You that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;…
Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near. This is another denunciation addressed to the great men in Zion and Samaria. They are said "to keep the day of calamity afar off, and bring the seat of violence near" (Delitzsch). Three remarks are suggested by these words.
I. ALL MEN HAVE AN "EVIL DAY" IN THEIR FUTURE. Even the holiest men, men whose path through life has been most calm and prosperous, have to expect certain calamities that befall all. There are trials common to all men, whatever their condition or character - afflictions, bereavements, infirmities; these await most men. There is one evil day, however, for us all. Death is in many respects an "evil day." What mysterious sufferings it generally involves! What privileges and pleasures it terminates! What disruptions it produces! Sinner, thy death will be an evil day; and it is before thee, and it is nearer now than ever.
II. SOME MEN ADJOURN IN THOUGHT THIS "EVIL DAY." They "put far away the evil day." Ungodly men put this evil day so far on in the course of time that they seldom discern it and never realize it. It is a mere speck, seldom visible on the horizon of many years of unclouded sunshine. Why do men adjourn in thought this evil day?
1. Not because they have any doubt as to its advent. No day is more certain. Sooner shall all the wheels of nature be stopped than the sun of this day fail to break on every eye. "It is appointed to men once to die."
2. Not because they lack reminders of its approach. Every physical pain, every tolling knell, every funeral procession, every graveyard - all remind us almost every moment that our evil day is coming. Why, then, adjourn the thought? The reason is found:
1. In the strength of our material attachments.
2. In our dread of the mysterious.
3. In our lack of interest in the spiritual and material.
4. In our conscious want of preparation for the scenes of retribution.
III. NONE WHO ADJOURN THIS "EVIL DAY" IN THOUGHT CAN DELAY IT IN FACT. "And cause the seat of violence to come near." Perhaps what is meant here is that these men so ignored their coming calamities that by their conduct they hastened them on. Ignoring the evil day, they pursued such a course of injustice, falsehood, dishonesty, sinful indulgence, and impiety as served to bring it nearer. Thus the more they put it off in thought the nearer it drew, because they became more self-destructive in their conduct. A general truth is suggested here, viz. that a man who adjourns all thought of his end will pursue such a course of conduct as will hasten its approach. Some men imagine that by thinking upon death they will hasten its advent; hence their dread of making wills. But such is not the fact. He who keeps the evil day in view, rightly regards it, prepares for it, will render such a practical obedience to the laws of health as to delay rather than hasten it. "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;