And if you will not for all this listen to me, but walk contrary to me;…
I. How HORRIFYING THE MISERIES WHICH MAY BEFALL A PRIVILEGED PEOPLE. The miseries of penury and siege (ver. 29); of captivity and slaughter (ver. 33); of anguish and derision (ver. 36); of pitiless misery and disaster (ver. 39).
1. None are so secure in grace and privilege that they can disregard the possibility of a fall.
2. None are so rich in sacred favours as to be beyond danger of their total loss.
3. None are so honoured by God's selecting and distinguishing grace but they may lapse into alienation and desolation.
II. HOW AMAZING THE DISASTERS WHICH MAY DEVASTATE A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY. Canaan was a wealthy land, a scene of loveliness, abundance, and delight. Yet on it came the disasters of depopulation (ver. 31), sterility (ver. 32), desertion (ver. 35) — even enemies abandoning it.
1. National plenty and prosperity are conditional upon national righteousness and piety.
2. National greatness and glory have been withered by the anger of an insulted God.
3. National strength and safety are only guaranteed as religion is fostered by the laws of a country, and in the habits and lives of its people.
III. HOW PITEOUS THE PROFANATION WHICH MAY DESPOIL A NATION'S SANCTITIES! Canaan was the scene of Jehovah's sanctuary: the Temple rose on Zion; and the land sent up her tribes to the celebration of sacred feasts and to the holy worship of God. Yet all her "sanctuaries" were brought "unto desolation" (ver. 31), all the fragrance of her sacrifices became loathsome to Jehovah (ver. 31), and her desecrated Sabbaths were avenged in the bleak silence and loneliness which fell on hallowed scenes (ver. 34).
1. Religious favours, if abused, may be utterly withdrawn from us.
2. God loathes the offerings once delightful to Him, when the offerer's love is estranged.
3. Holy scenes and holy days become a barren mockery if a trifling spirit alienate the sacred Presence: "Ichabod!"
(W. H. Jellie.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;