It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
We are all, in one sense, in " the hands of the living God" (Psalm 139:7-10). In conversion, too, the sinner, in some sense, "falls into the hands" of God. The alien is restored — the rebel is welcomed back again — the prodigal returns to his Father's house, and sinks into his Father's arms. Glorious privilege! — And yet, the sacred writer testifies, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Jehovah is here regarded as the God of vengeance. To fall into the hands of Jehovah as the unreconciled Thunderer, is certain ruin for the guilty soul of man. In that case, the righteous Governor fulfils upon the sinner the curses of the broken covenant of works; the dark and dreadful threatenings of His word upon the workers of iniquity are carried into execution; God meets men as an enemy, and His wrath blazes out against them. Nor does the mercy with which Christianity is suffused interfere with the execution of the threatenings of heaven upon those who finally reject the "great salvation." The very greatness of that salvation, and the very "meekness and gentleness of Christ," serve to aggravate their guilt, and to augment their punishment. Oh, now let the sinner fall into His hands as the hands of God in Christ, bidding him welcome to their kind and sheltering embrace; lest, hereafter, he "fall into His hands" as the hands of an avenging potentate — an unreconciled and desolating foe.
(A. S. Patterson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.