Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him…
This language is figurative, and may be deemed by some open to the charge of anthropomorphism. Yet it is very simple, very natural, and very expressive. God is represented as a king and warrior, who has been offended by his subjects, and who has come down from his palace at the head of his army, to chastise the rebellious; but who has been met with the language of submission and supplication, and whose wrath is averted, so that it is hoped that, instead of punishing he may. show mercy,.and may return to his palace, leaving behind him some tokens of his favour and forgiveness.
I. WHEN MEN THINK OF THEIR OWN ILL DESERTS, THEY MAY WELL FEAR THE CONSEQUENCES OF GOD'S NOTICE AND ACTION.
II. BUT WHEN THEY THINK OF GOD'S CHARACTER AND PROMISES, THEY MAY WELL CHERISH THE HOPE THAT HE WILL HAVE MERCY UPON THEM.
III. WHEN FAITHFUL AND REPENTANT, MEN MAY LOOK, NOT MERELY FOR THE REMISSION OF JUSTLY THREATENED PENALTIES, BUT FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF UNDESERVED BLESSINGS.
APPLICATION. If we were to think chiefly of our own sins and unworthiness, the utmost that we could do would be to cherish some faint hope that mercy might be extended to us. Those untaught by revelation, if they have any sense of their sinfulness, cannot go beyond this: "Who can tell if he will repent?" But those who are in possession of the glad tidings which are by Jesus Christ will be guilty of distrusting and dishonouring God, if this be their mental attitude. They have the express assurances of "him who cannot lie," and who has promised that the penitent and believing sinner shall be pardoned, and put into the enjoyment of all spiritual blessings. They are not, therefore, at liberty to doubt, but are bound to credit and to act upon the revelation of a faithful and merciful God. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?