Prepare you war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! for the day goes away…
I. THE APPOINTED PERIOD OF GRACE IS COMING RAPIDLY TO A CONCLUSION. "The day goeth away." It has been enjoyed in the fulness of its privileges. It has been for some, far protracted. But while unimproved, it has tended only to increase the guilt and danger of the soul. For fifty years the Redeemer has called upon some now aged sinner to turn to Him and live. How difficult is it to arouse him to a consciousness, or belief, of the privileges which are yet remaining, and of the duty which yet rests upon him! The recollection of wasted opportunities drives him to despair.
II. THE SHORT PERIOD OF GRACE NOW REMAINING. He set out early in the morning to go astray from God. Through the whole day, he has been pressing forward in his course, with unabating rapidity. And now, when the shadows of the evening are stretched out, and exhausted nature is asking for repose; alas, is this an hour in which to commence the journey of a day? Death now stands at the door. The line which separates him from eternity, has dwindled to a hair. And he is tempted to yield to total despair of escaping at all from the ruin which is so close upon him. The difficulty which his own heart presents as thus arising from his shortened remaining period of probation, Satan employs as a temptation to him, to be quiet and careless under his conscious load of sin.
III. THE INCREASED HARDNESS OF HIS OWN HEART. When young, conviction of sin impressed his mind. His eyes could weep under the preaching of the Gospel. He then often felt strongly excited towards a life of holiness and piety. But now he has no such feelings. The rain which descends to refresh others, seems rather to hasten his decay. The summer and the harvest have passed without advantage, and every succeeding day of autumn seems only to dry, and harden, and seal up the earth against the arrival of a frost-bound and cheerless winter.
IV. THE PRIDE OF CHARACTER WHICH IS ALWAYS AN ATTENDANT UPON ADVANCED PERIODS OF LIFE. The heart may be often moved, the conscience awakened, and the emotions aroused, in the bosom of an aged transgressor, and a strong desire be felt, to lay down his burden, and find peace in believing in Jesus. But an assumed dignity and coolness of manner are drawn over a broken, bleeding spirit, because an acknowledgment of these awakened feelings will be so humiliating to the age and station of the individual concerned. But there remains no other course of safety. To this humbling ground, sinful man must be brought, or he will assuredly perish.
(S. H. Tyng, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.