You summoned my attackers on every side, as for the day of an appointed feast. In the day of the LORD's anger no one escaped or survived; my enemy has destroyed those I nurtured and reared.
I. THE COMPARISON BY WHICH THIS IS SET FORTH. "Thou hast called as in a solemn day." At certain periods there were vast commanded gatherings of the people to Jerusalem. They came from far and wide and from all parts of the compass, and so, as they converged upon Jerusalem, they might be justly said to encircle it. And encircling it, they did so with a definite purpose. They were as far as possible from being a mere promiscuous crowd, in which each one could come and go at his own sweet will. At the centre of the circle stood Jehovah, giving the commandment to each which brought them all together. And we may infer from the use of the comparison here that the commandment must have been generally complied with. It was, indeed, a commandment not very hard to obey, requiring as it did mere outwardness of obedience. People living in quiet country places would be glad of the reason for occasional visits to Jerusalem. Well would it have been if the people had tried to carry their obedience a little further! if, when the solemn assemblies had gathered together, there had been in them the right spirit! A gathering of bodies is not so hard, but a gathering of hearts in complete union and sympathy, perfectly responsive to the will of God, who shall secure that?
II. THE ASSEMBLY OF TERRORS AT GOD'S COMMAND. God called together the people, and they came; but when they came, instead of attending to God's will, they pursued their own. But now God is represented as calling together all the agents that can inflict pain upon man and cause him terror; and they come with one consent, folding Israel round with an environment which cannot be escaped. There is no ultimate escape for the selfish, sinful man. He may get the evil day put off; he may find gate after gate opening, as he thinks, to let him away from trouble and pain; but in truth he is only going deeper and deeper into the corner where he will be completely shut up. God can surround us with providences and protections if we are willing to trust him. No other power can surround us with causes of terror. Our own hearts may imagine a menacing circle, but it only exists in imagination. If we seek the Lord he will bear us and deliver us from all our fears (Psalm 34:4). But no one can deliver us from God's just wrath with all who are unrighteous. That God who breaks the circle with which his enemies seek to enclose his friends, also makes a circle in which those enemies must themselves be effectually enclosed. - Y.
Thou hast called...my terrors round about. 1.
God raiseth up the wickedest, and employeth them to punish His own servants when they sin (Isaiah 5:26
; Isaiah 8:7
2. None can escape God's punishments, whom He meaneth to punish (Psalm 139:7).
3. The children of impenitent sinners are often taken away, and prosper not to their comfort. In God's displeasure all things are accursed unto us (Deuteronomy 28:15).
At Dunkeld there is a high rock, forming a conspicuous feature in the landscape, It is covered at the top with pine trees, which stand out like spears against the skyline, and only here and there can you see the grey face of the rock itself, showing how steep and dangerous it is. At one time the rock was perfectly bare; and one of the Dukes of Athole, who had a perfect passion for planting trees everywhere, wished to cover it like the other heights around with wood. But it was found impossible to climb up to the crevices and ledges of the huge rock, in order to plant the young trees. One day, Alexander Naismith, the father of the great engineer, paid a visit to the duke's grounds; and when told about his grace's wish to adorn the rock with trees, he suggested a plan by which this might be accomplished. In front of the duke's castle he noticed an old cannon, which had been used for firing salutes on great occasions. He got this cannon removed to a convenient point near the rock; and then putting a large quantity of the seeds of pine and fir trees into a round tin canister, he rammed it into the mouth of the cannon with a charge of gunpowder, and fired it at the top of the rock. The canister, when it struck the rock, broke into bits and scattered the seeds in every direction. A great many of them fell into the nooks and crannies of the rock, where a little moss or soil had gathered; and with the first showers they began to sprout and send up their tiny shoots, which took firm hold of the rock. After years of slow and steadfast growth, for they had exceedingly little soil, they became trees which completely clothed the naked rock and made it one of the most picturesque parts of the landscape. Now, this was a very strange use to make of a cannon, and a very strange way of sowing seed. A cannon is usually employed to cause death and destruction. But on this occasion it was used to do good, to clothe a naked rock with beauty and fertility, to bring life out of death. It made a loud terrifying noise; it broke the rock in splinters, it burst the canister into fragments, but it scattered the seeds of life where they were wanted. Never was gunpowder employed in a more beneficent work! Now, God sometimes sows his seeds of eternal life by means of a cannon; He persuades men by terror. He says, indeed, of Himself, "Fury is not in Me." It is contrary to His nature; for He is love. And yet He is sometimes obliged to do things that terrify for His people's good. There are proud, lofty natures, full of conceit and self-sufficiency, that rise above their fellows in their own esteem, and lord it over them, and yet are bare and barren of any spiritual good thing, neither profitable to God nor man. If the seed of eternal life is to be sown at all in such lofty, inaccessible natures, it must be by means of a cannon. They must be persuaded by terror. God must thunder forth to them His warnings and invitations.
TopicsAnger, Annihilated, Appointed, Appointment, Arms, Assembly, Bore, Care, Cared, Consumed, Dandled, Destroyed, Destruction, Enemy, Escaped, Fears, Feast, Folded, Got, Hast, Hater, Holy, Invite, Kept, Lord's, Meeting, None, Nourished, Nursed, Reared, Remaining, Round, Safe, Solemn, Stretched, Summoned, Survived, Swaddled, Terrors, Wrath
Outline1. Jeremiah laments the misery of Jerusalem
20. He complains thereof to God
Dictionary of Bible ThemesLamentations 2:22
5360 justice, God
"Ye virgin souls, arise! With all the dead awake; Unto salvation wise; Oil in your vessels take: Upstarting at the MIDNIGHT CRY, Behold Your heavenly bridegroom nigh." Two brethren then offered prayer for the Church and the World, that the new year might be clothed with glory by the spread of the knowledge of Jesus.--Then followed the EXPOSITION Psalm 90:1-22 "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Yea Jehovah, WE, they children, can say that thou hast been our home, our safe …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856
Chel. The Court of the Women.
The Court of the Gentiles compassed the Temple and the courts on every side. The same also did Chel, or the Ante-murale. "That space was ten cubits broad, divided from the Court of the Gentiles by a fence, ten hand-breadths high; in which were thirteen breaches, which the kings of Greece had made: but the Jews had again repaired them, and had appointed thirteen adorations answering to them." Maimonides writes: "Inwards" (from the Court of the Gentiles) "was a fence, that encompassed on every side, …
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica
Appendix ix. List of Old Testament Passages Messianically Applied in Ancient Rabbinic Writings
THE following list contains the passages in the Old Testament applied to the Messiah or to Messianic times in the most ancient Jewish writings. They amount in all to 456, thus distributed: 75 from the Pentateuch, 243 from the Prophets, and 138 from the Hagiorgrapha, and supported by more than 558 separate quotations from Rabbinic writings. Despite all labour care, it can scarcely be hoped that the list is quite complete, although, it is hoped, no important passage has been omitted. The Rabbinic references …
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Departure from Ireland. Death and Burial at Clairvaux.
[Sidenote: 1148, May (?)] 67. (30). Being asked once, in what place, if a choice were given him, he would prefer to spend his last day--for on this subject the brothers used to ask one another what place each would select for himself--he hesitated, and made no reply. But when they insisted, he said, "If I take my departure hence I shall do so nowhere more gladly than whence I may rise together with our Apostle"--he referred to St. Patrick; "but if it behoves me to make a pilgrimage, and …
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh
That the Ruler Should be Discreet in Keeping Silence, Profitable in Speech.
The ruler should be discreet in keeping silence, profitable in speech; lest he either utter what ought to be suppressed or suppress what he ought to utter. For, as incautious speaking leads into error, so indiscreet silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed. For often improvident rulers, fearing to lose human favour, shrink timidly from speaking freely the things that are right; and, according to the voice of the Truth (Joh. x. 12), serve unto the custody of the flock by no means …
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great
Lii. Concerning Hypocrisy, Worldly Anxiety, Watchfulness, and his Approaching Passion.
(Galilee.) ^C Luke XII. 1-59. ^c 1 In the meantime [that is, while these things were occurring in the Pharisee's house], when the many thousands of the multitude were gathered together, insomuch that they trod one upon another [in their eagerness to get near enough to Jesus to see and hear] , he began to say unto his disciples first of all [that is, as the first or most appropriate lesson], Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [This admonition is the key to the understanding …
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel
The book familiarly known as the Lamentations consists of four elegies (i., ii., iii., iv.) and a prayer (v.). The general theme of the elegies is the sorrow and desolation created by the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.: the last poem (v.) is a prayer for deliverance from the long continued distress. The elegies are all alphabetic, and like most alphabetic poems (cf. Ps. cxix.) are marked by little continuity of thought. The first poem is a lament over Jerusalem, bereft, by the siege, …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
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