See you not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?…
I. AS AN INDEX TO CHARACTER.
1. The streets are the pulse of commercial prosperity. The man who goes from a dull, sluggish place to a city of great business activity must quicken his pace, or get run over.
2. The street on which a man lives is no index to his character. It does not even indicate the amount of money he has. Not a few proud families stint their table to pay their rent on a costly street, in order to make or keep up appearances. Their fine street, to those who know the facts, is an index of their pretensions. Another man who has plenty of money lives on a cheap street, because he is too niggardly to pay rent for more comfortable quarters. To those who know him the street is an index of his meanness. A Christian man may choose to live on a cheap street, because he prefers to save money with which to do good. His street indicates self-denying liberality.
3. What can be seen on the streets of a city, however, is to a great extent an index of the character of its people. Dirty streets suggest dirty morals. If indecent handbills pollute the streets of a city, it indicates either sinful apathy, or a very low moral tone.
II. AS A TEST OF CHARACTER. To walk down one of our streets is to some men like going into a furnace. Their moral courage is tested at nearly every step. There is within them a demon of drink that can be waked from his sleep by the smell of a beer barrel. A deep-sea diver laid his hand on something soft, and curious to know what it was, he took hold of it to examine it. Fatal curiosity! The long tentacles of an octopus reached out and grasped him in its deadly embrace. The friends above, feeling the struggle, drew him to the surface, to find only a corpse still in the clutches of the monster. Many a young man has come from his pure country home to the great city, and, prompted by a curiosity excited by the signs on the streets, has entered one of these homes of the devil fish. Soon its slimy tentacles are wrapped around him, soul and body.
(A. C. Dixon, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
WEB: Don't you see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?