, and provoke him to jealousy, as if they were stronger than he, (1 Corinthians 10:22) “We have heard his word, but it is all talk let him hasten his work, we shall shift for ourselves well enough”
Note, Those that wilfully persist in sin consider not the power of God’s anger
3. Who confound and overthrow the distinctions between moral good and evil, who call evil good and moral evil (Isaiah 5:20), who not only live in the omission of that which is good, but condemn it, argue against it, and, because they will not practise it themselves, run it down in others, and fasten invidious epithets upon it–not only do that which is evil, but justify it, and applaud it, and recommend it to others as safe and good.
Note, (1) Virtue and piety are good, for they are light and sweet, they are pleasant and right but sin and wickedness are evil they are darkness, all the fruit of ignorance and mistake, and will be bitterness in the latter end
(2) Those do a great deal of wrong to God, and religion, and conscience, to their own souls, and to the souls of others, who misrepresent these, and put false colours upon them–who call drunkenness good fellowship, and covetousness good husbandry, and, when they persecute the people of God, think they do him good service–and, on the other hand, who call seriousness ill-nature, and sober singularity ill-breeding, who say all manner of evil falsely concerning the ways of godliness, and do what they can to form in men’s minds prejudices against them, and this in defiance of evidence as plain and convincing as that of sense, by which we distinguish, beyond contradiction, between light and darkness, and between that which to the taste is sweet and that which is bitter
4. Who though they are guilty of such gross mistakes as these have a great opinion of their own judgments, and value themselves mightily upon their understanding (Isaiah 5:21): They are wise in their own eyes they think themselves able to disprove and baffle the reproofs and convictions of God’s word and to evade and elude both the searches and the reaches of his judgments they think they can outwit Infinite Wisdom and countermine Providence itself.
Or it may be taken more generally: God resists the proud, those particularly who are conceited of their own wisdom and lean to their own understanding such must become fools, that they may be truly wise, or else, at their end, they shall appear to be fools before all the world
5. Who glory in it as a great accomplishment that they are able to bear a great deal of strong liquor without being overcome by it (Isaiah 5:22), who are mighty to drink wine, and use their strength and vigour, not in the service of their country, but in the service of their lusts. Let drunkards know from this scripture that,
(1) They ungratefully abuse their bodily strength, which God has given them for good purposes, and by degrees cannot but weaken it.
(2) It will not excuse them from the guilt of drunkenness that they can drink hard and yet keep their feet.
(3) Those who boast of their drinking down others glory in their shame.
(4) How light soever men make of their drunkenness, it is a sin which will certainly lay them open to the wrath and curse of God
6. Who, as judges, pervert justice, and go counter to all rules of equity, Isaiah 5:23. This follows upon the former they drink and forget the law (Proverbs 31:5), and err through wine (Isaiah 28:7), and take bribes, that they may have wherewithal to maintain their luxury.
They justify the wicked for reward and find some pretence or other to clear him from his guilt and shelter him from punishment and they condemn the innocent and take away their righteousness from them, that is, overrule their pleas, deprive them of the means of clearing up their innocency, and give judgment against them.
In causes between man and man, might and money would at any time prevail against right and justice and he who was ever so plainly in the wrong would with a small bribe carry the cause and recover the costs.
In criminal cases, though the prisoner ever so plainly appeared to be guilty, yet for a reward they would acquit him if he were innocent, yet if he did not fee them well, nay, if they were fed by the malicious prosecutor, or if they themselves had spleen against him, they would condemn him. “When thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? What course wilt thou take?
CLOSING PRAYER by Robert
Father, it is with humility I approach your throne with this prayer of thanksgiving and appreciation for your guidance and teachings through the Holy Spirit.
I thank you, Father, for the knowledge you have bestowed upon us and the lifting of the veils of darkness from our eyes so we are to discern the evil in our lives and who our real enemy is.
We thank you, Father,, for providing us with your armour to face our enemy with and the instructions of how to use those weapons to remain safe in your service.
We thank you, Father, for the very life we have and those things which enhance our walk reflecting your light into the darkness allowing us to remain to cast our nets as”Fisher’s of Men.” This I pray in the name of Yeshua. Amen and Amen.
Remember, I am just a humble servant bringing this to you as a messenger of Yeshua. God’s blessings
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