The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said…
I. THE NATION'S RELATIONS WITH THEIR KING. They trusted their fate, their safety, their hopes,, into the hands of their king.
1. Observe how they regarded him. They called him "The breath of their nostrils" — that is, they considered him as dear and as necessary as the air they breathed. We are prone to make too much of human agents and earthly creatures, especially of the rich, noble, and great.
2. Observe how he disappointed them. They gave him honour, trust. They expected security and happiness. But when the city was besieged, he and all the men of war escaped through the king's garden. His cowardice, however, availed him nothing, for the Chaldeans overtook him and carried him to Babylon. Thus were the people's hopes and expectations painfully deceived, and the popular idol, instead of defending them, proved a cowardly and a miserable traitor, who suffered for his wretched conduct by being blinded, bound in chains, and kept in prison till the day of his death.
II. THE IMPORTANT INSTRUCTION DERIVED.
1. The folly of making popular idols. Whether regally, politically, or socially, they only bring disappointment, and for their own purposes will deceive and betray those who have reposed their trust in them.
2. The folly of seeking human help. God will take away or destroy that which He sees is likely to take our thoughts away from Him. Whatever we make the means of our forsaking or forgetting Him, He will make the instrument of chastising us.
Parallel VersesKJV: The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.