vs. 1-12 -
Not content with praying God to look upon them once more with favor
Divine Presence, such as they have experienced in the times of old, and
such as shall suffice to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies (vs. 1-
4). With profound humility confessing their manifold and grievous
iniquities, they beseech God once more, as their Father and Maker, to have
pity upon them, reminding Him of the desolate condition of
all His glory, in His might against the nations.
vs. 1-2 - Do something O Lord
Such an epiphany would make the Name of
Jehovah known far and wide - 62 times in Ezekiel
"and they shall know that I am the Lord"
Like the wonders of the Exodus
“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens!”- God “dwells in the
thick darkness’’ (2 Chronicles 6:1). “Thick clouds are a covering to
him” as He “walketh in the circuit of heaven” (Job 22:14). The Church
would have the covering “rent,” and God show Himself openly, both to His
people and to their enemies – “That thou wouldest come down!” God “came
down” on Sinai in the sight of all the people (Exodus 19:11, 20). David
saw Him in vision “bow the heavens and come down; and there was
darkness under His feet” (Psalm 18:9). “That the mountains might flow
down” - or, quake. When God descended on Sinai, “the whole mount quaked
greatly” (Exodus 19:18). When He appeared to David, “the earth shook and
trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken”
(Psalm 18:7). When He was seen of Elijah, “a great and strong wind rent the
mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; and after the
wind was an earthquake” (1 Kings 19:11). Micah saw the Lord “coming forth
out of His place,” and “the mountains were molten under Him, and the
valleys cleft” (Micah 1:3-4)
v. 4 - negative side of traditional interpretation of Paul's writings – compare
I Corinthians 2:9
v. 6 – A MORAL LEPROSY IS UPON US!
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as
filthy rags – or as a menstruous garment; (compare Lamentations 1:17b)
and we do all fade as a leaf"
v. 7 - "and there is none" - reminder of Romans 3:10-18
A general lethargy and apathy - men's sins are their masters and exercise a
tyrannical control which they quite often cannot resist.
“that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee” - This expresses
more than mere prayer; it is earnest, intense, “effectual fervent’’ prayer.
Perhaps none among the exiles may have been capable of such supplication
as this, especially as God had hid His face from them, and no longer looked
on them with favor – “And hast consumed us, because of our iniquities”
rather, and hast delivered us into the power (literally, hand) of our
iniquities. Men’s sins are their masters, and exercise a tyrannical control
over them, which they are often quite unable to resist (comp. Ezekiel
33:10, “If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in
them, how should we then live?”). God at times judicially delivers the
wicked into the power of their sins (see Romans 1:24, 26, 28).
v. 8 - "But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou
our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand"
Thy hands have made us and fashioned us, both as individuals and as
a nation. Thou hast lavished thy labour and thy skill upon us. Surely
thou wilt not “forsake the work of thine own hands” (Psalm 138:8).
v. 9 - "neither remember iniquity" – God had already made a promise by
the mouth of Isaiah, “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy trangressions,
and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25 - The captives lay hold, as
it were, on this promise, and entreat that their “iniquity” may be not only
forgiven, but forgotten” - Jer. 31:34
v. 12 – “Wilt thou not refrain thyself for these things?” – vs. 10-11
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v. 4 - Man’s Ignorance of God’s Goodness to Him.
“For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath
the eye seen a God beside thee, which worketh for him that waiteth for
Him” (Revised Version). A very old weakness of humanity it is to try and
find somebody who may be preferred to God, and this comes out of the
fact that God is so very imperfectly known, or else is so very strangely
misunderstood. A hint is here given us of the reason why there is so much
misunderstanding of God — he has to be waited for. It is quite true of Him
that He is always working for us; but it is also true that He is often a long
time in the working out of His purposes. Then, because men cannot get
what they want done done quick, they foolishly begin to think that God
cannot do it for them, or will not do it for them. They fail to see the Lord’s
goodness. The point of impression may be, that in all the reviews we can
take of the past, God has surely wrought good things, even if he has been
long at the working. We may, therefore, cherish trustful thoughts
concerning Him, and be quite willing to leave the unfoldings of all the
future in His supreme control.
long time of preparation before He could manifest His Son, and,
through Him, teach the world the Divine fatherhood!
things were always long in coming.
hardest work nowadays is to hold fast the conviction that the Church is
sanctifying, for the process seems so long, and the waiting-time is so
has not had to learn the lesson of the goodness of God in what He holds
off, out of our reach, and makes us wait for and work for long? Do not
let us, then, ever mistake God. It is ours to wait for Him, and to wait on
Him, but we may hold the good cheer of this faith — He is surely
“working for every one that can wait for Him.” – (see Romans 8:28)
There is no standing steady for any of us who keep in our sins. If we
cannot find out how our iniquities can be taken away, we shall be sure
to find that our iniquities will take us away.