And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees…
The day of the Lord is any season in which He reveals Himself in a special manner. Of the dealings of God with His visible Church on that day the text presents a striking description.
I. THE PARTY HERE SPOKEN OF — JERUSALEM.
1. In the day of the Lord the visible Church is not exempted from His special notice and appropriate dealings.
2. The grounds of God's procedure towards His Church may be the following. To whom much is given, of them shall much be required. With the visible Church the interests of the world are entrusted. With the visible Church, in a sense, the honour and glory of God's name are entrusted. God, having loved His Church, is jealous of His Church's love.
3. These views not only satisfy as to God's procedure, but furnish strong inducements to faithfulness to the Church.
4. When God shall come, it will be to His Church specially
II. THE PECULIAR ASPECT OF THE DAY OF THE LORD TOWARDS JERUSALEM. That is, the particular character of His dealings towards His Church — He shall "search with candles."
1. This expression proves the existence of suspicion.
2. It shows that the Church has hidden her sin.
3. It teaches that the search is close and narrow and prying. Illustration — The woman seeking her lost piece of silver, candle in hand.
4. It teaches that God Himself will search His Church. Not to satisfy Himself, but to indicate His complete knowledge, and to lead the Church to seek knowledge.
5. God searches by various means or agencies.
1. Ministers of the Gospel.
2. Individuals or churches.
3. Events of providence.
4. All these by the candle of His Word. Are you prepared to be searched by God?
III. THE RESULT OF THIS SEARCH IN JERUSALEM IS THE DISCOVERY OF THE MEN THAT ARE "SETTLED ON THEIR LEES."
1. The class described (Jeremiah 48:11).
2. The cause of this feature of their character. Quiescence of one and another class of feeling.
3. This is infidelity of heart.
4. There is not necessarily a quiescence of worldly feelings.
IV. THE DIVINE TREATMENT OF THIS CLASS. Their punishment may be judicial blindness. In eternity it will be God's wrath.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
WEB: It will happen at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are settled on their dregs, who say in their heart, "Yahweh will not do good, neither will he do evil."