|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
50:10,11 A child of God is afraid of incurring his displeasure. This grace usually appears most in believers when in darkness, when other graces appear not. Those that truly fear God, obey the voice of Christ. A sincere servant of God may for a long time be without views of eternal happiness. What is likely to be an effectual cure in this sad case? Let him trust in the name of the Lord; and let him stay himself upon the promises of the covenant, and build his hopes on them. Let him trust in Christ, trust in that name of his, The Lord our Righteousness; stay himself upon God as his God, in and through a Mediator. Presuming sinners are warned not to trust in themselves. Their own merit and sufficiency are light and heat to them. Creature-comforts are as sparks, short-lived, and soon gone; yet the children of this world, while they last, seek to warm themselves by them, and walk with pride and pleasure in the light of them. Those that make the world their comfort, and their own righteousness their confidence, will certainly meet with bitterness in the end. A godly man's way may be dark, but his end shall be peace and everlasting light. A wicked man's way may be pleasant, but his end and abode for ever will be utter darkness.
Verse 11. - All ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; or, with firebrands. The persons intended seem to be those whose "tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity" (James 3:6), and who by means of it are employed in "stirring up strife all the day long." They are condemned to be scorched by the fire which they have themselves kindled, to be made wretched by the strife which they have themselves caused to spring up. Their end, moreover, will be to lie down in sorrow; or, in torture (Cheyne). God will punish them in the next world for the misery which they have brought about in this, and will thus exercise retributive justice upon the wicked ones, whose main object in life has been to embitter the lives of their fellow-men.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, all ye that kindle a fire,.... To enlighten and warm yourselves; who, rejecting Christ the Light of the world, and despising the glorious light of his Gospel, and loving darkness rather than light, set up the light of nature and reason as the rule of faith and practice; or the traditions and doctrines of men to be guided by; or their own righteousness for their justification before God, and acceptance with him:
that compass yourselves about with sparks, that fly out of the fire kindled, or are struck out of a flint, which have little light and no heat, and are soon out; which may denote the short lived pleasures and comforts which are had from the creature, or from anything of a man's own:
walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled; an ironical expression, bidding them take all the comfort and satisfaction they could in their own works and doings, and get all the light and heat they could from thence:
this shall ye have of mine hand; which you may depend upon receiving from me, for rejecting me and my righteousness, and trusting in your own:
ye shall lie down in sorrow; instead of being justified hereby, and having peace with God, and entering into heaven, ye shall be pressed down with sore distress, die in your sins, and enter into an everlasting state of condemnation and death; see Mark 16:16. This was the case and state of the Jews, Romans 9:31. This is one of the passages the Jews (g) say is repeated by the company of angels, which meet a wicked man at death.
(g) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 104. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. In contrast to the godly (Isa 50:10), the wicked, in times of darkness, instead of trusting in God, trust in themselves (kindle a light for themselves to walk by) (Ec 11:9). The image is continued from Isa 50:10, "darkness"; human devices for salvation (Pr 19:21; 16:9, 25) are like the spark that goes out in an instant in darkness (compare Job 18:6; 21:17, with Ps 18:28).
sparks—not a steady light, but blazing sparks extinguished in a moment.
walk—not a command, but implying that as surely as they would do so, they should lie down in sorrow (Jer 3:25). In exact proportion to mystic Babylon's previous "glorifying" of herself shall be her sorrow (Mt 25:30; 8:12; Re 18:7).
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