The Curse of Meroz
Judges 5:23
Curse you Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse you bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD…

I. THE CURSE WAS FOR INACTIVITY. Meroz had committed no offence, but is solely to blame for failing in action. Innocence of positive guilt is not enough to secure us from condemnation in the judgment of God. We shall be judged by what we have left undone as well as by what we have done. In Christ's vision of judgment, those who are made to stand on the left of the throne and are then condemned to outer darkness are not offenders against the moral law, but simply persons who have neglected the active duties of charity (Matthew 25:45). It is a very common error for people to suppose that they are blameless so long as they keep themselves unspotted from the world, forgetting that the first duty of religion is the energetic exercise of charity (James 1:27). Better to have some faults and much useful service than to be faultless and useless. The soldier who returns from war with scarred face and stained garments is nobler than he who fears to enter the battle lest he shall soil his raiment or mar his countenance.

II. THE CURSE WAS FOR INACTIVITY IS REGARD TO PUBLIC DUTY. Meroz was unpatriotic. Possibly the men on whom the curse fell were diligent farmers and kind and careful parents. But they neglected their duty to their country. We must beware of the narrowness of the parochial mind. The congregation which studies its own edification alone, and has no care for the evangelising of the nation and for mission work among the heathen, brings itself under the curse of Meroz. In the faithful payment of taxes, in the conscientious use of the franchise, in the right use of influence in public matters men have a constant call to patriotic duty. But we have all larger duties to men as men, and so long as misery, ignorance, and wickedness prevail none of us can escape condemnation until we have done our part to remove those evils.


1. It-was the time of the nation's greatest need and danger when Meroz was discovered to be indolently unpatriotic. Great emergencies reveal the evil which has existed unobserved in quieter times. If we are not faithful in that which is least we shall be proved unfaithful in that which is greatest. The evil which may be fatal to our nation in times of danger may be lurking among us unseen in these more quiet times. Therefore the shameful failings of those who are held up to the reprobation of history may be no worse than the mean selfishness which pervades the lives of multitudes who meet with no blame, simply because the day of trial has not yet made their character apparent to the world.

2. The danger in which the unfaithfulness of Meroz was revealed brought a call to aggressive action. Meroz was found wanting in a time of war. We are called to resist evil. If we permit others to be oppressed by injustice and cruelty when we might deliver them by any sacrifice and toil of our own, we bring ourselves under the curse of Meroz. Christianity is aggressive. It is the duty of Christians not merely to promote purity, and charity, and truth, etc., but to expose and attack the vices and wrongs of the world. - A.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

WEB: 'Curse Meroz,' said the angel of Yahweh. 'Curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they didn't come to help Yahweh, to help Yahweh against the mighty.'

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