I have seen your adulteries, and your neighings, the lewdness of your prostitution, and your abominations on the hills in the fields…
I. THE QUESTION.
1. It is of great importance to be cleansed from the filth of sin, and is what should be sought after with the utmost seriousness (Ezekiel 36:25).
2. Cleansing the heart from sin is the work of God. He that cleanses from guilt, must also cleanse us from corruption; and Christ is made unto us sanctification, as well as righteousness and redemption (Titus 3:4-6).
3. God has much at heart the sanctification of His people (Isaiah 48:18).
4. Our own unwillingness is the great hindrance to our sanctification. When the will is gained, the man is gained; and those who will be made clean are in part made so already.
5. Yet the obstinacy of the will shall not prevent the purposes of grace: God's design shall be accomplished, notwithstanding all.
II. THE VARIOUS ANSWERS WHICH WILL BE MADE.
1. Some are willing to be delivered from the punishment of sin, but not from its power. Those who would have the former without the latter, are likely to have neither.
2. Others would be cleansed outwardly, but not inwardly. No prayers, lastings, pilgrimages, penances, nor any other external performances, can supply the want of internal holiness. The sepulchre, however painted and adorned, is but a sepulchre still.
3. Some would be made partly clean, but not wholly so.
4. Some would be made clean, but they do not like God's way of doing it, or the means He uses for this purpose.
5. There are some who would be made clean, but it must be hereafter. Like Saint Austin, who prayed to be delivered from his easily besetting sin, but added, "Not yet, Lord!"
6. More awful still: some speak out and say, they will not be cleansed at all. They prefer sin and hell to holiness and heaven.
7. Put this question to the real Christian, or the truly awakened sinner, whose conscience has been filled with remorse for his past transgressions, and who has found a compliance with the call of every lust to be the severest bondage Wilt thou be made clean? "Yea, Lord," says he, with all my heart! "When shall it once be?" This very instant, if I might have my wish. It is what I pray for, wait for, and strive after; nor can I have a moment's rest till I obtain it.
(B. Beddome, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
WEB: I have seen your abominations, even your adulteries, and your neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, Jerusalem! You will not be made clean; how long shall it yet be?