And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel…
I. NEW SIN ADDED: "Again"
1. A painful surprise.
2. Deeper guilt. It showed more deliberation in the act of rebellion, more stubborness of will, and greater defiance of the Divine authority. It also implied the heavy guilt of despising all the argument involved in the close and faithful dealing God had with them, in the terrible chastisements He had already brought down on their heads.
3. A perplexing problem to solve. Why should the children of such holy men as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob become such incorrigible rebels? This is the puzzle that meets us everywhere in the history of God's Israel.
(1) The people had lost their leader.
(2) Apostasy was due in part to the universal bad example.
(3) Idolatry was their easily besetting sin.
(4) A new generation had sprung up.
(5) The inveterate depravity of the human heart.
II. NEW CHASTISEMENT INFLICTED.
1. The Lord chastises in faithfulness.
2. He makes use of a new rod.
3. He sends a more severe token of His displeasure.We do not know, indeed, that the oppression of the Moabites was heavier than that of the Mesepotamian hordes. Probably there was not much to choose between them. But it was certainly much longer continued. Now it is eighteen years of servitude, whereas formerly it was but eight years. In this respect, the scourge was much more severe, not only because the lash was longer applied, but also because God showed that His ear was more heavy to hear their prayer. It was also a deeper humiliation to be trodden upon by a people whom till now they had despised, from their birth onwards, and who had been accustomed for more than three generations to tremble at the name, and the mention of the God of Israel.
4. He helps His enemies against His own people.
III. NEW EXPRESSIONS OF PENITENCE.
1. In distress they flee to the universal refuge.
2. They had a special plea with God as children of the covenant.
3. Their temporary apostasy did not shut them out from the privilege of prayer.
(1) They had a mediator to plead for them in their priesthood, and the continual sacrifices were laid on the altar, as the means of propitiating.
(2) Their apostasy was not allowed by their covenant God to become permanent.
IV. NEW DELIVERANCES EXPERIENCED.
1. This deliverance came in answer to prayer.
2. It was brought about by a suitable instrument.
(J. P. Millar.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
WEB: The children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: and Yahweh strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.