You are wearied in the greatness of your way; yet said you not, There is no hope: you have found the life of your hand…
Whether the guilty error of Israel consisted in its departure into idolatry, or in its having recourse to the arm of flesh instead of to the power of its Divine Redeemer, we reach the same conclusion, viz. -
I. THAT SIN GOES TO TEDIOUS LENGTHS IN ITS WANDERING FROM GOD. It is "wearied in the greatness of its way." Whatever may be the particular course which iniquity may take - whether it moves in the direction of disbelief, or of covetousness, or of any one of the vices, or of worldliness - it goes far enough to find that the path of sinful error is a long and tedious road, that it is one in which the soul finds no lasting satisfaction, that there continually recurs a sense of want and spiritual craving, a hungering of the heart for that which is not supplied. Their name is legion who find their own chosen course of sin a weary round, an unsatisfying pursuit.
II. THAT, SPITE OF ITS OWN WEARINESS, ST PERSISTS IN' ITS UNHALLOWED PATH. It is weary enough, yet it "says not, There is no hope." It finds just enough to maintain some kind of existence - "the life of thine hand" - to go on without being altogether changed and restored. Are there not multitudes of men who are dragging on a weary life, profoundly dissatisfied with what they are in themselves and what they are accomplishing, and yet allowing themselves to continue in their guilty course? The path of sin is a very pitiable one; it is no wonder -
III. THAT IT CALLS DOWN A STRONG DIVINE REPROACH. (Ver. 11.) God reproaches his erring children:
1. That they have given themselves up to that which is utterly unworthy of their devotion: "Whom hast thou feared?"
2. That they have neglected the strong claims he has on their worship and service - he who has laid them under such deep obligations and has held out to them such glorious prospects; "Hast not remembered me." Nor must it be forgotten -
IV. THAT GOD'S SILENCE, AS WELL AS HIS SPEECH, IS AN ARGUMENT FOR RETURN. "Have not 1 held my peace... and thou fearest me not?"
1. God's silence is strangely and grievously misinterpreted (Psalm 50:21).
2. Instead of making it an encouragement to sin, it ought to be employed as an opportunity for repentance. It is a Divine pause, in order that, while it lasts, the guilty may reconsider and return.
3. God's silence is temporary; it is imposed on himself by a strong and merciful restraint. But it cannot be very long continued; the interests of righteousness demand that it shall be broken. Let not the impenitent presume -
"For tho' mercy be kind and its patience endure,
To the path of repentance it seeks to allure,
And they who are deaf to its voice may be sure
That God will not always be silent.
Oh, Time brings the hour - we shall soon all be there -
When the Judge on his judgment-throne shall appear,
And his sentence of mercy or wrath shall declare,
And then win no longer be silent." ? C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.