But you shall say to them, This is a nation that obeys not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receives correction: truth is perished…
All along, from Ver. 21, this is the theme, viz. the disobedience of Israel. Now, to give fall force to a charge of disobedience there must be the means of furnishing ample proofs that directions have first been given - plain, earnest, and authoritative. And this is just what we find here. God refers his people back over the long years in which, by divers agencies, he had laid before them his righteous and beneficent will. What he commended was for his glory; for his glory because for his people's good; for his people's good because for his glory. The present state and prospects of the people are very humiliating, but assuredly no part of their humiliation can be laid to the charge of their God. The cloudy and the fiery pillar was but a symbol of most distinct guidance for the whole heart. The people were not suffered to wander for lack of expostulation and warning. When a lad turns out badly, criticizing speech is often directed against the parents, as if somehow they must be at fault. They may be at fault indeed, but there is no must in the matter. Hasty criticism at such a time, from the very injustice of it, adds a cruel intensity to the pain and disappointment already existing. But hasty criticism cannot be silenced by merely deprecating it, and parents at such moments would do well to remember that they stand in relations to their disobedient children not unlike those in which, as is represented here, Jehovah stood towards Israel of old. The most loving and watchful and patient of parents never did for his children near so much as Jehovah did for Israel. There was the instruction of their wonderful career, in which God had moved so sublimely among them. There were the ten commandments, formulated so distinctly, and set in such a grand historical frame. There were all the rites and ceremonies filled with instructing power to those who would seek to understand them. And there was also, accumulating generation after generation, the great mass of prophetic truth. Man is what he is, not for want of light, but for want of disposition to use and obey the light when it appears. There is an indisposition to attend to truth and to fidelity in all duty, until at last the very feeling of what faithfulness and righteousness are vanishes from the breast. But still the excuse is attempted, and persisted in with shameless impudence, that the word which professes to come from God must have in it something defective, something that effectually prevents it from being received. But it is only from the unrenewed mind that talk of this kind comes. Those who have had their eyes opened to the truth of God soon begin to discern that in that truth there is no lack of guidance, or inspiration, or comfort, or any good thing which can uplift and satisfy the heart. And we may be sure that God, who has given this immense and fruitful body of truth, has brought it nearer to the individual conscience than the individual in his perversity will always acknowledge. Men are indulged too much in the complaint that nobody has spoken to them about their souls. A miserable egotism often lies at the bottom of such complaining. If they know by any means whatever - and it matters not how slight the hint may be-that there is something written for the obedience of all mankind and for their consequent advantage, then these complainers are bound to attend to it. Men are not so foolish in the quest of worldly gains. Then they will go upon the slightest hint, and follow it up discreetly and warily. Why, then, should they be so foolish in the matter of spiritual gain? Because "truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth." - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
WEB: You shall tell them, This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Yahweh their God, nor received instruction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.