Therefore they say to God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of your ways.
The more God does for wicked men, the more ill affected they are towards Him.
I. OBSERVE THE LANGUAGE OF IMPENITENT PROSPERITY.
1. "They say." They not only conceive it in their thoughts, but utter it in words. Persons are lost to all fear and shame, when instead of suppressing, or so much as concealing their sinful thoughts, they can publish them abroad, and let the world know their strong propensity to evil.
2. "They say unto God." To speak to the Lord is a great privilege, and to do it with humility, reverence, and delight, is an important duty. How opposite is the language we are contemplating. How full of irreverence and daring impiety!
3. "Depart from us." The Divine presence is exceedingly desirable to a good man, nor can he be happy without it; but it is far otherwise with the carnal heart.
4. They impiously say, "We desire not the knowledge of Thy ways." Sinners are not only ignorant, but willing to continue so. They dislike the way in which God walks. And they are equally averse to the way in which God has directed His creatures to walk, the way of holiness and happiness, of humility and self-denial, of faith and love, and evangelical obedience.
II. THE SOURCES OF THIS IMPIETY. No reason can be rendered for a thing in itself so unreasonable.
1. This ignorance proceeds from pride.
2. From practical atheism.
3. From hatred and aversion.
4. From slavish fear and dread.
5. There is an utter contrariety of nature which renders the sinner averse from God, and from a knowledge of His ways. Reflections —
(1) Without considering the depravity of human nature, nothing could appear more unaccountable, because nothing can be more unreasonable, than that man should feel averse from God, and from a knowledge of His ways.
(2) If anyone should presume to say to God, "Depart from us; we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways," let him tremble at the consequences. If God takes him at his word, he will be given up to hardness of heart.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.