udah and Israel reminded of the Divine favours. (1-6) The
provocations of Israel. (7-14)
Verses 1-6: Ephraim feeds himself with vain hopes of help from man,
when he is at enmity with God. The Jews vainly thought to secure
the Egyptians by a present of the produce of their country.
Judah is contended with also. God sees the sin of his own
people, and will reckon with them for it. They are put in mind
of what Jacob did, and what God did for him. When his faith upon
the Divine promise prevailed above his fears, then by his
strength he had power with God. He is Jehovah, the same that
was, and is, and is to come. What was a revelation of God to
one, is his memorial to many, to all generations. Then let those
who have gone from God, be turned to him. Turn thou to the Lord,
by repentance and faith, as thy God. Let those that are
converted to him, walk with him in all holy conversation and
godliness. Let us wrestle with Him for promised blessings,
determined not to give over till we prevail; and let us seek Him
in his ordinances.
Verses 7-14: Ephraim became a merchant: the word also signifies a
Canaanite. They carried on trade upon Canaanitish principles,
covetously and with fraud and deceit. Thus they became rich, and
falsely supposed that Providence favoured them. But shameful
sins shall have shameful punishments. Let them remember, not
only what a mighty prince Jacob was with God, but what a servant
he was to Laban. The benefits we have had from the word of God,
make our sin and folly the worse, if we put any slight upon that
word. We had better follow the hardest labour in poverty, than
grow rich by sin. We may form a judgment of our own conduct, by
comparing it with that of ancient believers in the like
circumstances. Whoever despises the message of God, will perish.
May we all hear his word with humble, obedient faith.