Behold, the LORD will carry you away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover you.
Behold, the Lord will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee. These threatenings of the Almighty had mercy at the heart of them. Captivity was a drastic remedy, but it once and again saved the health of Israel It was a time of home-longing and sickness of heart. It was a time when the old religious memories flooded the heart till they filled it with an aching sense of shame for sin, and supplication for mercy.
I. GOD CARRIED THEM AWAY. The enemies of Israel were but instruments in the hands of Jehovah. He reigned over their interests as truly then as in their more prosperous day. "The day is thine, the night also is thine." And in the Captivity, God was disciplining the people as no other dispensation could. Their lofty looks were changed for penitential tears, and their proud hearts were brought low. God would, in due time "turn again the captivity of Israel;" and the Law would be read again, and not only be read, but be "lived."
II. THE CAPTIVITY WAS A MIGHTY ONE. It occurred to a mighty multitude; it affected mighty interests; and it produced, mighty results. For this people God had formed for himself, to show forth his praise. We have to learn the lesson too. How tremendous are the powers of grief and loss, change and sickness, under which God often brings his children captive now! We are "prisoned" by pain and circumstance. In our hours of solitude and sorrow, God renews our will, separates the chaff from the wheat in our character, and meetens us for service here and for the inheritance of the saints in light hereafter.
III. THE COVERING WAS SURE. They were not cast away; they were only cast down. The almighty wings were still over them. In strange lands, amid strange faces, and listening to strange voices, they could not sing the Lord's song in a strange land. But the time of joy was to return. God was very near them still, and none could really harm them. What a covering! Not the mere roof of the home; not the mere outward raiment; but the Lord himself' was there, spreading his shield over them, when they were away from the munitions of rocks and from the defenses of dear Jerusalem. Sure! That is what we want. He also is our Dwelling-place in all generations and under all skies. - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.