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…
I. The most dangerous propensity of sin is its deceivableness; the concealment of its true nature and danger when committed, the extent and evil of it are seldom perceived; a veil is thrown over its hideous and destructive qualities; and it is imagined to be, if not altogether defensible in the sight of God, at least desirable at the moment, and tolerable. However the conscience may give warning that all is not perfectly right, the consequences are commonly neither foreseen nor apprehended. Whether this be in the very nature of sin, as brought by the spirit of evil into the world; or whether that wicked spirit, with his numberless agents, is continually exercised in producing this deceit; or whether it proceed from both these sources, which is probable, the evil and misery are the same: men are tempted to sin, because they do not perceive its utter sinfulness; and it seems as if they could do it with impunity, do it and have nothing to fear.
II. And here, as we see the dreadful nature of sin, how it blinds the sinner, and makes him content with his guilt, so do we see the goodness of our heavenly Father, how graciously, by the ordination of His providence, He leads the transgressor to a deep sense of his perilous condition; how compassionately He interposes to deliver him from the fatal snare.
III. The instruction to be drawn from this subject is highly beneficial and important: it warns us to consider our own case, to look into our own condition. And let us be mindful that we do draw, from such considerations and examples, the right conclusion.
IV. There are two great considerations in connection with this subject, which I desire to press upon your attention.
1. The importance of our hearts being always open to God's merciful dealings in awakening us, and reclaiming us from evil.
2. That we profit from them without delay.
(J. Slade, M. A.)
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."