But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goes on still in his trespasses.
I. THE PERSONS THREATENED.
1. In general, God's enemies; in particular, those who go on still in their trespasses (Leviticus 26:18; Deuteronomy 29:19, 20; Proverbs 29:1). In these and other passages of Scripture, God threatens the pertinacious sinner.
2. There is very good ground for it, which may appear in these following considerations.
(1) Because he multiplies sin.
(2) Because he aggravates it.
(3) Because he confirms it.He makes his sins more numerous. He makes his sins more heinous. He makes his sins more settled, and hardened and difficult to be removed; therefore draws on the punishment of them.
II. THE EVIL THREATENED. "Wound."
1. A mollified expression. Not kill, but "wound." Counts it enough for Him to lay His enemies flat. He does not so much care to insult, and to triumph over them, or to do the worst that He can against them.
2. As it is a mollified expression, so it is a peremptory. He shall or will do it, does it not yet it may be, but yet means to do it hereafter, if He be not the better prevented, that He would have understood.
III. THE PART WHEREIN THEY ARE THREATENED. "The head."
1. This is not exclusive but specificative; it is not the head so, as if nowhere else besides but the head as therein especially. As for obstinate sinners, they have many wounds inflicted upon them in other respects.
(1) In their good names they have a wound oftentimes in them (Proverbs 6:33).
(2) In estate.
(3) In conscience.
2. But it is especially in the head.
(1) In their intellectuals, takes away their brains from them.
(2) In their vitals, takes away their life from them.
(3) In their principalities, and eminencies, takes away their glory from them.
3. And we cannot wonder at it, if we do but consider how they use their heads oftentimes against Himself; which they do by a double practice.
(1) In the contriving of sin.
(2) In the defending of it. Wicked men use their heads against God to each of these purposes, and therefore does He wound them in them.
4. There are two principles which do engage Him, and move Him hereunto.
(1) His own glory.
(2) His Church's good.
5. If we shall ask when He will do it, because He does it not always, nor presently — I answer in these two cases.
(1) When the sins of the enemies are thoroughly ripened.
(2) When the hearts of the Christians are thoroughly humbled. In these two conditions does God wound the head of His enemies, and not before.
6. But how shall we be kept and preserved from it? what helps are there against persistency in sin?
(1) Mortify the principle of corruption in us. The way to be kept from the acts of sin, is to have the habit of it subdued in us. There must be the killing of this viper in the egg, a slaying it in the root; till this be done there is no security at all for us.
(2) Stop the beginnings, as we desire not to go on in trespasses, let us not at first venture upon them, for it is like the letting out of waters, as Solomon speaks of strife, which a man knows not where it will end.
(3) Have daily, and continual, and fresh, and actual apprehensions in us of the filthiness and dangerousness of it.
(T. Horton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.