They helped every one his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.…
Idolatry being threatened with an overthrow, their "craft" was endangered, and hence the earnestness and co-operation of these makers of idols. The text is suggestive.
I. It affords an illustration of THE WAY THE WICKED COMBINE IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST THE RIGHT. Jeremiah gives us a picture of this combination in the family (Jeremiah 7:17, 18). Isaiah, carrying it up higher, here shows how the different crafts cheer and help each other. Take the history of the world; follow the struggle between the powers of light and the powers of darkness, and you will find that this has always been the case. When Jesus Christ made His appearance upon the earth for the purpose of inaugurating the overthrow of paganism and planting His kingdom on its ruins, witness what varied and unhallowed combinations arrayed themselves against Him. See how the liquor-dealers are now banded together in that strong association, which has for its object the protection and perpetuity of their iniquitous traffic. And if certain questions are touched there are manifested some strange combinations.
II. We see the importance of UNANIMITY OF FEELING AND CONCERT OF ACTION IN CHURCH WORK.
1. This should be true in the individual Churches. The various ages, classes, and organisations of a Church ought to work for the same ends.
2. On the great leading questions there must be co-operation between the various denominations.
III. We have a suggestion as to THE MUTUAL DEPENDENCE OF MEN. Notice how many crafts the idols passed through before they were finished. Take any article in your possession, and a great many different persons and trades have contributed to its production. No profession or trade is independent of other professions and trades; no class is independent of other classes.
IV. We are reminded that OUR AIM IN LIFE SHOULD BE TO HELP THOSE WITH WHOM WE COME IN CONTACT. "They helped every one his neighbour." Jesus Christ came into this world not to seek His own ease or profit or pleasure, but to help the needy sons of men. Have we caught anything of His spirit? There are many ways in which we can help.
1. Like these idolaters, we can do it by our words of cheer. We are too chary with our praise.
2. Help by our deeds.
(J. W. Rogan.)
Parallel VersesKJV: They helped every one his neighbour; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.