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The Prophet is here preaching, though in Egypt, in the same strain of reproof as before. And the Lord foretells by him the destruction of that kingdom.
Never surely could anything be more gracious than the Lord's repeated expostulations with the people. The Lord follows them into Egypt, whither they had fled in direct defiance of God's word; and yet even here, the same patience and long suffering is set forth. Reader! do not overlook, in Israel's history, our own. Every part and portion of God's word, and every providence, preacheth now as much as then, to the same amount; I am God, and not man, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:9 .
While we remark the patience and long suffering of the Lord; are we not compelled no less to remark, and be astonished at the impudence, and incorrigible hardness of the human heart? Was there ever an example of more daring impiety, than what is here represented? Alas! how sin hardens. Well may every poor sinner, who reads it, exclaim in the language of that prayer, from pride and hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; good Lord, deliver us! The idol here spoken of, the queen of heaven, to whom the wives of the people paid homage, very probably, was the Moon. Under the influence of this planet, they conceived, that they had favourable seasons. And it is likely, that in conjunction with the Moon, they worshipped also the other heavenly bodies - Alas! how fallen! Acts 7:42-44 .
Here the Lord compels them to look back, and trace the causes or all their past calamity. The idolatry of themselves, and their fathers, had already brought upon them, and their land, the awful judgments which had prompted them to flee into Egypt.
Here the Lord calls upon them to be prepared for the destruction of Egypt. No place, no kingdom shall give shelter to those whom God will punish. In their own land, or in the land of strangers, the Lord will find them out, and will punish them. There is no darkness nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. Job 34:22 .
READER! we are engaged, in the perusal of this Chapter, in a most solemn and awful history. Israel, given up to idolatry, and their neck hardened against all the calls of the Lord's long suffering and patience. Let us pause over it, and remark the tremendous and fearful condition of such a state. There is, indeed, in every man, by nature, a blindness, an ignorance, and even an enmity, against God. Our wills, our inclinations, our faculties, are all on the side of rebellion; and until an act of grace is wrought upon the heart, there is none that will seek after God. But, when added to this, a judicial blindness follows, this is most alarming indeed! Thus the Lord by his servant proclaims, My people would not hearken to my voice, and Israel would none of me. Intimating the natural hardness and impenitency of the heart, shut up in unbelief. So I gave them up unto their own heart's lusts; and they walked in their own counsels. As if the Lord had said, Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone! Oh! precious, precious Lord Jesus! thou that art the hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof! blessed forever be thy gracious interposition, in coming to take away sin by the sacrifice of thyself! Lord! open our hearts, and keep them open by thy grace, that they may never more be shut against thee!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 44". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany