Which they made each one for himself to worship "Which they have made to worship" - The word לו lo, for himself, is omitted by two ancient MSS., and is unnecessary. It does not appear that any copy of the Septuagint has it, except MS. Pachom, and MS. 1. D. II., and they have ἑαυτοις, להם lahem, to themselves.
To the moles - They shall carry their idols with them into the dark caverns, old ruins, or desolate places, to which they shall flee for refuge; and so shall give them up, and relinquish them to the filthy animals that frequent such places, and have taken possession of them as their proper habitation. Bellonias, Greaves, P. Lucas, and many other travelers, speak of bats of an enormous size, as inhabiting the Great Pyramid. See Harmer, Obs., vol. ii., 455. Three MSS. express חפרפרות chapharperoth, the moles as one word.
In that day - That is, in the time when God would come forth to inflict punishment. Probably the day to which the prophet refers here was the time of the captivity at Babylon.
A man shall cast - That is, “all” who have idols, or who have been trusting in them. Valuable as they may be - made of gold and silver; and much as he may “now” rely on them or worship them, yet he shall then see their vanity, and shall cast them into dark, obscure places, or holes, where are moles and bats.
To the moles - פרות לחפר lachepor pērôth Probably this should be read as a single word, and it is usually interpreted “moles.” Jerome interprets it as mice or moles, from חפר châphar “to dig.” The word is formed by doubling the radical letters to give “intensity.” Similar instances of words being divided in the Hebrew, which are nevertheless to be read as one, occur in 2 Chronicles 24:6; Jeremiah 46:20; Lamentations 4:3; Ezekiel 27:6. The mole is a well-known animal, with exceedingly small eyes, that burrows under ground, lives in the dark, and subsists on roots. The bat lives in o d ruins, and behind the bark of trees, and flies only in the night. They “resemble” each other, and are used here in connection, because “both” dwell amidst ruins and in obscure places; both are regarded as animals of the lowest order; both are of the same genus, and both are almost blind. The sense is, therefore, that the idols which had before been so highly venerated, would now be despised, and cast into obscure places, and amidst ruins, as worthless; see Bochart‘s “Hieroz.,” P. i., Lib. iii., p. 1032. Ed. 1663.
And to the bats - ‹The East may be termed the country of bats; they hang by hundreds and thousands in caves, ruins, and under the roofs of large buildings. To enter such places, especially after rain, is “most” offensive. I have lived in rooms where it was sickening to remain, on account of the smell produced by those creatures, and whence it was almost impossible to expel them. What from the appearance of the creature, its sunken diminutive eye, its short legs (with which it cannot walk), its leather-like wings, its half-hairy, oily skin, its offensive ordure ever and anon dropping on the ground, its time for food and sport, darkness, makes it one of the most disgusting creatures to the people of the East. No wonder, then, that its name is used by the Hindoos (as by the prophet) for an epithet of contempt. When a house ceases to please the inhabitants, on account of being haunted, they say, Give it to the “bats.” “Alas! alas! my wife and children are dead; my houses, my buildings, are all given to the bats.” People ask, when passing a tenantless house, “Why is this habitation given to the bats?”‘ - “Roberts.” The meaning is, that the man would throw his idols into such places as the bats occupy - he would so see their vanity, and so despise them, as to throw them into old ruins and dark places.
Risk Something to Save Souls—There is a fearfulness to venture out and to run risks in this great work, fearing that the expenditure of means would not bring returns. What if means are used, and yet we cannot see that souls have been saved by it? What if there is a dead loss of a portion of our means? Better work and keep at work than to do nothing. You know not which shall prosper, this or that. Men will invest in patent rights and meet with heavy losses, and it is taken as a matter of course. But in the work and cause of God, men are afraid to venture. Money seems to them to be a dead loss that does not bring immediate returns when invested in the work of saving souls. The very means that is now so sparingly invested in the cause of God, and that is selfishly retained, will, in a little while, be cast with all idols to the moles and to the bats. Money will soon depreciate in value very suddenly when the reality of eternal scenes opens to the senses of man. WM 266.1
God will have men who will venture anything and everything to save souls. Those who will not move until they can see every step of the way clearly before them will not be of advantage at this time to forward the truth of God. There must be workers now who will push ahead in the dark as well as in the light, and who will hold up bravely under discouragements and disappointed hopes, and yet work on with faith, with tears and patient hope, sowing beside all waters, trusting the Lord to bring the increase. God calls for men of nerve, of hope, faith, and endurance, to work to the point.—The True Missionary, January, 1874. WM 266.2
Every Dollar Is Needed—The end of all things is at hand, and God calls for men to come into active service and do their duty because He desires it and the world needs their help. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit men will become discreet in the outlay of means and will expend it according to the greatness and importance of the work which is to be done.... The Lord God of heaven calls upon men to put away their idols, to cut off every extravagant desire, to indulge in nothing that is simply for display and parade, and to study economy in purchasing garments and furniture. Do not expend one dollar of God's money in purchasing needless articles. Your money means the salvation of souls. Then let it not be spent for gems, for gold, or precious stones.... WM 267.1Read in context »
I saw that if, in the providence of God, wealth has been acquired, there is no sin in possessing it; and if no opportunities present themselves to use this means to advance the cause of God, there is no sin in still possessing it. But if opportunities are presented to the brethren to use their property to the glory of God and the advancement of His cause, and they withhold it, it will be a cause of stumbling to them. In the day of trouble that which was their hoarded treasure will be an offense unto them. Then all opportunities will be past for using their substance to the glory of God, and in anguish of spirit they will cast it from them to the moles and to the bats. Their gold and their silver cannot save them in that day. It falls upon them with crushing weight, that an account must be given of their stewardship, what use they have made of their Lord's money. Self-love made them believe that it was all their own, and that they might want it all; but they then feel, bitterly feel and understand, that their means was only lent them of God, to be freely returned by being used to advance His cause. Their riches deceived them. They felt poor and lived for themselves, and at last they will find that the portion they might have used for God's cause is a terrible burden. 1T 169.1
Said the angel of God: “Lay all upon the altar, a living, consuming sacrifice. Bind it with cords, if you cannot keep it there. Give yourselves to prayer. Live at the altar. Strengthen your purposes by the promises of God.” “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.” “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” 1T 169.2
I saw that if God had given you wealth above the plainest and poorest, it should humble you, for it lays you under greater obligations. Where much is given, even of a worldly substance, much will be required. Upon this principle you are bound to possess noble, generous dispositions. Seek for opportunities to do good with what you have. “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” 1T 170.1Read in context »
The glory of the world to come is eclipsed by the corruptible things of earth. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21. Your thoughts, your plans, your motives, will have an earthly mold, and your soul will be defiled with covetousness and selfishness. “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36. The day is coming when the idols of silver and gold will be cast to the moles and to the bats, and the rich men will weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon them.... OHC 200.3Read in context »
God will have men who will venture anything and everything to save souls. Those who will not move until they can see every step of the way clearly before them will not be of advantage at this time to forward the truth of God. There must be workers now who will push ahead in the dark as well as in the light, and who will hold up bravely under discouragements and disappointed hopes, and yet work on with faith, with tears and patient hope, sowing beside all waters, trusting the Lord to bring the increase. God calls for men of nerve, of hope, faith, and endurance, to work to the point.—The True Missionary, January, 1874. Ev 63.1
Be Resourceful—In these perilous times we should leave untried no means of warning the people. We should be deeply interested in everything that will stay the tide of iniquity. Work on. Have faith in God.—Letter 49, 1902. Ev 63.2
Not in Our Own Strength—I appeal to you, my brethren in the ministry. Connect yourselves more closely with the work of God. Many souls that might be saved, will be lost, unless you strive more earnestly to make your work as perfect as possible. There is a great work to be done in -----. It may seem to move slowly and hard at first; but God will work mightily through you if you will only make an entire surrender to Him. Much of the time you will have to walk by faith, not by feeling.... Ev 63.3Read in context »