Then shall you remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good…
Israel had fallen from God, had gone after idols, and had sunk into the grossest moral corruptions. Then came the Chaldeans and crushed the nation, and removed it into captivity. However, God promised restoration to His people.
I. WHAT IS THE RESULT, THE VERY FIRST RESULT OF RESTORATION? What happens directly that Israel is cleansed from past defilements, saved from present misery, assured against future fall? There would be exultation, no doubt, triumphant shouting when restored to the promised land and full privileges of being God's children; but this is observable, that the first and truest emotion called forth is remembrance of past transgression and therefore self-loathing. It is the sight of God's mercy enduring forever, the sight of the overflowing of the cup of love from His hand that calls forth this intense sorrow, this bitter loathing. There is a German story of a man, who, for the love of gold, sold his heart to a wood demon, and obtained in its place a heart of stone, and a purse which was never empty. He was now rich, but cold-hearted. He ill-treated his wife and caused her death, he drove his old mother from his door, be oppressed the poor, neglected his children, and went over the world seeking selfish pleasure. After many years he returned discontented, but still rich. He could get no real pleasure anywhere. Then in a fit of spleen, he sought the demon of the forest, and by the aid of the Cross recovered his heart of flesh. And the moment it was again in his breast, all that he had done returned to him. He flung himself, in floods of tears, on the ground weeping for his wife, his mother, his children, his friends, for all the wrong he had done, and all the good he had left undone. So it was with Israel. The heart of stone was taken from them, a heart of flesh was given them back, and instantly they remember their evil ways, and loathe themselves in their own sight for their iniquities.
II. THIS IS THE PICTURE OF TRUE CONVERSION.
(S. Baring Gould, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.