The remembrance of the Lord's judgments of old, while it brings comfort to His people as regards themselves, stirs up a poignancy of compassionate feeling for the ungodly. And indeed to a feeling and reflecting mind, the condition of the world must excite commiseration and concern! A "whole world lying in wickedness!" lying therefore in ruins! the image of God effaced! the presence of God departed! Horror has taken hold of me! to see the law of Him, who gave being to the world, so utterly forsaken! so much light and love shining from heaven in vain! The earthly heart cannot endure that any restraint should be imposed; much less that any constraint, even of love, should be employed to change its bias, and turn it back to its God. Are you then a believer? then you will be most tender of the honor of the law of God. Every stroke at His law you will feel as a stroke at your own heart. Are you a believer? then will you consider every man as your brother; and weep to see so many of them around you, crowding the broad road to destruction, and perishing as the miserable victims of their own deceivings. The prospect on every side is, as if God were cast down from His throne, and the creatures of His hand were murdering their own souls.
But how invariably does a languor respecting our own eternal interest affect the tenderness of our regard for the honor of our God; so that we can look at the wicked that forsake God's law, with comparative indifference! Awful indeed is the thought, that it ever can be with us a small matter, that multitudes are sinking! going down into perdition! with the name of Christ—under the seal of baptism—partakers of the means of gospel grace—yet perishing! Not, indeed, that we are to yield to such a feeling of horror, as would paralyze all exertion on their behalf. For do we owe them no duty—no prayer—no labor? Shall we look upon souls hurrying on with such dreadful haste to unutterable, everlasting torments; and permit them to rush on blinded, unawakened, unalarmed! If there is a horror to see a brand apparently fitting for the fire, will there not be a wrestling endeavor to pluck that brand out of the fire? Have we quite forgotten in our own case the fearful terrors of an unconverted state—the Almighty power of wrath and justice armed against us—the thunder of that voice, "Vengeance belongs to Me, I will recompense, says the Lord?" Oh! if the love of the Savior and the love of souls were reigning with more mighty influence in our hearts, how much more devoted should we be in our little spheres of labor! how much more enlarged in our supplications, until all the kingdom of Satan were subject to the obedience of the Son of God, and conquered by the force of His omnipotent love!
But if the spirit of David, renewed but in part, was thus filled with horror in the contemplation of the wicked, what must have been the affliction—what the intensity of His sufferings, "who was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners"—yes, "of purer eyes than to behold iniquity"—during thirty-three years of continued contact with a world of sin! What shall we say of the condescension of His love, in wearing "the likeness of sinful flesh"—dwelling among sinners—yes, "receiving sinners, and eating with them!"
Blessed Spirit! impart to us more of "the mind that was in Christ Jesus," that the law of God may be increasingly precious in our eyes, and that we may be "exceedingly jealous for the Lord God of Hosts!" Help us by Your gracious influence to plead with sinners for God, and to plead for sinners with God!
He was horrified at their action, at the pride which led them to it, and at the punishment which would be sure to fall upon them for it When he thought upon the ancient judgments of God he was filled with terror at the fate of the godless; as well he might be. Their laughter had not distressed him, but he was distressed by a foresight of their overthrow. Truths which were amusement to them caused amazement to him. He saw them utterly turning away from the law of God, and leaving it as a path forsaken and overgrown from want of traffic, and this forsaking of the law filled him with the most painful emotions: he was astonished at their wickedness, stunned by their presumption, alarmed by the expectation of their sudden overthrow, amazed by the terror of their certain doom.
See verses 106 and 158, and note the tenderness which combined with all this. Those who are the firmest believers in the eternal punishment of the wicked are the most grieved at their doom. It is no proof of tenderness to shut one's eyes to the awful doom of the ungodly. Compassion is far better shown in trying to save sinners than in attempting to make things pleasant all round. Oh that we were all more distressed as we think of the portion of the ungodly in Hell! The usual plan is to shut your eyes to it, or try to doubt it; but the faithful servant of God can say, "So did not I, because of the fear of God."