And what will you do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will you flee for help?…
So far from God having abandoned the world, He is continually calling it to account. Not only has He fixed in His eternal mind a period of final visitation, but days of visitation are repeatedly coming. And who knows how many may come to us?
I. THE SOLEMN PERIOD SPOKEN OF. God is said to "visit" men when He comes to them, or reveals Himself, either in mercy or judgment. Christ Himself calls the days of His ministry among the Jews the day of their visitation — their Gospel day of mercy. But the term, as used in our text, is to be understood in the contrary sense, to denote a period of judgment. There are several periods which are days of Divine visitation.
1. The day of trouble.
2. The day of affliction.
3. The day of death.
4. The day of judgment.
II. THE SOUL-AWAKENING APPEAL MADE. 'What will ye do? To whom will ye flee for help?" This language implies that something has need to be done — that help will be required. Self-sufficient as we may wish to think ourselves when all is bright, whenever either of the days of Divine visitation comes, we shall find that "help" will be needed in order to stand the trial well. If so, what will you do?
1. What in the day of trouble? Many are then overwhelmed thereby; in these circumstances many die in despair, fade away in melancholy, or lay violent hands on themselves. When every draught of life's cup is the very gall of bitterness, where will ye go for sweetness?
2. Should afflictive visitations come on, what then will ye do? You may flee to the physician, but he can do no more than the God means may permit him.
3. And then, when the day of dissolution, that awful day of "visitation" comes, what will ye do? Will you send for your minister to pray for you? But what avail his prayers, if your do not pray for yourself?
4. And when the last great day — that day of all days — comes, oh, what then shall we do? And where shall we flee for help? Now, bring all this to a point.
(1) Settle it in your minds that days of visitation will come.
(2) How necessary, now in the time of our merciful visitation of Gospel offers and encouragements, to make the Almighty God our friend by faith in Christ.
(3) If we do not, must we not expect to be abandoned and left to everlasting ruin, without help or hope?
Parallel VersesKJV: And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?