For Israel has not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts…
A marvellous statement. A down-trodden, sinful remnant of his people, who had broken every engagement of his covenant, is still owned and cared for.
I. A PROOF OF THE FAITHFULNESS AND LONG SUFFERING MERCY OF GOD.
1. Having entered into covenant relations with Israel, he will not withdraw from them, even although their portion of the agreement has not been kept. He remains faithful, notwithstanding human unfaithfulness. The awful guilt of the elect nation cannot invalidate the obligations God has imposed upon himself. He is ready, therefore, at any moment to fulfil these when the conditions are complied with.
2. But it is rather to be taken as illustrating Divine mercy. The purposes of his love are never laid aside. He devises schemes of salvation when we are yet sinners.
3. Though hidden from human eyes, Divine love works continually and through all things. It was hard for mere men to see the favour of God in such times. Many of the Israelites themselves, doubtless, imagined themselves forsaken. Yet was redemption nearer to them in Babylon than when at Jerusalem they insulted and disobeyed him. "All things work together for good to them that love God," ere.; "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15).
II. A REVELATION FULL OF WARNING AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
1. The enemies of the Church are not to presume upon her misfortunes.
2. The Church itself, although cast down and feeble, is to be of good courage, for it is not cast off. Adversity is not forsakenness. "Lo, I am with you alway." There is no room for presumption, for the chastisements of love have greater severities in store for aggravated guilt. But, relying on the grace of God, it may arise and recommence the mission it has forsaken. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the LORD of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.