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Complacent Self-Indulgence Will Be Punished

 6

Alas for those who are at ease in Zion,

and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria,

the notables of the first of the nations,

to whom the house of Israel resorts!

2

Cross over to Calneh, and see;

from there go to Hamath the great;

then go down to Gath of the Philistines.

Are you better than these kingdoms?

Or is your territory greater than their territory,

3

O you that put far away the evil day,

and bring near a reign of violence?

 

4

Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory,

and lounge on their couches,

and eat lambs from the flock,

and calves from the stall;

5

who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp,

and like David improvise on instruments of music;

6

who drink wine from bowls,

and anoint themselves with the finest oils,

but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!

7

Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile,

and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.

 

8

The Lord God has sworn by himself

(says the Lord, the God of hosts):

I abhor the pride of Jacob

and hate his strongholds;

and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.

 

9 If ten people remain in one house, they shall die. 10And if a relative, one who burns the dead, shall take up the body to bring it out of the house, and shall say to someone in the innermost parts of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” the answer will come, “No.” Then the relative shall say, “Hush! We must not mention the name of the Lord.”

 

11

See, the Lord commands,

and the great house shall be shattered to bits,

and the little house to pieces.

12

Do horses run on rocks?

Does one plow the sea with oxen?

But you have turned justice into poison

and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood—

13

you who rejoice in Lo-debar,

who say, “Have we not by our own strength

taken Karnaim for ourselves?”

14

Indeed, I am raising up against you a nation,

O house of Israel, says the Lord, the God of hosts,

and they shall oppress you from Lebo-hamath

to the Wadi Arabah.

 


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Verses 1–7

Those are looked upon as doing well for themselves, who do well for their bodies; but we are here told what their ease is, and what their woe is. Here is a description of the pride, security, and sensuality, for which God would reckon. Careless sinners are every where in danger; but those at ease in Zion, who are stupid, vainly confident, and abusing their privileges, are in the greatest danger. Yet many fancy themselves the people of God, who are living in sin, and in conformity to the world. But the examples of others' ruin forbid us to be secure. Those who are set upon their pleasures are commonly careless of the troubles of others, but this is great offence to God. Those who placed their happiness in the pleasures of sense, and set their hearts upon them, shall be deprived of those pleasures. Those who try to put the evil day far from them, find it nearest to them.

Verses 8–14

How dreadful, how miserable, is the case of those whose eternal ruin the Lord himself has sworn; for he can execute his purpose, and none can alter it! Those hearts are wretchedly hardened that will not be brought to mention God's name, and to worship him, when the hand of God is gone out against them, when sickness and death are in their families. Those that will not be tilled as fields, shall be abandoned as rocks. When our services of God are soured with sin, his providences will justly be made bitter to us. Men should take warning not to harden their hearts, for those who walk in pride, God will destroy.




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