|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:25-38 Water is an emblem of the cleansing our polluted souls from sin. But no water can do more than take away the filth of the flesh. Water seems in general the sacramental sign of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost; yet this is always connected with the atoning blood of Christ. When the latter is applied by faith to the conscience, to cleanse it from evil works, the former is always applied to the powers of the soul, to purify it from the pollution of sin. All that have an interest in the new covenant, have a new heart and a new spirit, in order to their walking in newness of life. God would give a heart of flesh, a soft and tender heart, complying with his holy will. Renewing grace works as great a change in the soul, as the turning a dead stone into living flesh. God will put his Spirit within, as a Teacher, Guide, and Sanctifier. The promise of God's grace to fit us for our duty, should quicken our constant care and endeavour to do our duty. These are promises to be pleaded by, and will be fulfilled to, all true believers in every age.
Verse 31. - Ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight (comp. Ezekiel 16:61; Ezekiel 42:10). The last result of this enlarged experience of the Divine goodness would be to quicken in the heart of forgiven and renewed Israel a sense of shame and a feeling of repentance (comp. Romans 2:4).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then shall ye remember your own evil ways,.... That were of their own choosing; in which they walked, and delighted to walk: and very evil ones they were; opposite to the ways of God; such as open violation of the law of God; neglect of his worship; idolatry, and many other sins, before the captivity; adhering to the traditions of their elders; and setting up their own righteousness as a justifying one afterwards; also their disbelief and rejection of the Messiah; their blasphemy against him, and persecution of his interest and people: now these will all be remembered with shame and confusion when the Lord shall bestow upon them the above blessings, spiritual and temporal; especially when a new heart and spirit shall be given them; the goodness of God will have such an influence upon them as to refresh their memories with former sins, and bring them to repentance for them; as well as to affect their minds, and make them thankful for present mercies: sins, which were before forgotten, or were not thought to be sins, shall now come fresh in their minds, with all their aggravated guilt:
and your doings that were not good: far from being so, they were very evil, contrary to the law of God and Gospel of Christ; as they will at this time appear to themselves to be:
and shall loath yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations; their sins will be abominable to them, as they are in themselves, and to the Lord; and they will not only loath them, but themselves for them, when they shall come to have a true sight of them in their own colours, and a true sense of the evil nature of them; and this shall not be expressed only in the sight of men, and so as to be observed by them; but in their own sight, secretly and within themselves, under a clear and full conviction of their sins. The Syriac version is, "your faces shall be wrinkled"; as men's are when they are displeased with themselves for what they have done. The Targum is,
"and ye shall groan when ye shall see, because of your sins, and because of your abominations;''
which is the case of sensible sinners, 2 Corinthians 5:4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. remember your … evil ways—with shame and loathing. The unexpected grace and love of God, manifested in Christ to Israel, shall melt the people into true repentance, which mere legal fear could not (Eze 16:61, 63; Ps 130:4; Zec 12:10; compare Jer 33:8, 9).
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