Ye that put far away the evil day - Wo to you who will not consider the day of approaching vengeance; but continue in your iniquity, and harden your hearts. Ye bring your iniquities nearer, and still suppose your punishment to be at a greater distance.
Ye that put far away - Probably “with aversion.” They bade that day as it were, be gone. The Hebrew idiom expresses, how they would put it off, if they could; as far as in them lay, they “assigned a distance to it,, although they could not remove the day itself. The “evil day” is that same “day of the Lord,” which the scoffers or misbelievers professed to long for Amos 5:18. The thought that the Lord has a Day, in which to judge man, frets or frightens the irreligious, and they use different ways to get rid of it. The strong harden themselves against it, distort the belief in it, or disbelieve it. The weak and voluptuous shut their eyes to it, like the bird in the fable, as if what they dread would cease to be there, because they cease to see it.
And cause the seat - (literally, the session, sitting) of violence to come near They dismissed the thought of the Day of account, in order that they might sin with less fear. They put from them the judgment of God, that they might exercise violence over His creatures. People do not put away the thought of God, except to invite His Enemy into their souls. But therewith, they “brought near” another “seat of violence,” not their own, but upon them. They brought near what they wished to put away, the day, in which, through the violence of the Assyrians, God would avenge their own.
Rib.: “Let them consider this, who put no bound to their sins. For the more they obey their own will, the more they hasten to destruction; and while they think they draw near to pleasures, they draw near to everlasting woes.”
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.... Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments; but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.” Te 53.1
“Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” Te 53.2
These words of warning and command are pointed and decided. Let those in positions of public trust take heed lest through wine and strong drink they forget the law, and pervert judgment. Rulers and judges should ever be in a condition to fulfill the instruction of the Lord: “Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” Te 53.3
The Lord God of heaven ruleth. He alone is above all authority, over all kings and rulers. The Lord has given special directions in His word in reference to the use of wine and strong drink. He has forbidden their use, and enforced His prohibitions with strong warnings and threatenings. But His forbidding the use of intoxicating beverages is not an exercise of arbitrary authority. He seeks to restrain men, in order that they may escape from the evil results of indulgence in wine and strong drink. Degradation, cruelty, wretchedness, and strife follow as the natural results of intemperance. God has pointed out the consequences of following this course of evil. This He has done that there may not be a perversion of His laws, and that men may be spared the widespread misery resulting from the course of evil men who, for the sake of gain, sell maddening intoxicants.—Drunkenness and Crime, pages 4-6. Te 53.4Read in context »