But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel…
I. TO WHAT STRAITS THE CAUSE OF GOD IS SOMETIMES REDUCED! Those in high position are opposed to it, and its advocates and representatives have to seek concealment. No open ministry was, therefore, possible. Self-preservation had to be first attended to. There have been times when religion was tolerated, but as under apology; this was an instance of utter exclusion. How good men must have despaired and bad men triumphed! All that God could do for his servants seemed to be to hide them. At the same time, how easy it would be to miscalculate the moral power of the Word! Is not persecution better than languid indifference?
II. HOW HOPELESS THEIR EFFORTS WHO CONTEND WITH GOD! With seeming ease and yet mysterious skill, the secrets of nature are made to subserve his will. And even that which is, as it were, an extremity - a last resource - is so mysteriously effected as to convey the impression of infinite skill and endless resources.
1. They are baffled at the very outset. There seems to have been some interposition of the Divine in making the concealment of the prophet and his companion so inscrutable; and it impressed men. All the means at their disposal were exhausted in their efforts to discover them, but in vain. It is:
2. With an apparent ease. It is but one move on the great chessboard, but it is effectual and sufficient. It is even conceivable that the pursued took no special pains to conceal themselves, but left it in the hand of him whom they served.
3. And with significant gentleness. Some grander deliverance he might have effected, but this is enough. And it simply prevents the wicked king and his court from adding further to their guilt. How thankful ought wicked men to be that they are not suffered to carry out all their evil designs! So God sometimes "prevents," that he may not have to pursue and destroy.
III. HOW SECURE GOD'S SERVANTS ARE WHEN HE UNDERTAKES FOR THEM! It is merely said he "hid them," that their concealment was effectual and inviolate being understood without further words. Elijah (1 Kings 17:2) and his successor (2 Kings 6.) were so hidden. The Lord of the universe knows its every secret.
1. In temporal things. The children of God will not escape misfortune or sorrow. Persecutions are amongst the promises. But the true evil of evil will not reach them. They cannot know it. He hides them in his "secret place" until the storm and fury are overpast. Nay, in distress his tenderness will be the more conspicuous and manifest. "Hide me under the shadow of thy wings" (Psalm 17:8); "I flee unto thee to hide me" (Psalm 143:9). There is an inward, inaccessible peace, which is the gift of every true disciple (John 14:27).
2. In things spiritual. Isaiah spoke of the day when "a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind," etc. (Isaiah 32:2). And we know that our "life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). When the unpardoned shall call upon the rocks to fall on them, and the hills to cover them from his wrath, they that believe shall be safe in the keeping of their Lord.
3. And this is so because the saints are precious in his sight. He keeps them as the apple of his eye. Not a hair of their head shall fall to the ground without their Father. They are the firstfruits of his Son's agony and sacrifice, and bear his likeness. All the resources of his kingdom are held in readiness for their salvation. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the king commanded Jerahmeel the son of Hammelech, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet: but the LORD hid them.