And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave…
And this wrath impends over every impenitent and unforgiven sinner.
I. IT IS SURE TO FALL UPON HIM IN DUE TIME. It is not a simple possibility. It is not merely a threat to terrify him. It is as sure in the future as God Almighty's Word and throne.
1. Eternal and Omnipotent Justice has decreed it.
2. Revelation declares it on almost every page.
3. The providence of God illustrates and confirms His Word.
II. IT IS SURE, IN DUE TIME, TO FALL UPON THE SINNER IN ALL THE TERRIBLENESS OF ITS POWER AND SEVERITY.
1. Here mercy tempers justice. Here wrath is restrained and grace works. Here the blood and intercession of Jesus Christ, and the tears and prayers of the Church, prevail to mitigate the severity of God's anger.
2. This is the world of probation, not of final award.
3. The day of reckoning is appointed after death.
4. "The wrath of the Lamb" will not break forth till the great day of assize shall have come. So that all we know and see of the Divine wrath against sin and incorrigible sinners, in this life, is only an "earnest" of that awful tempest that will burst in fury upon the ungodly when "the great day of His wrath" shall have come.
III. THIS WRATH WILL BE JUSTLY DESERVED. It might have been turned aside; voluntary sin, and the persistent refusal of mercy and grace, will have provoked it. It is not simply the wrath of a God of eternal righteousness, hating all iniquity and bound to vindicate outraged justice in the interest of good government; but it is also "the wrath of the Lamb," kindled by slighted love, by rejected mercy, by the blood of the covenant counted an unholy thing, by all His bloody sweat and agony and intercession despised!
(J. M. Sherwood, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;