Acquaint now yourself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come to you.
Man became alienated from God by the apostasy, and consequently miserable; and peace was to be found again only by reconciliation with Him. There are two great difficulties in the minds of men. The one is, they have no just views of the character and government of God; and the second is, if His true character is made known to them, they have no pleasure in it, no confidence in it. Both these difficulties must be removed before man can be reconciled to his Maker. No small part of the difficulty will be removed if we can show him that the character of God is such as to deserve his confidence.
I. THE LIABILITY TO ERROR ON OUR PART IN JUDGING OF THE CHARACTER AND GOVERNMENT OF GOD. The great evil in this world is a want of confidence in God — a want of confidence producing the same disasters there which it does in a commercial community and in the relations of domestic life. The great thing needful to make this a happy world is to restore confidence in the Creator — confidence, the great restorer of happiness everywhere. Now, man can never be reconciled to God unless this confidence shall be restored. In disputes between you and your neighbour, the great thing for you to do is to restore to his mind just confidence in yourself — to explain matters. This is what is to be done in religion. It is to convince men that God is worthy of confidence. Why should a man wish to cherish any hard thoughts of God without the shadow of reason? In our estimate of God, are we in no danger of being influenced by improper feelings? See four sources of danger on this point.
1. We are in danger of being governed in our views of God by mere feeling, rather than by sober judgment and calm investigation.
2. We are often in circumstances where we are in danger of cherishing hard thoughts of God. They may make us feel that His government is severe and arbitrary.
3. We always regard ourselves as the aggrieved and injured party. We do not allow ourselves to suppose it possible that God should be right and we be wrong.
4. Back of all this is the fact that We are not pleased with the character of God when it is understood. By nature we have no pleasure in God. All the views of the Divine character which are formed under influences like these are likely to be wrong.
II. THE REAL DIFFICULTIES OF THE CASE. Such as a man might find who would wish to see such evidence as would enable him to put unwavering confidence in God. There are many things which such a man cannot understand. Such as, that sin should have been allowed to come into the system formed by a holy God. That misery should come into the universe, and that death, with many forms of woe, has been commissioned to cut down one whole race. That the immortal mind should be allowed to jeopard its infinite welfare. That any should suffer forever. That since God can save men, and will save a part, He has not purposed to save all. These, and kindred difficulties, meet the mind when we think on this great subject. They are real, not imaginary difficulties.
III. THE EVIDENCES THAT HE IS WORTHY OF CONFIDENCE. They are, God Himself as revealed; and the government of God as —
1. One of law.
2. Stable and firm.
3. The arrangements of this government tend to promote the welfare of His subjects.
4. They provide for the evils that arise from the violation of law.
5. In the plan of recovery none are excluded.
6. Those who know God's character best are found to repose most confidence in Him.
( A. Barnes, D. D..)
Parallel VersesKJV: Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.