Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
The dislike of men to true religion is because they love objects and forms, which allow them to indulge, instead of mortifying their lusts. How wonderful that a holy God should have good-will to those whose carnal mind is enmity against Him! Here is represented God’s gracious dealings with the fallen race of mankind, that had gone from him.
This is the covenant of grace he is willing to enter into with them, they must be to him a people, and he will be to them a God. They must accept the punishment of their sin, and must not return to folly. And it is a certain sign that our afflictions are means of good to us, when we are kept from being overcome by the temptations of an afflicted state.
For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not.
And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin.
It behoves us to plead God’s spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to.
It is important to discern and recognize that as Gentiles through Salvation and the New Covenant God placed before Israel. As adopted children we became a part of the New Covenant and all of God’s judgments placed before Israel.
But as for sinful Israel, God’s judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.
2 Chronicles 15:2
And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
The work of complete reformation appeared so difficult, that Asa had not courage to attempt it, till assured of Divine assistance and acceptance. He and his people offered sacrifices to God; thanksgiving for the favours they had received, and supplication for further favours.
Prayers and praises are now our spiritual sacrifices. The people, of their own will, covenanted to seek the Lord, each for himself, with earnestness. What is religion but seeking God, inquiring after him, applying to him upon all occasions? We make nothing of our religion, if we do not make heart-work of it; God will have all the heart, or none.
Our devotedness to God our Saviour, should be avowed and shown in the most solemn and public manner. What is done in hypocrisy is a mere drudgery.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Since all wars and fightings come from the corruptions of our own hearts, it is right to mortify those lusts that war in the members. Worldly and fleshly lusts are distempers, which will not allow content or satisfaction. Sinful desires and affections stop prayer, and the working of our desires toward God. And let us beware that we do not abuse or misuse the mercies received, by the disposition of the heart when prayers are granted When men ask of God prosperity, they often ask with wrong aims and intentions.
If we thus seek the things of this world, it is just in God to deny them. Unbelieving and cold desires beg denials; and we may be sure that when prayers are rather the language of lusts than of graces, they will return empty. Here is a decided warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God.
An enemy may be reconciled, but “enmity” never can be reconciled. A man may have a large portion in things of this life, and yet be kept in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who will conform to it rather than lose its friendship, is an enemy to God. So that any one who resolves at all events to be upon friendly terms with the world, must be the enemy of God.
Please note, as we are drawing to the conclusion of this article I am including a link whereby those who may be seeking the Lord or possibly desire too refresh your commitment with Yeshua will be introduced to Him. https://youtu.be/GzPif3PzMCk
May our Father in heaven and Yeshua bless all with their Grace Mercy and Peace.