2 Chronicles 30:7-8
And be not you like your fathers, and like your brothers, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers…
In a season of grace, in which God is offering to lay His yoke on sinners, they should beware of being stiff-necked, or refusing to take it on.
I. WHAT IS THAT YOKE WHICH THE LORD IS OFFERING TO LAY ON SINNERS. It is the Soft and easy yoke for the salvation and welfare of penitent sinners. "Take My yoke upon you, saith Jesus, and learn of Me: For My yoke is easy." This is the yoke of kindly willing subjection to God in Christ.
1. The yoke of subjection to the will of His commandments.
2. The yoke of His providential will. He claims to dispose of you, as seems good to Him.
II. THIS OBEDIENCE OF THE SINNER TO GOD IS CALLED A YOKE, because —
1. Coming under it, we are in a state of subjection as those under a yoke.
2. It is laid on us for labour or work.
3. By it we are not only kept at work, but kept in order at our work. They who truly bear the yoke, are uniform and orderly in their obedience. "They have respect unto all God's commandments."
4. Of its uneasiness to the flesh.
5. It fixes subjection upon us. The bonds of obligation are sweet and agreeable to His willing people.
1. God is the party with whom we have to do.
2. There will be nothing gained by stiff-neckedness to the yoke of God.
3. God has waited long on you, but will not wait always (Proverbs 29:1). Now, while a season of grace is afforded to sinners, it is their duty to fall in with it speedily, to give the hand and yield themselves to the Lord. Here We shall —
I. SHOW HOW SINNERS HAVE A SEASON OF GRACE AFFORDED THEM
1. By their being continued in life.
2. By the call of the Gospel so directed to them. "Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation."
3. By solemn sacramental occasions afforded to a people. This is the case in the text. These make a precious "now" not to be slighted. At ordinary occasions of the gospel, the blessed bargain is offered; but now the seal of heaven is ready to confirm it.
4. By some inward motions felt within one's own soul, pressing them to comply and yield at length.
II. INQUIRE WHAT IS SUPPOSED IN THIS GRACIOUS CALL TO SINNERS. It supposes —
1. That sinners are naturally in a state of rebellion against the Lord.
2. That though the Lord can break the sinner in pieces for his rebellion, yet He would rather that the sinner yield (Ezekiel 33:11).
3. That God's hand is stretched out to receive the sinner yielding himself (Isaiah 65:2).
4. That forced work will not be acceptable here.
6. That the sinner willingly yielding shall be kindly received and accepted.
III. SHOW WHAT IT IS TO GIVE THE HAND OR YIELD OUSELVES TO THE LORD.
1. In general, it comprehends —
(1) The work of conviction.
(2) The work of illumination in the knowledge of Christ, in receiving the discovery of a Savour.
(3) The work of humiliation, in becoming pliable to the Divine propose in the Gospel; leading them to say, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" The iron sinew in the sinner's neck is broken. The outer door of the mind, and the inner door of the will, are both cast open to the Lord Christ.
(4) The work of faith in the sinner's believing on, and so closing with Christ, as his Saviour from sin and wrath, renouncing all others.
(6) The work of repentance from dead works, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh (Colossians 2:11). Faith and repentance are inseparable. That faith which produceth not evangelical repentance, is but dead faith.
(6) The work of entire resignation.
2. In particular.
(1) Yielding the soul, or inner man — mind — conscience — will — to the Lord.
(2) Yielding the body or outward man to the Lord.
(3) Yielding up all lusts and idols to Him as traitors which you can no more harbour.
(4) Yielding all lawful enjoyments to Him, so as to be at His disposal, and never to break with Him for any of them.
(5) Yielding, your lot and your all to Him; saying," "He shall choose our inheritance for us. Improvement
Use 1: Of conviction and humiliation, in respect of the sad bias which man's nature has got.
Use 2: Of exhortation.
(1) You must yield yourselves to one or other, for you are not self-sufficient.
(2) The Lord hath the best right to you.
(3) Consider what the Lord has yielded for you (Romans 8:32; Romans 5:8).
(4) The Saviour is very desirous of your yielding.
(5) He is not seeking your yielding yourselves for nothing (Hosea 3:3).
(6) You must yield or die, bow or break.
(7) Yield and all your former rebellions shall be forgiven.
(8) Yield or the Lord Will have war with you for ever. How will you bear His coming? (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 9).
(T. Boston, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the LORD God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.