Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against You, for we have indeed forsaken our God and served the Baals."
He seems to deny the petition. Is this capricious? There is surely not only cause for it, but a purpose working through it.
I. THE AIM OF THE SEVERITY IS TO AWAKEN TRUE REPENTANCE. Inconvenience, discomfort, distress, humiliation may all be felt without true repentance. The latter arises from sorrow for and haired of sin as sin.
II. THIS IS SECURED by -
1. An appeal to memory of manifold deliverances and mercies.
2. Holding the sinner under the yoke of his own choosing when he no longer chooses it.
3. The temporary horror and despair of rejection. "I will deliver you no more." - M.
The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain.
So that we see that the negligence of the other tribes in suffering the forbidden nations to remain and wax strong caused these their brethren to be wronged, and to go without their due which God had allotted them. For if they had kept their enemies out they might have been able now to help this tribe of Dan: who, if the house of Joseph had not done more than the rest, they had been left almost without habitation. And by this way we may see that men's sins do not only redound to their own hurt, but also to the hurt of others. Whereas none are hurt, neither themselves, by those that fear to offend God, and be careful to do their duties, but they may receive great benefit thereby. But the other hurt many as well as themselves. As we see bad parents, what woe they hoard up for their unhappy children, as Ahab and the like. As also, how many souls doth an ignorant, idle, or scandalous minister destroy and cause to perish.
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