|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:21-29 The wicked man would be saved, if he turned from his evil ways. The true penitent is a true believer. None of his former transgressions shall be mentioned unto him, but in the righteousness which he has done, as the fruit of faith and the effect of conversion, he shall surely live. The question is not whether the truly righteous ever become apostates. It is certain that many who for a time were thought to be righteous, do so, while ver. 26,27 speaks the fulness of pardoning mercy: when sin is forgiven, it is blotted out, it is remembered no more. In their righteousness they shall live; not for their righteousness, as if that were an atonement for their sins, but in their righteousness, which is one of the blessings purchased by the Mediator. What encouragement a repenting, returning sinner has to hope for pardon and life according to this promise! In verse 28 is the beginning and progress of repentance. True believers watch and pray, and continue to the end, and they are saved. In all our disputes with God, he is in the right, and we are in the wrong.
Verse 25. - Are not my ways equal? The. primary meaning of the Hebrew adjective is that of something ordered, symmetrically arranged. Men would find in the ways of God precisely that in which their own ways were wanting, and which they denied to him - the workings of a considerate equity, adjusting all things according to their true weight and measure.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yet ye say,.... Notwithstanding these plain instances, which show the equity of God in his proceedings, and vindicate his justice in the dispensations of his providence; yet such was the blindness and stupidity of these people, or rather their stubbornness, obstinacy, and impudence, that they still insisted upon it that
the way of the Lord is not equal; just and right; is not even, according to the rules of justice and equity; or is not ordered aright, is not steady, and firm, and consistent with himself, and the declaration of his will; a very bold and blasphemous charge, and yet the Lord condescends to reason with them about it:
hear now, O house of Israel; the ten tribes that were now in captivity; or the Jews that were carried captive with Jeconiah, with those that were still in Jerusalem and Judea; these are called upon to hear the Lord, what he had to say in vindication of himself from this charge, as it was but just and reasonable they should:
is not my way equal? plain and even, constant and uniform, according to the obvious rules of justice and truth? can any instance be given to the contrary? what is to be said to support the charge against me? bring forth your strong reasons if you cart, and prove what is asserted:
are not your ways unequal? it is plain they are; your actions, your course of life, are manifest deviations from my law, and from all the rules of righteousness and goodness; it is you that are in the wrong, and I in the right.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. Their plea for saying, "The way of the Lord is not equal," was that God treated different classes in a different way. But it was really their way that was unequal, since living in sin they expected to be dealt with as if they were righteous. God's way was invariably to deal with different men according to their deserts.
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