But you have not called on me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel.
We notice here -
I. THE REASONABLENESS OF GOD'S SERVICE. "I have not caused thee to serve with an offering, nor wearied thee with incense." God's service is not a servitude, a slavery; nor is it a burdensome task, hard and heavy to be borne. Under the Mosaic Law, special provision was made for the poor, so that the sacrifices asked of them should be within their reach (Leviticus 5:7; Leviticus 12:8; Leviticus 14:21). Women and children were excepted from certain requirements, because of their sex or their years. Various exemptions were allowed in the spirit of considerateness. There was nothing hard, rigorous, ungracious, in the Law. Nor is there in the Divine demands now made upon us. God desires - indeed, he requires of us - that we should yield to him our thought, our remembrance, our worship, - regular, willing, spiritual; our love, our filial affection; our obedience to his precepts; our submission to his will. But there is nothing arbitrary or capricious about this demand; it is only that which grows, naturally and even necessarily, out of the intimate relation in which God stands to us and we to him. What is there less than this that we could rightly render to our Creator, our Sustainer, our bountiful Benefactor, our Father, our Redeemer? And in everything God makes full allowance for all our weakness and incapacity. He expects of us according to that which he has entrusted to us. From those to whom much is given, much will be required, etc. (see 2 Corinthians 8:12). From the very rich God will look for the talents of gold; from the very poor, small pieces of copper; from the strong man, his strength; from the weak man, his weakness.
II. THE SERIOUSNESS AND THE HEINOUSNESS OF HUMAN SIN. The Divine complaint is against us all, that we have:
1. Withheld from him what is due to him. We have "not called upon" him; for we have been "weary of him." We have not brought him even our smaller offerings; we have not honoured him, as we might and should have done, in his courts. And this shortcoming is only a small part of all our sin of omission. We have all failed to render him the glory due to his Name, the reverence and the affection due to himself, the obedience and the service due to his will and to his cause. It is also against many that they have:
2. Added aggravating offences to their shortcoming; "served him with sins," "wearied him with iniquities." Many have not only refused their worship, but they have flagrantly and heinously broken his commandments; have multiplied their iniquities, and made him to write down the most grievous and shameful transgressions in his book against them.
III. THE FULNESS AND FREENESS OF THE DIVINE MERCY. (Ver. 25.) For his own sake, not compelled thereto by anything which they had done or should do, but impelled by his abounding and overflowing grace, he would "blot out their transgressions" from his book of remembrance. God's pardoning love to us, revealed in the gospel:
1. Is large and free.
(1) He forgives the most flagrant offences.
(2) He receives those who have been longest in rebellion against his rule, and have most pertinaciously resisted his overtures.
(3) He takes back those whom he forgives into his full favour and treats them with unstinted kindness (Luke 15.).
2. Is granted of his own grace, and for the sake of his own Son our Savior.
3. Is conditional on our repentance and faith. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.