For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that sets snares; they set a trap, they catch men.…
This is the message of God to sinful men in all times; and its characteristics are the same now as they were when it was first uttered.
I. AN UNWELCOME QUESTION. As the bankrupt does not dare investigate his affairs, and the man who is contracting intemperate habits or tampering with his employer's property does not dare think of the ruin and disgrace to which he is hastening, so the man whose conscience is not easy, who suspects there is something wrong, dreads to look into the future, and counts that man his enemy who ventures to insist on his doing so. The whisper of this question sometimes comes into the heart of the procrastinator — the worldling — the trifler — the backslider; and, with one horrified glance forward, he too often shrinks back and tries to forget all about it.
II. AN UNANSWERABLE QUESTION. The moment a man stands in thought in the midst of the degradation, ruin, and misery he has brought on himself, all his excuses fly; like the man without the wedding garment, he is "speechless." How mad to persevere in a course that has such an end!
III. AN IMPERATIVE QUESTION.
1. Because no forgetfulness of consequences will prevent them coming. A man may put to sea in a leaky vessel and refuse to consider the remonstrances of friends — he may even be ignorant of the facts; but that will not prevent his foundering in the storm.
2. Because it furnishes the direct antidote to the seductions of sin. The burnt child dreads the fire. The sailor avoids the sunken rock.
3. Because the end may be avoided. "Now is the accepted time."
Parallel VersesKJV: For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.