And it shall come to pass, when you shall say, Why does the LORD our God all these things to us? then shall you answer them…
I. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOD AS THAT SUPREME RULER OF ALL FROM WHOSE HAND AFFLICTIONS COME. It is one great secret of that peace which passeth all understanding to mark the hand of God in all the changes and sorrows of this ever-varying scene of things; the want of this it is which so frequently leaves the men of the world a prey to vexation and despair. Secondary causes are but the links in the chain of providence; follow them by the light of God's Word and the guidance of a simple faith, and you will find that chain depending from the very throne of God Himself, held in His own hand; every part of it adjusted as He sees it best to permit, according to the counsel of His own will.
II. A CONVICTION THAT WHEN GOD SENDS AFFLICTION HE HAS A REASON FOR WHAT HE DOES.
1. God often uses affliction for the purpose of correcting His children's faults, and bringing them to a sense of their guilt.
2. The promotion of our growth in grace is another reason of God's afflictive dispensations. Holy men are by trial weaned from a vain and evil world; are brought more and more to realise experimentally what religion is; and are enabled to enjoy in a peculiar manner the consolation of the Gospel of Christ.
III. A WISH TO KNOW WHAT THAT REASON IS. Not that we may be satisfied that God is just in what He does. But that understanding what the reason of His dispensation is, we may ask ourselves, have, then, those dispensations wrought in us the result designed? But how is he to ascertain it? I apprehend that we shall generally be guided to it when depending on the Holy Spirit for direction; we simply look at the nature of the trial, and the state of our own hearts.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.
WEB: It will happen, when you say, 'Why has Yahweh our God done all these things to us?' Then you shall say to them, 'Just like you have forsaken me, and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'