Judges 2* The angel of the Lord rebukes the people. (1-5) The wickednessof the new generation after Joshua. (6-23)1-5 It was the great Angel of the covenant, the Word, the Sonof God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and nowcalled them to account for their disobedience. God sets forthwhat he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those whothrow off communion with God, and have fellowship with theunfruitful works of darkness, know not what they do now, andwill have nothing to say for themselves in the day of accountshortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Thosedeceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship withGod's enemies. God often makes men's sin their punishment; andthorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walkcontrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their ownfolly and ingratitude. They trembled at the word, and notwithout cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Biblewith dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, novoice but that of singing had been heard in their congregation;but by their sin and folly they made other work for themselves,and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The worshipof God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; oursins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see menweep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment,cannot atone for sin. 6-23 We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel,during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves asmean and miserable by forsaking God, as they would have beengreat and happy if they had continued faithful to him. Theirpunishment answered to the evil they had done. They served thegods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and Godmade them serve the princes of the nations round about them,even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises,may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. Hemight in justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pitydo it. The Lord was with the judges when he raised them up, andso they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress ofthe church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fitto help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; so madwere they upon their idols, and so obstinately bent tobackslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God,which they have once known and professed, commonly grow mostdaring and desperate in sin, and have their hearts hardened.Their punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and sothey were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulgetheir corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justlyleaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, whichwill be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful anddesperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing tobelieve it, until by making bold with temptation we find it trueby sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand withourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rootedand grounded in love, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts byfaith. Let us declare war against every sin, and follow afterholiness all our days.
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