11. Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold,I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.
11. Propterea sic dicit Jehova, Ecce ego inducam (inducens, vel, induco) super eos malum, a quo non poterunt exire (hoc est, se explicare; ad verbum, quod non poterunt exire ab ipso) et clamabunt ad me et non audiam eos.
The Prophet now denounces on them a calamity; for it is probable that for many years he had been as their teacher threatening them, but all in vain. Hence he now confirms what we have before observed, -- that their impious conspiracy was fully known and proved, so flint they were not now to be called or drawn before the judge's tribunal, as they had so openly procured for themselves their own ruin.
He then says, that God was, as it were, armed to take vengeance; I will bring, he says, upon them an evil from which they shall not be able to go away Then he adds, and they shall cry to me, but I will not hear them By this latter clause he shews that no hope remained, as they could get no pardon from God, for he would no longer be entreated by them. The import of the whole is, -- that they were so given up to destruction, that it was in vain for them to expect God's mercy. God had indeed often promised in his law that he would be reconciled to them; but the Prophet says now that every hope was cut off, because they had rejected God's covenant. Hence, whatever God had promised respecting his kindness and mercy, belonged to them no longer.
Let us now learn also how to accommodate this doctrine to ourselves. And, first, we may remark, that there is a great difference between us, who have been plainly, and for a long time, taught what is the true and lawful worship of God, and those miserable people who were blind in darkness; hence much more atrocious is our sin and worthy of much heavier punishment. Then we may also add this, -- that though God may for a time bear with us, the whole time of his forbearance will have to be accounted for. There is no day in which God does not accuse us; and thus he rises early, and thus he shews us what concern he has for our salvation; but if we remain asleep in our sloth, a threatening this day is suspended over our heads, and especially when we consider that God comes nearer, as it were, to us than to his ancient people. And hence we may also learn how much less tolerable is our ingratitude. It ought, therefore, to be carefully noticed, that God is armed against those before whom he has set his word, not only for one day but for many years, when he has found that he has labored in vain; and that when he is offended with their obstinate wickedness, there is no more any remedy.
But it may be asked here, How is it that God declares here that he would not be propitious to the Israelites, though they even cried to him, when yet this promise so often occurs,
|Call on me, and I will hear thee?| (Psalm 50:15)
Though God does not everywhere use such words, yet in many places he makes this promise. But still it may appear inconsistent that he closes up the door of mercy against those who flee to his mercy. But in the next verse he shews what this cry would be; for had they from the heart repented, doubtless his pardon would never have been denied: but we shall presently see that these cries would be rambling, vagrant, and confused; so that they would not direct their prayers to God, nor observe the way which is made known to us all; for they would cry Without repentance and faith, according to what follows; for the Prophet says --