As yet exalt you yourself against my people, that you will not let them go?
The text describes two classes, viz., those that feared the word of the Lord, and those that "set not their hearts " to it. Here is a very distinct parable in history for our use and instruction. We may note —
I. THE DIVINE WARNING.
1. It was "the word of Jehovah." It was sent through a specially commissioned messenger.
2. It was sword of mercy. The Lord willeth not the death of a sinner.
3. It was a word of threatening. But the threat was only against those whose wilful disobedience would merit judgment.
II. THE DIFFERENT WAYS IN WHICH IT WAS REGARDED.
1. Wholesome fear. This fear was a fruit of faith. A feeble spark of faith, perhaps, but enough to stimulate action.
2. Careless neglect. Proverbs 14:16, gives well the contrast of the two classes. This "carnal security" a very common source of spiritual danger.
III. THE DEFINITE APPLICATION TO OURSELVES. God has sent His word to us, full of mingled promises and warnings, declarations of mercy and judgment. Are we taking heed thereto? By startling events, by secret stirrings of conscience, by the Bible, by His special messengers, "the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God," God speaks. Do we listen? or do we, listless, if not openly scornful, let the utterance be to us as an idle tale? The gospel of Christ, as proclaimed to men, offers a refuge from God's just wrath against sinful man. If we refuse, we shall be worthy of worse punishment than heathen who have never heard, and it shall be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment than for us. Before the hailstorm of judgment come, let us "set our heart to" the word of the Lord; so shall we be safe in the evil day.
(W. Saumarez Smith, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?