You that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
By the "evil day" must be meant the day of account and reckoning which comes to all men and to all communities. As surely as there is a moral government and a moral Governor in the universe, so surely must all reasonable and intelligent natures be held responsible for their conduct and for their influence. Yet it is no unusual thing for men to follow the example of those who are censured in this verse.
I. THE THOUGHT OF A DAY OF ACCOUNT IS UNWELCOME TO THE UNFAITHFUL AND THE IRRELIGIOUS. Such persons need not be disbelievers in judgment, in accountability; they may accept the assurance of their own reason and conscience that an account must be rendered to the Judge of all. Yet, as the thought of a reckoning is one altogether repugnant to them, they persuade themselves that it may be indefinitely deferred. It must come, but it may not come yet; it may not come for a very long time; indeed, may be so remote that it need not be taken into consideration in arranging the plans of life. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."
II. THE DEFERRING OF THE THOUGHT OF THE DAY OF ACCOUNT WILL NOT DEFER THE DAY ITSELF. Moral law is never inoperative, is never suspended. Judgment lingereth not. The history alike of nations and of individuals proves that there is a Ruler on high, who is not remiss in carrying out his purposes. There is a reckoning in time; there will be a reckoning in eternity.
"Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small;
Though with patience he stands waiting, he exactly judgeth all." It is irrational and futile to imagine that by forgetting responsibility men can efface it. Such a supposition reminds of the action of the foolish ostrich who thrusts his head into a hush, and, because he loses sight of his pursuers, supposes that he has eluded them. There is no discharge in this war.
III. NEGLIGENCE CONCERNING RESPONSIBILITY MAY EVEN HASTEN THE APPROACH OF THE INEVITABLE DAY OF ACCOUNT. They who forget their accountability to God for their unfaithfulness are likely to be confirmed in their sinful courses; and, as iniquity abounds, judgment approaches. Thus the dreaded retribution is hastened rather than postponed; and the evil day which men would fain put far from them is brought near, and the tempest, which they dread and would avoid and escape, breaks upon them in all its force and fury. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;