And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt…
I. The ASSEMBLY convened: "All the children of Israel."
II. The MESSENGER employed. This "angel of the Lord " is said to "come up from Gilgal to Bochim." Gilgal was the scene of interesting transactions between the Lord and the Israelites. The Lord, therefore, in the riches of His mercy, again visits this people; and at Boehim revives the impressions which had been felt and the resolutions which had been formed at Gilgal.
III. The ADDRESS delivered.
1. A statement of what the Lord had done for this people: "I made you to go up out of Egypt," that land of slavery, that scene of degradation and toil, "and have brought you unto the land which I aware unto your fathers." This was the completion of His work. It was a proof of the exceeding greatness of His power, and also of His faithfulness; for Canaan was the inheritance which He had engaged to give.
2. Next they are told what the Lord had promised to them: "I said, I will never break My covenant with you." Here was additional favour, and a solemn engagement of fidelity. It had been well if their fidelity had resembled His; then would their peace have been as a river and their prosperity permanent as a rock!
3. They are also reminded of what the Lord required of them: "Ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land." Nothing could be more reasonable. One would naturally have expected their prompt and persevering compliance.
4. But it is affecting to learn what the Lord received from them — the manner in which He was requited for all His favours: "Ye have not obeyed My voice." The charge is express and pointed. They had leagued with the Canaanites, spared their altars, connived at their idolatry; and all this in direct opposition to the command of Jehovah: "Why have ye done this?" Their sin may be accounted for, but it can never be justified. Indolence may partly account for it: to oppose evil required vigilance and exertion. Covetousness, perhaps, had its influence; they might join with the Canaanites in hope of sordid gain. Love of idolatry, a secret inclination to the practices of heathen nations, might induce them to spare their altars and to palliate their sin. But unbelief was the grand cause, and lay at the root of all their disobedience.
5. Lastly is recorded what the Lord threatened against them: "Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out," etc. Here was righteous retribution; they were punished by weapons of their own making; nor can we wonder at this mark of the Divine displeasure.
IV. The EFFECT produced (vers. 4, 5). From this remarkable fact let us apply a question to ourselves: what influence has the Word preached among us? In other words, where are your tears, and where are your prayers? Thank God, neither the one nor the other are altogether restrained. But why are they not more frequent? It is owing to the hardness of the human heart, and is an affecting proof of the deep degeneracy of man. Terrors do not move; mercies do not melt; the most attractive truths are often heard without emotion or concern; and when some appearance of penitence does exist, how transient its continuance, and how unfruitful its influence!
Parallel VersesKJV: And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
WEB: The angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, "I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you: