And they said one to another, We are truly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he sought us…
Twenty years after the event l Their recollections of that event was as clear as if it transpired but yesterday. Learn the moral impotence of time. We say this evil deed was done fifty years ago. Fifty years may have some relation to the memory of the intellect, but it has no relation to the tormenting memory of the conscience. There is a moral memory. Conscience has a wondrously realizing power — taking things we have written in secret ink and holding them before the fire until every line becomes vivid, almost burning. Perhaps some of you know not yet the practical meaning of this. We did something twenty years ago. We say to ourselves, "Well, seeing that it was twenty years ago it is not worth making anything to do about it, it is past, and it is a great pity to go twenty years back raking up things." So it is in some respects, a great pity to bother ourselves about things other men did twenty years ago. But what about our own recollection, our own conscience, our own power of accusation? A man says, "I forged that name twenty-five years ago, and oh! every piece of paper I get hold of seems to have the name upon it. I never dip the pen, but there is something in the pen that reminds me of what I did by candle light, in almost darkness, when I had locked the door and assured myself nobody was there. Yet it comes upon me so graphically — my punishment is greater than I can bear!" Time cannot heal our iniquities. Forgetfulness is not the cure for sin. Obliviousness is not the redeemer of the world. How then can I get rid of the torment and the evils of an accusing memory? The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin. "Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, let him return unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." That is the kind of answer men want, when they feel all their yesterdays conspiring to urge an indictment against them, as sinners before the living God.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
WEB: They said one to another, "We are certainly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us, and we wouldn't listen. Therefore this distress has come upon us."