Though sought with an ocean of tears!
(George Lawson, "A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs" 1821)
"But since you rejected Me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out My hand, since you ignored all My advice and would not accept My rebuke — I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you — when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you! Then they will call to Me — but I will not answer; they will look for Me — but will not find Me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, since they would not accept My advice and spurned My rebuke — they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes!" Proverbs 1:24-31
The prayers of these desperate rebels are like the howlings of a dog! They are cries extorted by strong necessity and intolerable anguish!
Sinners miserably delude their own souls by proposing to live in the indulgence of their sins — and die in the exercise of repentance. True repentance is never too late — but late repentance is seldom true!
Prayers are of no use in the eternal world. The day of grace is at an end, and the wretched shall cry in vain to the rocks and mountains to fall upon them, and hide them from the wrath of the Lord and of the Lamb.
Behold, now is the accepted time — now the Lord waits to be gracious. But the day is coming which is cruel with wrath and fierce anguish! No place shall then be found for mercy — though sought with an ocean of tears!
The punishment is indeed tremendous — but the sin that cause it is atrocious! It is no less than a contempt and hatred of the counsels of the Lord. What is this, but an undeniable proof of enmity against God Himself? And will not God avenge Himself on His enemies?
When men do not chose the fear of the Lord, but prefer the base pleasures of sin — they give plain proof of their hatred to God. How then, can they escape the damnation of Hell?
They laughed at God's threatenings, as if they had been idle tales — and God shall laugh at them!
They despised His counsels — and He shall despise their prayers!
They were always rebellious, and continued unchanged under all admonition — and God will prove an immutable avenger, and will pay no regard to their cries for help.
They took pleasure in sin — and God will laugh in punishing them on account of it.
God is not to be blamed — but on the contrary, He will be eternally glorious as their Avenger. His insulted mercy will be glorious in the punishment of His despisers. His unsullied justice shall shine in dispensing to the workers of iniquity, the wages of their wicked works!
Sinners never think they have drunk deep enough of the poisoned cup of sin — but they shall at length be filled with it. Then shall it satiate them — when they find that intolerable misery is its native consequence. That cup which now delights the lover of evil — will then be found a cup of fury, and the wicked must drink it down to its bitterest dregs!
He who cherishes iniquity — warms in his bosom the most venomous of serpents! Sinners owe their ruin . . .
to their willful hardness of heart,
to their abuse of divine mercy, and
to their indifference to God's salvation.
If the prosperity of fools leads them to the indulgence of sin, and the neglect of holiness — it renders their damnation more certain and more dreadful!