Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? said the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
I. THE EVIDENCE IN EVERY CHRISTIAN COUNTRY OF GOD'S HAVING NO PLEASURE AT ALL IN THE DEATH OF SINNERS.
1. A true penitent is readily forgiven. Two striking illustrations suggested here: a rebellious father's repentant son (ver. 14, etc.) , and a man once rebellious who amends (vers. 21, 22). In each instance his soul is saved. None can fairly meditate on the promptness of such pardons without perceiving God's delight in mercy (Micah 7:18).
2. The reason why the righteous God can so promptly pardon (Titus 3:4-7; John 3:16; Romans 8:32).
3. God has appointed a class of men to urge on the unworthy His unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 5:20). Did He wish the destruction of the Ninevites when He sent Jonah to them? He has as little pleasure in the death of the wicked now (Revelation 22:17).
II. THE ONE SIMPLE DUTY OF HEARERS IS TO RETURN (ver. 32).
1. With the turning of true repentance, which involves a thorough change of service. Note details of practical love in this chapter (ver. 17), and see conduct of Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
2. With the turning of trust (in the appointed Mediator) for all the needed mercy and grace. (See the description in 1 Peter 2:24, 25.)
3. With the turning quickened by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), which should be fostered by prayer (Psalm 80:18, 19).
4. With the turning which issues in life; the life of the acquitted and holy (Romans 5:l, 2), which is a sure earnest of life everlasting (John 6:40).
(D. D. Stewart, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?