Two things, by which God is greatly affronted, men are here said to be ensnared by, and entangled not only in guilt, but in trouble and ruin at length:—1. Sacrilege, men’s alienating holy things and converting them to their own use, which is here called devouring them. What is devoted in any way to the service and honour of God, for the support of religion and divine worship or the relief of the poor, ought to be conscientiously preserved to the purposes designed; and those that directly or indirectly embezzle it, or defeat the purpose for which it was given, will have a great deal to answer for. Will a man rob God in tithes and offerings? Mal. 3:8. Those that hurry over religious offices (their praying and preaching) and huddle them up in haste, as being impatient to get done, may be said to devour that which is holy. 2. Covenant-breaking. It is a snare to a man, after he has made vows to God, to enquire how he may evade them or get dispensed with, and to contrive excuses for the violating of them. If the matter of them was doubtful, and the expressions were ambiguous, that was his fault; he should have made them with more caution and consideration, for it will involve his conscience (if it be tender) in great perplexities, if he be to enquire concerning them afterwards (Eccl. 5:6); for, when we have opened our mouth to the Lord, it is too late to think of going back, Acts 5:4.
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