Samaria is Aholah and Jerusalem Aholibah.
A London Minister.I. SIN IS SELF-POLLUTING AND THEREFORE SELF-DESTROYING. Constant contact with sin will pollute the conscience, and render it powerless to fulfil the end for which it has been implanted in the man. It will destroy the understanding in the sense that it renders it unable to see and know the things of God (Ephesians 4:18, 19). Sin persisted in defiles the will, and makes it like a palsied limb which has no power to perform its functions. It pollutes the affections by bringing them in contact with debasing objects, until their power to love goodness is gone. And so the man, having destroyed all the forces of his being, stands before the universe with nothing left but his identity, which he cannot destroy.
II. THOSE WHO DEPART FROM GOD SHALL BE PUNISHED BY THE WORLD FOR CHANGING THEIR MASTER. (Ver. 22.) The deserter who comes over from the enemy's camp is often regarded with suspicion and sometimes meets with contempt where he expected to find reward. His zeal in the service of his new master is looked upon as simply an effort to ingratiate himself for his own ends and he very often finds punishment instead of welcome. So the world to which the apostate from God returns becomes the instrument of his punishment. He must become a greater sinner than those to whom he joins himself in order to convince his new master that he is entirely with him.
III. WHEN SINNERS CAN SERVE NO OTHER PURPOSE IN THE WORLD, THEY MAY RENDER A SERVICE BY BEING A WARNING TO OTHERS. We have shadows here of the truth that Hell has its use in the universe, and that men beyond reach of recovery may be of this use. Convicts have their sphere of usefulness, though it is of such a nature as to send a shudder through the mind of other men. The chained eagle is a warning to those whose wings are free.
(A London Minister.)
Then I saw that she was defiled, that they took both one way.Manton says: "We easily catch an infectious disease from one another, but no man receiveth health from another's company." Too true. Evil communications inevitably corrupt good manners; but good communications do not so necessarily improve evil manners. We more readily learn evil than good, and we are also more forcible in communicating sin than virtue. Both as to the giving out and the receiving, the aptness lies on the wrong side. What a proof of our natural depravity! What a change must grace work in us before we shall be fully like our Lord Jesus, who was incapable of being inoculated by sin, but abundantly able to communicate goodness; for healing virtue proceeded from Him. When shall we become disseminators of holiness by our very presence?
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Thou shalt drink of thy sister's cup.
Homilist.I. THE SYMBOL SUGGESTED.
1. The "cup" is sometimes the emblem of joy and gladness (Psalm 23:5); but here of indignation and wrath, in allusion probably to a very ancient method of punishing criminals — a poisoned cup.
3. The cup is significant of future and eternal misery, hence called "the cup of wrath" (Revelation 16:19). The wrath of God and of the Lamb is put into it; the cup has been filling for many years; it will never be emptied. It is also called "the cup of fury," as containing the inexpressible fierceness of Divine indignation (Jeremiah 25:15).
II. THE DESCRIPTION AFFORDED — "Much."
1. It contains all the sins that we have ever committed, and these, if not now repented of, will fill us with ceaseless remorse.
2. It contains all the curses of that law which we have violated.
3. It is the everlasting vengeance of God. A lost estate, lost liberty, or lost friends may be regained; but the loss of the soul is irreparable.