Therefore they say to God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of your ways.
I. GOD OFFERS TO INSTRUCT AND GUIDE MEN IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS WAYS. Wicked men could not say to God, Depart, unless He came near to them. No truth is more clear than that our Lord really desires to instruct men in His ways, that He may bless them with His favour. In the Bible God has revealed the methods by which we may learn His will, gain His grace, and be saved; and this Word, with all its priceless offers, His providence has placed in our hands. In the whole capabilities of human thought can there be a more wonderful, a vaster idea than this: the absolute and Almighty Sovereign, instead of subduing rebellious subjects by power, perseveringly seeking to win them by love!
II. SOME REPEL THESE GRACIOUS OFFERS. The practical response of every unregenerate soul, acquainted with the Gospel, to these proffers of God, is "Depart from me." This is the virtual utterance, not only of the profligate and profane, but of all who practically repudiate the law of the Lord as a rule of their lives. Every sinner makes the gratification of his own propensities and desires — not the will of the Lord — the rule of his life. Even what he does that is right and good, he does because he chooses, not because God requires it.
III. THE SINNER'S STRANGE REASON FOR HIS REPULSE OF GOD. "We desire not." Yet the human intellect craves for knowledge. Men want to know what history, literature, philosophy, science can teach. But of the ways of the great God, who made and governs all things, they desire not to know. See some of the causes of this unreasonable aversion.
1. The mode of acquiring knowledge of God is too humbling for the depraved, human will.
2. A subtle, scarcely acknowledged unbelief in the inspiration and authority of the Bible.
3. The supreme reason is the love of sin,
4. Others do not desire a knowledge of God's ways now. Not yet, but at some convenient future season they hope to learn more of this matter.
(J. L. Burrows, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.