And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house…
I. THE PERSONS MENTIONED. Those that sigh and cry, etc. From whence we may observe, that such persons there are that do so, and it is their duty so to do, even to sigh and cry for the abominations, all of them, that are done in the midst of the city.
1. Out of their inward hatred and antipathy, even to sin itself.
2. Out of love to God, and a tenderness of His honour and glory.
3. Out of respect to themselves, and their own advantage. The more sin there is abroad, the more are all men concerned in it; not only evil men but good, who are from hence in so much the greater danger; and that in a twofold respect, both as to matter of defilement and of punishment. They are more in danger from hence to be polluted, and they are more in danger from hence to be afflicted; and this makes them to be so much troubled at it.
4. The servants of God have herein also a respect to others, even sometimes to wicked men themselves, whom considered as men they lament for, while they are guilty of such and such miscarriages. Those that cannot mourn for themselves, through the obstinacy of themselves; yet they have in those cases others better than themselves to mourn for them.
(1) Here are the expressions of sorrow, and they are two, "sighing" and "crying." The first signifies such a mourning as is more secret, and retired in itself. The second signifies such a mourning as is more open, and exposed to observation. Both of them such as are agreeable to the occasion and business here in hand. Those that are the servants of God, they do both of them upon these occasions; they do both inwardly conceive grief and also they do outwardly express it. The second is the occasion of these expressions, and that is the abominations that are committed. That which is abominable should especially be abominated by us. The third thing is the extent of the commission, both in the word of universality, all; and of place, in the midst of the city. This shows how far these abominations had spread, and what footing they had got amongst them. as matter of just bewailing and lamentation to them.
II. A SPECIAL CARE OR REGARD WHICH IS HAD OF THEM. Go and set a mark upon the foreheads of them that, etc.
1. It is a mark of honour and observation; such persons as these are, they are highly esteemed and accounted of by God Himself.
2. It is a mark of preservation likewise, and that especially; it is such a mark as whereby God does distinguish them from other persons in the execution of His judgments, which He does graciously exempt them from. Now, the reason of God's indulgence to such persons as are thus affected is especially upon this account —
(1) Because they are such as do more especially honour God, and glorify Him, both in His attributes and providence; and those that honour Him He will honour, and He will also protect.
(2) Such as these, they do close, and comply with Him in the way of His judgment; therefore He will be more gracious to them. They come off to Him in those ends which He propounds to Himself in His visitations, and so prevent Him, and save Him a labour. And God loves not at all to afflict more than needs must.
III. THERE ARE DIVERS SORTS OF PERSONS IN THE WORLD, WHICH COME SHORT OF THIS DUTY.
1. Those that practise the abominations are far enough from mourning for them, and so consequently far enough from this privilege here mentioned in the text, of having a mark set upon them.
2. Such that do encourage others in wickedness, and not only not restrain them, but rather countenance them, and further them in it.
3. Which is a lower degree of it, which do not lay the sins and abominations to their heart, which are not humbled for them, when it concerns them, and becomes them to be. As we desire that God should not judge us, it concerns us to judge ourselves.
(T. Herren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;