He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.…
But she seems, oftentimes, utterly insensible. The most bounteous gifts are bestowed on saint and sinner alike. No matter what outrages on all righteousness and goodness men may be guilty of, she takes no notice. No lightning-bolt leaps forth on the impious head, and the solid earth does not yawn to engulf the perpetrator of iniquity. But, nevertheless, Scripture speaks of Nature as if it were a conscious witness of the moral history of man, as here in our text (cf. also Isaiah 1:1; Micah 6:1; Deuteronomy 31:28). What is the import of this appeal, in which heaven and earth are called upon to bear record?
I. THE MATERIAL WORLD MAY BE THUS SUMMONED TO WITNESS, AS CONTAINING THE SCENES OF MAN'S CRIMES. Nature keeps a silent record of them in the associations of the places where they were committed. Bring the sinner to the scene of his past misdeeds, and he will sometimes feel as if all the objects around were endowed with a voice of reproachful reminiscence. How great is the power of local association, whether the deeds done there have boon noble or the reverse. There are places on which we wish never to look again because of that of which they remind us. Thus the whole earth may become full of such reminders, and so may be a faithful record to the eye that can read them.
II. BY ITS FULFILLING, IN CONTRAST WITH MAN, THE END OF ITS EXISTENCE. All things are judged as they answer to the ends for which they were made. How, then, does the material world witness against us.
III. As AFFORDING PROOF OF THE UNERRING CERTAINTY AND STRICTNESS OF THE DIVINE LAWS. Their operation is invisible and uniform; slow, oftentimes, but sure. Only the interposition of a higher law, as in the Redemption of Christ, can save the sinful man.
(John Caird, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.