|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
44:17-26 In afflictions, we must not seek relief by any sinful compliance; but should continually meditate on the truth, purity, and knowledge of our heart-searching God. Hearts sins and secret sins are known to God, and must be reckoned for. He knows the secret of the heart, therefore judges of the words and actions. While our troubles do not drive us from our duty to God, we should not suffer them to drive us from our comfort in God. Let us take care that prosperity and ease do not render us careless and lukewarm. The church of God cannot be prevailed on by persecution to forget God; the believer's heart does not turn back from God. The Spirit of prophecy had reference to those who suffered unto death, for the testimony of Christ. Observe the pleas used, ver. 25,26. Not their own merit and righteousness, but the poor sinner's pleas. None that belong to Christ shall be cast off, but every one of them shall be saved, and that for ever. The mercy of God, purchased, promised, and constantly flowing forth, and offered to believers, does away every doubt arising from our sins; while we pray in faith, Redeem us for thy mercies' sake.
Verse 21. - Shall not God search this out! i.e. visit for it - punish it. Such a result was to be expected. But when there had been no precedent idolatry, no neglect of the worship of Jehovah, what then? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Secret idolatry would, of course, explain the state of things; but the writer evidently knows of no secret idolatry.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Shall not God search this out?.... Undoubtedly he would, was it so, and expose it, and punish for it; as he will the Balaamites and children of Jezebel, Revelation 2:18; this seems to be an appeal to God for the truth of all that the church had said concerning her steadfastness and integrity under the most trying exercises;
for he knoweth the secrets of the heart; whether the heart is turned back, or there is any inclination to apostatize from God, or his name is forgotten in it; as well as whether in fact the hand has been stretched out, or prayer made to a strange god, Jeremiah 17:9.
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