The abruptness of this prophecy, and the many repetitions, show that the prophet was deeply affected by the prospect of these calamities.
Such will the destruction of sinners be for none can avoid it. Oh, that the wickedness of the wicked might end before it brings them to an end!
Trouble is to the impenitent only an evil, it hardens their hearts, and stirs up their corruptions; but there are those to whom it is sanctified by the grace of God and made a means of much good.
The day of real trouble is near, not a mere echo or rumour of troubles. Whatever are the fruits of God’s judgments, our sin is the root of them.
These judgments shall be universal. And God will be glorified in all. Now is the day of the Lord’s patience and mercy, but the time of the sinner’s trouble is at hand.
The history of Israel in the wilderness is referred to in the New Testament as well as in the Old, for warning.
God did great things for them. He gave them the law and revived the ancient keeping of the sabbath day.
Sabbaths are privileges; they are signs of our being his people. If we do the duty of the day, we shall find, to our comfort, it is the Lord that makes us holy, that is, truly happy, here; and prepares us to be happy, that is, perfectly holy, hereafter.
The Israelites rebelled, and were left to the judgments they brought upon themselves. God sometimes makes sin to be its own punishment, yet he is not the Author of sin: there needs no more to make men miserable, than to give them up to their own evil desires and passions.
Those who are partakers in sin, are justly made partakers in ruin. The people had, by sins, made themselves ripe for ruin; and their glory was as quickly cut down and taken away by the enemy, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman.
Mercy is reserved in the midst of judgment, for a remnant. But very few shall be marked to be saved. Only here and there one was left behind. But they shall be a remnant made holy.
The few that are saved were awakened to return to God. They shall acknowledge his hand in all events; they shall give him the glory due to his name.
To bring us to this, is the design of his providence, as he is our Maker; and the work of his grace, as he is the Holy One of Israel.
They shall look off from their idols, the creatures of their own fancy. We have reason to account those afflictions happy, which part between us and our sins.
The God of our salvation is the Rock of our strength; and our forgetfulness and unmindfulness of him are at the bottom of all sin.
The pleasant plants, and shoots from a foreign soil, are expressions for strange and idolatrous worship, and the vile practices connected therewith.
Diligence would be used to promote the growth of these strange slips, but all in vain. See the evil and danger of sin, and its certain consequences.