And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house…
I. GOD HAS A PEOPLE OF HIS OWN IN A WORLD OF SINNERS, WHO FEEL FOR HIS HONOUR, AND DESIRE TO SUSTAIN HIS AUTHORITY. These are the salt of the earth; the preservation of men. Set apart by the Lord, for Himself; made by the Holy Spirit, new creatures in Christ Jesus; standing with His robe of righteousness, complete in Him; instant in prayer; fruitful in holiness; and preferring the reproach of Christ to the treasures of the world; they are at once the ornament and the defence of mankind. And it imports an amazing amount of corruption and guilt in a land, when it is proclaimed that such men can but deliver their own souls, and shall be no longer the instruments to convey Divine blessings to others. These people of God have not sighed in listless idleness, or wept tears of fearful indolence, without an effort to stop the progress of man's iniquity. No. They are those who have first done all in active effort which they could do to restrain the wickedness of others; and who now, while they are mourning for their sins, are bearing their testimony with fidelity against them. Jealous for the honour of God, happy in the acceptance of a Saviour, knowing the comforts of the Holy Ghost, believing the revealed responsibility and destiny of sinful men, they long to the end of life for the salvation of the ungodly; and sigh and cry unto God, while they live, over a destruction in which they have no participation, and which men bring wholly upon themselves.
II. THIS PEOPLE ARE ENTIRELY PROTECTED IN THE DESTRUCTION WHICH GOD BRINGS UPON THE UNGODLY. Amidst surrounding ungodliness, the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will hide them in His tabernacle, until the danger be overpast. They are marked by His infallible determination, and are sealed by His Spirit unto the day of redemption. Known by the mark of grace — grace which loved them, bought them, found them, brought them back, kept them, and crowned them — they stand before God, sanctified and secured. Happy in their eternal enjoyments. Happy in all their earthly sorrows. Happy, peculiarly in this, that they sighed and cried for the abominations of men, in their zeal for the honour of the Lord of hosts.
III. WHILE THE PEOPLE OF GOD ARE THUS DISTINGUISHED AND PROTECTED, THE DESTRUCTION OF THE UNGODLY WILL BE ENTIRE. Long has God endeavoured to lead them to repentance; long has the Saviour stood waiting to receive them; long has the Divine Spirit exerted Himself to bring them back to Christ. And while all this was passing, they might have found a refuge in the Gospel, and have gained eternal life. But now the dispensation of mercy has been closed, and they are left, as they have chosen to be left, to the unbending operation of law. They die without mercy. They perish without redemption. They are destroyed forever. This destruction will begin with those who are most highly favoured with religious privileges. "Begin at My sanctuary," says the Lord to the angels of destruction. "Judgment must begin at the house of God," says the apostle Peter, as if in reference to this very passage of our text. Neither the pulpit nor the sanctuary; neither profession nor self-complacency shall afford protection to the sinner's soul. There is no respect of persons before the tribunal of the living God. The hypocrite shall be unveiled; the false professor shall be exhibited as he is; the self-righteous man shall be held up to view in his own deformities and unrepented sin shall everywhere see the destroying weapon, with an irreversible energy, coming upon itself.
(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)
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;