For the sake of Your name do not despise us; do not disgrace Your glorious throne. Remember Your covenant with us; do not break it.
I. AS SINNERS HAVE NO REASON FOR MERCY IN THEMSELVES, THEY MUST APPEAL TO GOD. Mere pity would be inadmissible as a motive to which to appeal. There is no ground of acceptance in the sinner himself, and consequently there remains only that course of action which will illustrate and glorify the character of God. That God had chosen Israel as his servant, and Jerusalem as the seat and center of the theocracy, are the only reasons that are valid in approaching him for mercy. Any course of action which would fail to give due respect to the attributes of his character or the purposes of his grace in the world is already forbidden when it is stated. God has been at pains to pledge himself to the ultimate salvation of men. His Name is itself a promise that no compromise shall be entered into or ineffectual means of salvation adopted. Therefore the necessity of Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. In him the justice of God is honored, and his Name revealed in the hearts of men. It is only as the gospel is perceived as the offspring of the purest, highest motives on the part of God that it can call into existence corresponding motives in the sinner himself.
II. To THE SAINT THE HONOR OF GOD SHOULD EVER BE OF MORE ACCOUNT THAN HIS OWN WELFARE. "For Christ's sake" is a formula in which much of this feeling is implicitly expressed. The exigencies of God's kingdom, the furtherance of his purposes of love and grace, the recognition of the principles of righteousness, are essential to a true Christian life as to true prayer. And the keenest susceptibility should be felt to any conduct on the part of God's servants which would seem to injure his cause in the world or to misrepresent his character.
III. GOD'S NAME IS PLEDGED TO AND BOUND UP WITH THE SALVATION OF MEN. It seems a daring and wondrous plea to urge in the presence of him with whom we have to do; but it is the only one which we can truly offer, and it is of infinite avail. If we accept Christ as representing the honor and righteousness of God, are we not assured that every prayer truly offered in his name shall be answered? The welfare and usefulness of God's servants are guaranteed by such a consideration, and we cannot offer it too often or insist upon it with too great earnestness. - M.
Do not abhor us.I. THE LEADING INDICATIONS OF A PEOPLE EXPOSED TO THAT ALARMING CONDITION WHICH THE PROPHET HERE SO PATHETICALLY DEPRECATES.
1. Unfruitfulness under the means of religious and moral improvement (Luke 13:6). When the recipients of so many favours, instead of being fruitful, bring forth no good fruit at all, or fruit that is positively bad; when, instead of acting suitably to such high advantages, they shew that they are insensible of them; when, instead of being devout, they are impious; when, instead of standing in awe of God, they profane His holy name; when, instead of regarding His ordinances, they despise them; when, instead of being humble, meek, and merciful, they are proud, overbearing, and injurious; and, instead of ascribing to the bounteous Giver of all good, the glory that is due to Him for His liberality towards them, by a holy, reverential, and submissive deportment, they disregard His authority: — most assuredly, if there is any justice in the Divine nature, and any discernment in the Divine administration, such a people are "nigh unto cursing," and are rapidly advancing towards that state which is deprecated in the text.
2. A public and general contempt of religion. All things go well so long as God and Him service are reverenced; because there is a firmness, an energy, and a greatness in every effort put forth for the public weal, which, through the blessing of God, can scarcely fail to render it effectual. But, on the other hand, when God is despised; when His existence and authority are treated as merely ideal; when no influence is produced upon human agency by the greatness and purity of His character, or the rectitude and perfection of His counsels; when it acknowledges no higher principle than self-interest, or the gratification of the inferior appetites of our nature — then all things run into confusion. In confirmation of this, we have the remarkable testimony even of the heathen Polybius, one of the most judicious historians of ancient Rome. "When the Romans," says he, "left off consulting the gods, when they began to disregard the institutions of religion, or to laugh at things sacred, then fell the glory of the empire. The wisdom of the senator forsook him, and the heart of the soldier melted at the face of the foe. The State had no friend, because every man was a friend only to himself, and the gods forsook them because they were despised."
3. Levity and insensibility under the Divine judgments. How natural to conclude, when a child continues thoughtless, perverse, and obstinate, under the frowns of an indulgent parent, that he is fast approaching to destruction: and how just, as well as natural, is the conclusion; since the parent having tried all means, but in vain, to reclaim him, seems in a measure compelled to throw him off, and since the child himself seems bent on renouncing parental protection, were it even forced upon him. And no less just and natural is it to draw a similar conclusion in the case of nations, when they despise the chastenings of Omnipotence. To these He has recourse, only when all other means have proved ineffectual. If, then, when He strikes they feel it not, and instead of being brought to repentance, obstinately persist in their folly and inconsideration, what is to be looked for but their perdition?
II. HOW SUITABLE THE LANGUAGE AND TEMPER OF THE PRAYER IN THE TEXT IS TO US, "O Lord, do not abhor us for Thy name's sake."
1. It is expressive of that temper of mind, which is most suited to the guilt which we have contracted, and the dangers to which we are exposed.(1) It supposes, that as children, who have long resisted the kind intentions of our heavenly Father, trifled with His goodness, and abused His grace, we see ourselves about to be cast off by an awful exertion of His justice; and that, deeply alarmed at our situation, sensible of our unworthiness, and that the very fate which we dread, is what we actually merit, we run to Him at the very moment, and cry, O Lord, abhor us not; cast us not off forever. We deserve it, but stay Thy hand. Foolish, and rebellious, and perverse as we have been, we cannot bear the frowns of Thine indignation, or to be finally excluded from Thy favour.(2) It implies the utmost earnestness, and the very feeling of present and immediate repentance. It supposes that the individuals who use it are actually lying low in the dust, under the sense of immediate danger, and calling out for immediate relief. And most assuredly there is no room for procrastinating.
2. It also peculiarly becomes us, because it is enforced by the only argument fit to be urged by guilty creatures, and the only argument which we can urge with effect.(1) Review all the circumstances in your case. Single out what you conceive to be the most alleviating, and the most favourable — and then say, is there one of these which you can use as an argument why a pure and holy God should not abhor you?(2) But beware of using this language in a cold and formal manner, and without those distressing apprehensions of danger, and those bitter feelings of repentance, which Jeremiah so evidently cherished when he uttered it. This, instead of appeasing the Divine wrath which has gone forth against us, will rather provoke it more than ever; and instead of averting the Divine judgments, will rather accelerate their accomplishment.
(J. Somerville, D. D.)
TopicsAbhor, Agreement, Annul, Break, Broken, Contemn, Covenant, Despise, Disgrace, Disgust, Dishonor, Dishonour, Glorious, Glory, Honour, Mind, Name's, Remember, Sake, Seat, Shame, Spurn, Throne
Outline1. The grievous famine,
7. causes Jeremiah to pray.
10. The Lord will not be entreated for the people.
13. false prophets are no excuse for them.
17. Jeremiah is moved to complain for them.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesJeremiah 14:20-22
6746 sanctification, means and results
'O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do Thou it for Thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against Thee. 8. O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest Thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? 9. Why shouldest Thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by Thy name; leave us not.'--JER. xiv. 7-9. …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
How Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
The First Commandment
Question of the Contemplative Life
A Message from the Crowned Christ
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