Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, said the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven…
Return. This call implies -
I. KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR CONDITION. In the dark days we are apt to say, "Doth God know?" This is our weakness. The cries Of the poor, the needy, and the oppressed are ever heard on high.
II. CONTINUED INTEREST IN THEIR WELFARE. Israel, though scattered, was not forsaken. Affliction witnesses both as to our sin and God's mercy. If God did not care, he would let us go on in sin. But because he loves and pities us and yearns for our home coming, he ceases not to cry, "Return."
III. ADEQUATE MEANS PROVIDED FOR THEIR RESTORATION. God does not require the impossible. His commands are promises. The way is open. The exiles are free to come back. Welcome and peace are assured on the word of the Lord. But self-effort is needed. We must ourselves act.
IV. GRANDEST ENCOURAGEMENT TO OBEDIENCE. The best reasons to convince the judgment. The most powerful motives to sway the heart. God appeals:
1. To the sense of right. What should be the best and the noblest? "We needs must love the highest when we see it"'
2. The feeling of brotherhood. The old unity might be restored. The Jews looked back with pride to the days of David and Solomon. So of the Church.
3. Their consciousness of the real dignity of their being. They were precious in God's sight. Specially protected and dear "as the apple of his eye." Such thoughts fitted to raise our hearts, to inspire us with worthier ideas of our nature and destiny (1 John 3:1).
4. Their hope of better times. Obedience would bring blessedness. - F.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.