Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering…
I. IN WHAT THEY CONSIST.
1. By the "goodness" of God! understand those providential mercies which surround us, and ought to lead us to acknowledge Him, and those which are manifested in His calling sinners "out of darkness into His marvellous light:" We are to bear in mind that there was no one single thing in man which could attract or merit God's goodness, but that all sprang from God's sovereign grace.
2. The "forbearance" of God is His withholding the judgments which are due to His enemies (Romans 3:24, etc.).
3. The "long suffering" of God is manifested —
(1) By the plenteousness of redemption. We can understand that plenteousness —
(a) By looking at the will of God. He does not desire "that any should" perish, but that all should come to repentance.
(b) By the infinite price that has been paid.
(c) By the extent to which that redemption reaches.
II. THE RIGHT USE OF THESE RICHES.
1. The awakening of our better affections. There is a sorrow for sin which "worketh death," and a sorrow which "needs not to be repented of." When we realise the greatness of God's goodness there will be a greatness of love toward God — e.g., take the history of the woman spoken of in Luke 7. When we truly understand the extent of sin which has been pardoned, the depths of misery from which we have been extricated, the heights of glory to which we are to be admitted, then, and not till then, will our hearts burn with love towards God.
2. To teach us the exceeding sinfulness of sin — that we are sinning not only against One whose eyes are too pure "to look upon iniquity," but against One who is good, and to lead us therefore to repentance.
III. THEIR ABUSE. How common is it that men live and die despising the riches of God's love! Take the case of temporal mercies. How many speak of their good fortune, their success, never considering that these things came from God! And if we turn to the subject of our gracious mercies, how many are there who presume upon the continuance of those mercies, and determine to indulge in sin, as if there were no reckoning time for them (Ecclesiastes 8). There are many who misrepresent God's forbearance as though He were overlooking sin. Many are there who, when they learn the exceeding riches of His grace, suppose that sin can therefore be of no consequence (Jeremiah 7:9, 10).
Parallel VersesKJV: Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?