O you that are named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings?…
The Lord's people were now so far degenerated as to continue and oppose God's messengers, as if they might limit His Spirit to speak only what pleased them; or as if His Spirit were straitened to do them good. Doctrine —
1. It is a deplorable case, and sadly to be lamented, when men stand in opposition to the Word of God, and the carriers thereof. So much doth this expostulation and these pressing interrogatories imply.
2. Men may both think and do many things with great boldness, which yet, if they would seriously think upon, they would be forced to condemn, and find a witness against in their own bosoms. For these questions put to their consciences imply, that God had a witness for Him there, and they durst not say or do as they did if their consciences were put to it, as in His sight.
3. Many have and study to keep up a name which they are ill worthy of, and no way answerable to it.
4. God can discern betwixt shows and substance, and will see a fault in such as glory in fair titles; for He calls them as they are. "Thou art named the house of Jacob, and hast but a name."
5. It is an evidence that a visible church is degenerated, whatever show they have, when they turn opposers of the Word of the Lord in the mouth of His servants.
6. Such as oppose and fight against the Word of God and His messengers do in effect fight against the Spirit of the Lord, whose Word it is. These opposers are challenged as "straitening the Spirit of the Lord."
7. It is a high presumption and injury clone to the Spirit, to think to imprison and deny Him liberty in the mouth of His servants, to speak anything but what men please. It is not seemly that men should limit God in giving commission to His servants.
8. The Lord hath a storehouse of Spirit "to bring forth comforts, and of power to produce mercies, if His people were fit for them.
9. When the Lord sends forth sad threatenings in the mouths of His servants, it becomes a people seriously to examine their ways.
Parallel VersesKJV: O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly?