The Doom of the Idolaters
Isaiah 65:11-16
But you are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop…

I. THE SINS. On the one hand it is the forsaking of Jehovah, the forgetting of his holy mountain. It is the keeping aloof from the true worship celebrated on Mount Moriah. But the heart of man knows no deeper need than that of worship; and the setting of the tables before the images of heathen deities (lectisternia) witnesses, even as an aberration and a caricature, to that yearning for communion with the Divine which true religion and revelation recognize and offer to satisfy. Here Gad, a Canaanitish god, is named; and M'ni, a Syrian deity. Similar rites prevailed among the Greeks and Romans, and other peoples of antiquity. In the first ' Iliad,' at the sacrificial feast, the god is supposed to be present, himself a partaker, and a listener to the people's song of praise. Between such worship and that of the Eternal, the sole and incomparable Holy One of Israel, there could be no compromise.

II. THE CAUSE. The sword. There may be an extreme of human obstinacy and perversity for which there is no cure but the sword. And thus we may even see in war a Divine purgative, and allow some truth in the stern saying of one of our poets, "Yea! carnage is thy daughter." So the invasion of the Chaldeans was recognized as a scourge sent to chastise the abominations of the priests and the people (2 Chronicles 36:14, 16, 17). Want and poverty, and all the associated sufferings. And here again it must be admitted the "curse does not causeless come." There is a general connection at least between poverty, famine, and some neglect of Divine commands; and it may be seen in the lore of ancient nations in general. The time of drought was ever recognized as a time for special prayers and sacrifices. The name of the unfaithful ones shall become as a byword in formulas of imprecation.

III. THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE GOD. Ever, against the background of human infidelity and fickleness, he shines out in the splendour of self-consistency, the "God of the Amen," the "Faithful and True Witness." The "Amen" seems to refer to the solemn associations of the oath and the covenant (Deuteronomy 27:15). He stands in a sacramental mutual relation to his people. "They my people, I their God." If they be true to him, he will be certain to bless them. Religion has a deep mystical root - a conscience toward God, which in purity is the fount of all blessing, the defilement of which is the origin of all curse. - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: But ye are they that forsake the LORD, that forget my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number.

WEB: "But you who forsake Yahweh, who forget my holy mountain, who prepare a table for Fortune, and who fill up mixed wine to Destiny;

The Lectisternia
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