But they like men (כאדם keadam, "like Adam") have transgressed the covenant - They have sinned against light and knowledge as he did. This is sense, the other is scarcely so. There was a striking similarity in the two cases. Adam, in Paradise, transgressed the commandment, and I cast him out: Israel, in possession of the promised land, transgressed my covenant, and I cast them out, and sent them into captivity.
But they like men - Or (better as in the E. M) “like Adam, have transgressed the covenant.” As Adam our first parent, in Paradise, not out of any pressure, but wantonly, through self-will and pride, broke the covenant of God, eating the forbidden fruit, and then defended himself in his sin against God, casting the blame upon the woman: so these, in the good land which God had given them, “that they should” therein “keep His covenant and observe His laws” Psalm 105:44, wantonly and petulantly broke that covenant; and then obstinately defended their sin. Wherefore, as Adam was cast out of Paradise, so shall these be cast out of the land of promise.
There have they dealt treacherously against Me - There! He does not say, “where.” But Israel and every sinner in Israel knew full well, where. “There,” to Israel, was not only Bethel or Dan, or Gilgal, or Mizpah, or Gilead, or any or all of the places, which God had hallowed by His mercies, and they had defiled. It was every high hill, each idol-chapel, each field-altar, which they had multiplied to their idols. To the sinners of Israel, it was every spot of the Lord‘s land which they had defiled by their sin. God points out to the conscience of sinners the place and time, the very spot where they offended Him. Wheresoever and whensoever they broke God‘s commands, “there they dealt treacherously against” God Himself. There is much emphasis upon the “against” Me. The sinner, while breaking the laws of God, contrives to forget God. God recalls him to himself, and says, “there,” where and when thou didst those and those things, thou didst deal falsely with, and against, “Me.” The sinner‘s conscience and memory fills up the word “there.” It sees the whole landscape of its sins around; each black dark spot stands out before it, and it cries with David, “there,” in this and this and this, “against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight” Psalm 51:4.
Through the man of God that had appeared before the altar at Bethel, through Elijah and Elisha, through Amos and Hosea, the Lord had repeatedly set before the ten tribes the evils of disobedience. But notwithstanding reproof and entreaty, Israel had sunk lower and still lower in apostasy. “Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer,” the Lord declared; “My people are bent to backsliding from Me.” Hosea 4:16; 11:7. PK 281.1
There were times when the judgments of Heaven fell very heavily on the rebellious people. “I hewed them by the prophets,” God declared; “I have slain them by the words of My mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against Me.” Hosea 6:5-7. PK 281.2
“Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel,” was the message that finally came to them: “Seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against Me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.... I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.” Hosea 4:1, 6-9. PK 281.3Read in context »
3 (see EGW comments on Isaiah 60:1). Stars and Gems in Crown—By living a life of devotion and self-sacrifice in doing good to others, you might have been adding stars and gems to the crown that you will wear in heaven, and laying up unfading, eternal treasures (Manuscript 69, 1912). 4BC 1174.1
10. The Wicked Lack Understanding—[Daniel 12:10 quoted.] The wicked have chosen Satan as their leader. Under his control, the wonderful faculties of the mind are used to construct agencies of destruction. God has given the human mind great power, power to show that the Creator has endowed man with ability to do a great work against the enemy of all righteousness, power to show what victories may be gained in the conflict against evil. To those who fulfil God's purpose for them will be spoken the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” The human machinery has been used to do a work that is a blessing to humanity; and God is glorified. 4BC 1174.2Read in context »