hreatenings against hypocrites. (1-11) God's purpose to
punish the guilty Jews, but a few should be saved. (12-23)
Verses 1-11: No outward form or reformation can be acceptable to God,
so long as any idol possesses the heart; yet how many prefer
their own devices and their own righteousness, to the way of
salvation! Men's corruptions are idols in their hearts, and are
of their own setting up; God will let them take their course.
Sin renders the sinner odious in the eyes of the pure and holy
God; and in his own eyes also, whenever conscience is awakened.
Let us seek to be cleansed from the guilt and pollution of sins,
in that fountain which the Lord has opened.
Verses 12-23: National sins bring national judgments. Though sinners
escape one judgment, another is waiting for them. When God's
professing people rebel against him, they may justly expect all
his judgments. The faith, obedience, and prayers of Noah
prevailed to the saving of his house, but not of the old world.
Job's sacrifice and prayer in behalf of his friends were
accepted, and Daniel had prevailed for the saving his companions
and the wise men of Babylon. But a people that had filled the
measure of their sins, was not to expect to escape for the sake
of any righteous men living among them; not even of the most
eminent saints, who could be accepted in their own case only
through the sufferings and righteousness of Christ. Yet even
when God makes the greatest desolations by his judgments, he
saves some to be monuments of his mercy. In firm belief that we
shall approve the whole of God's dealings with ourselves, and
with all mankind, let us silence all rebellious murmurs and