I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me…
The passage brings out in a very graphic form -
I. THE OFFENSIVENESS OF SIN.
1. Assumption. "Walking after their own thoughts" instead of reverently inquiring God's will (ver. 2).
2. Positive disobedience in the manner of Divine worship (ver. 3).
3. Superstitious practices, implying discontent with the disclosures God had made in his holy Word (ver. 4).
4. Irreligious self-indulgence (ver. 4).
5. Spiritual pride. "I am holier than thou" (ver. 5) All these things were hateful to the Holy One of Israel; they constituted "rebellion" in his sight (ver. 2); they amounted to a defiant provocation of his wrath (ver. 3); they were as a continual smoke in the nostrils (ver. 5). All sin, whatever be its form or name, is "an abominable thing which God hates:" it is to his pure eyes unutterably loathsome; it is as the leprous skin to the eyes of man - he "cannot look upon" it. It draws down his righteous condemnation.
II. ITS INEVITABLE DOOM.
1. We must not argue non-observance or indifference from temporary silence. "Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence" (ver. 6; Psalm 1:21).
2. Guilt accumulates with time (ver. 7). God mercifully postpones punishment, thus giving opportunity for repentance and escape. But if there be impenitence and continuance in sin, there is an awful "treasuring up of wrath," an accumulation of guilt against a day of account. Nations, families, Churches, individual souls, may well take earnest heed to this solemn truth.
3. There is an absolute certainty and fulness of penalty to the obdurate. "I will recompense, even recompense," etc.; "I will measure their work," etc.
4. Those who have abused their trust must look for a humiliating displacement (ver. 1). God will remove the chosen instrument of his truth and grace, and he will find another to do his work. Let the too-confident "children of the kingdom" beware lest they have to make room for those whom they have been accustomed to despise. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.