Render to them a recompense, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.…
Our conscience requires and approves of justice. Our weakness is too often in danger of cherishing resentment and malevolence. It is not safe, on most men's part, to hope for retribution upon their personal enemies. Perhaps the record of Jeremiah's feelings is not intended to be taken for an inculcation, or even a permission, of such imprecations upon our foes.
I. THE GROUND UPON WHICH DIVINE JUDGMENT IS INVOKED.
1. It was not personal offence given which suggested such a cry for vengeance.
2. It was the overt, deliberate conduct of men who acted in disobedience and defiance towards God, and with inhumanity and barbarity towards their fellow men.
II. THE TRIBUNAL TO WHICH THE CONDUCT OF THE WICKED IS REFERRED.
1. Not the fallible court of human justice or human requital.
2. But the court of Divine equity, in which none receives good for evil, in which every plea for mitigation of sentence is heard, and from which none can depart with a complaint upon the lips.
III. THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH RETRIBUTION IS IMPLORED.
1. Not for the gratification of vindictive feelings.
2. Not for the exaltation of the oppressed at the expense of the oppressor.
3. But for the speedy deliverance of God's wronged and harassed people.
4. For the advancement of God's cause upon earth. For the honour of God's glorious Name. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.