And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house…
I. THE SEARCH.
1. It is no surface search which God institutes. Were it so, who would not have "the mark"? how few would there be on whom "the slaughter weapon" shall do its work.
2. It is a house search whereby we must be proved. Look well to what goes on within thy habitation, if thou wouldst have "the slaughter weapon" pass and touch thee not. Hath God His altar in thy house, so that thy family cannot be classed amongst those "that call not on His name"? Is the Word of God read within thy walls, and is that Word made the court of decision from which there is no appeal? It is a heart search. God "trieth the reins and the heart." It was the sad confession of one, at an hour, too, when he needed every stay, "that though he had kept up the profession of religion in his house, he had never had the reality of it in his heart." Let not this conviction be yours. "Keep thy heart with all diligence."
II. THE SIGH AND THE CRY. "Set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations that be done," etc. Men account those as poor and pitiful that, looking for the signs of the times, are solemnised at heart, because of "the things that are coming on the earth"; but grant me, O Lord! the contrite heart, "the sigh and the cry" for the evil that is in the world. This attracts the eye of God.
1. This disposition of mind includes an insight into sin, some perception of the mystery of iniquity; such see that with all the fair surface sin presents, it is hateful in God's sight, ruinous to the soul in which it dwells, that it is of hell, and leads to hell.
2. Love of God, and hence desire for His glory, is the mainspring of that grief of heart spoken of in our text.
3. Know we this blessed sorrow, this "sigh and cry" of our text? Loud are the calls for it; do they find an answer within us?
III. THE SAFETY MARK. "Set a mark."
1. This is the protecting mark which men should seek in troublous times. The world hath its places of safety, its towers of strength, its carnal weapons, its wise plans, but "like a dream when one awaketh," so do these disappear, and fail them in the hour of need.
2. This mark is indelible, it cannot be taken away. Kings have their marks, their orders of merit, their distinctions and titles to distribute, but a breath of popular outbreak may sweep them all away. Death certainly removes them, breaks the staff of office, "man being in honour abideth not"; but this safety mark of which our text speaks, who shall deprive us of?
3. It shall be recognised and acknowledged at the last day. Woes may come on the earth, but they cannot injure you; death shall come, but it shall prove life to you; the judgment day shall but gather you to glory.
(F. Storr, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;