Public Calamity a Call to Private Humiliation
Ezekiel 14:19-20
Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury on it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:…

Depend upon it, we have need, and as the years roll away we shall have more and more need, to remind ourselves of the unseen Hand which sends us our blessings or withdraws them from us. New appliances of mechanical skill have a tendency to keep God out of our sight. The simple machinery which depended on the wind or the stream for motion did not suffer men so easily to forget their immediate dependence on God. His agency is half obscured when they become independent of the breath of heaven, and of the moisture which cometh down from above. And so there is a constant danger of our lapsing into practical atheism, if we allow ourselves, in the mere contemplation of a natural law apart from its Divine Author; or attend to its results, without adverting to the revealed cause of its operation. It is no disparagement to natural science to declare that, pursued in any but a godly spirit, it sometimes has a tendency to obscure the vision of God: to interpose hard names and technical phrases between Him and ourselves; and practically to keep Him out of our sight. Nay, the very progress of civilisation, the increase of wealth and refinement and luxury — all have the same tendency. The table daily spread without our care helps to keep God out of sight. And the special value of Scripture is seen in the unconditional and most unceremonious way in which it brushes aside this web of words; puts God, the Giver, prominently forward; and vindicates His absolute Sovereignty in creation. When Christ says, "He maketh His sun to rise," — His language is altogether unscientific, to be sure; but He declares a truth which to the devout soul is of paramount importance; namely, that the heavenly bodies are all His creatures; and that, in reality, the phenomena which attend them are but the visible expression of His will. While thoughtful men are investigating the natural history of a calamity which, unless it be stayed, will inevitably press with terrible severity on the poor; — which, if it spreads, may bring contagion to all our doors, — occasion death within our homes and darken every domestic hearth; — "a more excellent way" is revealed to us in Holy Scripture; a method which is within the reach of us all. I allude, of course, to individual acts of repentance, — personal efforts after holiness, — the heartfelt use of private prayer. The special mention of three of God's chiefest saints "Noah, Daniel, and Job," reminds us that we must as individuals seek to turn away God's anger from this Church and nation. What, above all, shall be said of our unconcern for the spiritual wants of the benighted heathen, — of our own countrymen in foreign parts, of our fellow citizens here at home?

(Dean Burgon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:

WEB: Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath on it in blood, to cut off from it man and animal;

Illustrious Piety
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