And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:…
In that day did the Lord God of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth. These are the Eastern signs and expressions of penitence and humiliation; as may be illustrated in the case of Nineveh, which repented at the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:5-9). God calls on the people to "lament their sins, by which they had brought these judgments upon their land, and to dispose themselves to a reformation of theft lives by a holy seriousness, and a tenderness of heart under the Word of God." God is ever, and has ever been, in various ways, calling men to repentance, because men are sinful, and constantly grieving him and ruining themselves by their willfulness.
I. GOD'S CALLS TO PENITENCE BY HIS PROPHETS. From Enoch (Jude 1:15), and Noah, to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, etc. It is the burden of prophecy. Their voice is ever crying, "Put away the evil of your doings."
II. GOD'S CALLS TO PENITENCE BY THE SILENT MARCH OF EVENTS. See the plea of Joel on foretelling invasions (Joel 2:12-14). "Coming events cast their shadows before," and those shadows ought to prove calls of God to thought and moral preparation.
III. GOD'S CALLS TO PENITENCE BY THE REVEALED WORD. "When God threatens us with his judgments he expects and requires that we humble ourselves under his mighty hand, that we tremble when the lion roars, and in a day of adversity consider" (Matthew Henry).
IV. GOD'S CALLS TO PENITENCE BY JOHN BAPTIST. A most remarkable person, as standing on the dividing line between the new and old dispensations. He carries forward into the new God's great demand in the old, "Repent." And he shows that moral preparation by repentance is the threshold of the new kingdom of forgiveness, acceptance, and grace.
V. GOD'S CALLS TO PENITENCE BY THE LORD JESUS AND HIS APOSTLES. They still demand repentance. Our Lord sends his apostles out with this message, and the apostles in the Pentecostal time, and in their letters, plead, saying, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you."
VI. GOD'S CALLS TO PENITENCE IN MODERN PREACHING. In this, more than in any other aspect of revealed truth, modern preaching fails. The ministers of the present day have no oppressive burden from the Lord, almost making them run away like Jonah - a burden of demanding "repentance of sin." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth: