For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD…
Their tongue and their doings are against the Lord. This is given distinctly as the reason and the explanation of the ruin of Judah. The prophet goes right past all accidents and all national events, and fixes on the moral cause of the ruin. A nation is bad at the core when it can doubt and dishonor God; and no such nation can stand long. God will surely arise to vindicate himself and to shake terribly the earth. Isaiah uses a singular figure: "To provoke the eyes of his glory." The offence which willfulness and iniquity give to the holiness of God is compared to the sensitiveness of the human eye. Matthew Henry says, "In word and action they brake the Law of God, and therein designed an affront to him; they willfully intended to offend him, in contempt of his authority and defiance of his justice. Their tongue was against the Lord, for they contradicted his prophets; and their doings were no better, for they acted as they talked. It was an aggravation of their sin that God's eye was upon them, and that his glory was manifested among them; but they provoked him to his face, as if the more they knew of his glory the greater pride they took in slighting it, and turning it into shame."
I. REBELLIOUS SPEECH A CORRUPTING FORCE. Apply to boastful, self-conceited speech; the speech of the masterful and ambitious man. Apply to the influence of the infidel lecturer, or infidel literature, The young especially are carried away by it to self-indulgence, and find in it excuse for vicious practices. Infidelity never lays foundations for virtue to build on. It is ever the substratum of vice. Illustrate from the French Revolution.
II. REBELLIOUS DEEDS A CALL FOR JUDGMENT. The bad deeds are the proper fruitage of bad speech. Illustrate by the evil work of the demagogue. Break down the sacred restraints of faith in God, and evils rush in like a flood. When man feels free to do what he likes, his likes are sure to be bad ones. Impress that no account of a man's ruin, or a nation's ruin, will suffice which deals only with his circumstances. Nobody was ever ruined by accident. Man's tongue and doings will always provide the explanation of his extreme calamities. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.