He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and whoever breaks an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.
We are supplied with motives be help the right-doing. But that is not all! Our humanity is surrounded, as it were, with a wall of fire. Of God's great mercy we do not suffer for wrong-doing merely, but in wrong-doing also. Neither heavenly bliss on the one hand, nor the punishment of evil on the other, are exclusively matters of faith, for God has written the truth of his Divine utterances on the page of our daily history and experience.
I. GOD'S LAWS.
1. If we go for a moment into the natural world, we find there are certain principles, or laws, received and acted upon. The law of the centre of gravity; even the clown knows that if he guides his vehicle to the edge of the precipice, so that the centre of gravity falls beyond the bounds of safety, his conveyance will fall over and be destroyed! In relation to our physical being, there are laws which we must keep, or the grave will receive us before due time. A Hercules must take nourishment; every man must inhale air, and that air must be composed of certain ingredients.
2. Consider man morally, and the same principles apply.
II. MAN'S LAWLESSNESS.
1. Suppose a man were to reach a dangerous spot, and were to see a warning to that effect, but yet persisted in going right into destruction, he would be regarded as not competent to take care of himself; still in such a man we have an illustration of the folly of the lawless conduct of the unbeliever. God, by His providence, in His Word, and by His Spirit's teaching, has set up a warning, in every by-path; plain enough to be read. "Trespassers shall be punished," meets us everywhere. Would that men read, understood and obeyed!
2. We see in human nature the mischievous tendency developed in daily acts of folly. If we were compelled to do what we often choose to do, heaven would be besieged by lamentations, and the multitude would mourn over the hardness of their lot.
III. THE RETRIBUTION.
1. Present retribution. Look at the debauched; his face is a sign-board of hell, his heart a seat of woe.
2. Future retribution.
(H. Parrish, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh an hedge, a serpent shall bite him.