Excerpt from The Pulpit Commentary
Vers. 10, 11. Fear not. I. A isaael might fear. For various reasons, viz. 1. Present trouble. Already some had been led into exile. What was thus ex rienced seemed to presage future and worse distress. Grief tends to despondency. Disap pointment we are ready to think that all things must grow worse and worse. 2. The anticipation of necessary punishment. This is confirmed in the prephetic message for I cannot leave thee altogether unpunished. Guilt is the parent of fear. N science makes cowards of us all. 3. Incurable wretchedness. (ver. Left to them selves, the people were in a hopeless condition. 1) They could not cure their moral disease; J es s abortive reformation was a proof 0 this. (2) They could not cure their external distress; it was vain to attempt to break the yoke of great Babylon. 4. Solitude. All thy lovers have forgotten thee (ver. In the hour of trial boon companions fall away and leave their wretched comrade forlorn and helpless. The soul must face its darkest trouble alone. While society dispels fear, the silence and desertion of loneliness provoke it. It is not surprising, therefore, that with so many concurrent incentives to fear Israel should be overwhelmed with it, nor is it surprising that similar causes should produce a similar effect among us. Yet it is not the less deplor able. Fear is an evil. It is distressing beyond measure. The vague and threatening spectres of horror that haunt the imagination of the soul when it is a slave to fear may be far more painful than the real evils of which they are the magnified shadows. But fear is injurious as well as painful. It paralyzes eﬂ'ort, dissuades from dangerous tasks of duty, drives to rash and foolish resorts for escape. It is important to see if so sad and in'urious a condition can be avoided.
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