The treachery spoken of in the preceding chapter, is said in this to have been accomplished. Gedaliah the new governor is slain; and much confusion followeth.
I know not, Reader, what reflections the Lord awakens in your mind while prosecuting this sad history. But will not such a view of the horrible cruelty of the human mind, make a man blush to belong to it? Can it be the same nature, equally disposed to the same crimes, unrestrained by grace, in all the fallen race of Adam? Oh! how precious, when under this conviction, is the consideration of our interest in, and relationship to, the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Was there ever a monster of iniquity further gone in the lust of human blood / than this Ishmael? The Prophet doth not fail to tell us that he was of the seed royal! Oh! how disgraceful, had he been of the offspring of the dung-hill. But, Reader! do not overlook the common stock of sin, by whatever temporary distinctions they are known. Here there is one common level; and it is grace alone that makes a difference.
It is hardly possible, but to take part with satisfaction on the success of Johanan, in the recovery of the Captives. Nevertheless, what is the sum and substance of the history, but potsherds striving with potsherds; and the Lord's cause, and the Lord's glory, becoming the object of neither. Behold, Reader! as we prosecute the history, we only read more and more of man's ruin and apostacy from God. Well might the Prophet Jeremiah be called the mournful Prophet, for every one that reads the history of his day, and feels concerned for the Lord's glory, must find cause to mourn also. Lamentations 1:20.
READER! the great relief to a Child of God, when turning over continued pages in the word of God in relating man's depravity, is the view of Jesus, who was manifested, as an apostle saith, to take away our sin, and in him is no sin. Precious Lord Jesus! I would ask, both for myself and Reader! what could support the soul, under the consciousness of one common nature of evil, but the consciousness also, that thy people have one common nature of righteousness in thee? As by one man's disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, many were made righteous. Every way, and by every view, to which the mind directs her attention, in Zedekiah, Ishmael, and all the residue of the people, we see nothing but evil; and in ourselves feel the breaking out of the same. But in thee, blessed Jesus, we behold a fulness of grace and truth; and those graces abounding for thy people. Oh! Lord! give both to him that writes, and to him that reads, if it be thy blessed will, the needed grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ; that of thy fulness we may all receive and grace for grace. Amen!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 41". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week after Epiphany