Bibles

Verses of Leviticus 24

13

Leviticus 24:13 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

DISCOURSE: 140
THE BLASPHEMER STONED

Lev 24:13-15. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, Whosoever cursed his God shall bear his sin.

SPIRITUAL subjects are generally most relished by a spiritual mind: and hence it is that in some places of worship they are exclusively brought forward for public discussion; and other subjects, which might be very instructive, are entirely overlooked. We consider it as one great advantage attending a course of sermons on the Holy Scriptures, that every subject must find a place in our discourses, and at some time or other be brought under the view of our hearers. The history before us would at first sight appear so ill calculated for general edification, that we should probably never fix upon it, if left to ourselves. But, occurring as it does in our present course, we shall turn your attention to it: and we trust, that, how unpromising soever it may seem, it will be found replete with very important instruction. There are two things in it which we seem particularly called to notice; namely,

I.

The danger of ungodly connexions—

To caution us against contracting an intimacy with the ungodly, we are told, that “evil communications corrupt good manners;” and that “the companion of fools shall be destroyed.” But in the marriage union such a connexion is peculiarly dangerous, because its influence is incessant, and operative to the latest hour of our lives.

1.

It is injurious to the person himself—

[It is from a hope of drawing over their partner to the same views and sentiments with themselves, that multitudes enter into engagements, which prove fatal to their happiness through life. Whatever were the views of this Israelitish woman, she seemed to have succeeded beyond all reasonable expectation in the alliance she had formed: for, instead of being detained in Egypt by her husband, she brought him out with her. But as it was an injury, rather than a benefit, to the Church, that a mixed multitude were united to it [Note: Exo 12:38 with Num 11:4.], so the society of a heathen could never render an Israelite happy. Supposing that the woman had any regard for God, how could she endure to see her husband pouring contempt upon him, and bowing down to idols of wood and stone? — — — It is precisely thus when a believer amongst ourselves becomes united to an unbeliever. However suitable in other respects the union may be, it cannot possibly be productive of happiness; for, in all those things which are most important, their views, their feelings, and their conduct must be dissimilar, or rather at variance with each other. The unconverted party can have no sympathy with the converted in the various exercises of mind peculiar to the Christian state; he cannot understand them; the hopes and fears, and joys and sorrows experienced by the believer, appear foolishness in the eyes of an unbeliever; and consequently, there can be no communion between them on those subjects which are most nearly connected with their eternal welfare — — — Hence that solemn injunction to form no such alliance [Note: 2Co 6:14-15.], but to marry “only in the Lord [Note: 1Co 7:39.] ” — — —]

2.

It is injurious to their offspring—

[Doubtless a true Christian will endeavour to give a right bias to the minds of his children. But the silent and unstudied influence of the ungodly person will operate far more forcibly than the most laboured exertions of the godly. The natural bent of our affections is towards sin: and we are far more ready to justify what is wrong from the examples of others, than to follow what is right. We all know how much easier a thing it is to go with the stream than against it; or to spread contagion than to cure it. The son of this Israelitish woman, though in the midst of Israelites, did not become a worshipper of the true God, but remained to his dying hour a profane despiser of him. And in like manner it is to be expected, that, where one of the parents is ungodly, the children will follow his example, and tread in his steps — — — It is true, that the most godly parents cannot always prevail on their children to yield to their advice: but, if they have done what they could towards bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they will have the comfort of a good conscience to support them in their trials: but if a believer unites himself to an unbeliever, and his children turn out ill, he will always have himself to blame: and the children themselves will have to reproach them in the last day for having formed a connexion which afforded so bad a prospect in relation to their offspring.]
The history before us naturally leads us also to contemplate,

II.

The danger of ungodly habits—

It is manifest that the habits of this man were altogether bad—
[What was the subject of controversy between this man and the Israelite we know not; nor in what manner he blasphemed the God of heaven. But it is evident that he was under the influence of a contentious spirit, and habituated to indulge himself in disparaging the God of Israel. Moreover, his dispute with the Israelite was the very occasion of his blaspheming God. Conceiving that he was injuriously treated by the Israelite, he was not satisfied with reviling him, but must revile his religion also, and his God. This is what was wont to be done in the days of old, when the heathen blasphemed the name of God on account of David’s misconduct: and the same is done continually in the present day: men cast the blame of every evil, whether real or supposed, which they see amongst Christians, on Christianity itself. They make the Gospel answerable for all that profess it: which is just as absurd, as to condemn Christ and his Apostles, together with Christianity itself, for the treachery of Judas. Had this man been of a meek and quiet spirit, forbearing and forgiving, he would never have yielded to such a paroxysm of wrath: and, if he had cultivated the smallest regard for the Most High God, he would never have waged open war against him by his blasphemy and profaneness.]

The consequences of them proved fatal to him—
[Little did he think what would be the issue of those habits which he was so ready to indulge. The persons who heard his blasphemy, informed against him: and Moses, being as yet uninstructed by God how such iniquity was to be punished, sought direction from him: and was told that “the persons who heard him should lay their hands upon his head,” and that “all the congregation of Israel should stone him.” And from thence it was made a standing law that every similar offence should be visited with the same punishment. It was too late for the offender now to make excuses: the word was passed; the guilt was contracted; the sentence was fixed. It is thus that our evil habits also, if not repented of, will terminate, and we shall begin to bewail our misery when it is past a remedy — — — Even in this world many bring distress and ignominy both on themselves and families by their unhallowed tempers and their unbridled appetites: and in the world to come, every man, however light he may make of sin now, shall find it a burthen too heavy to be borne.]

The advice which we would suggest from this subject, is, to check evil,
1.

In ourselves—

[It is said of strife, that it is “like the letting out of water,” which having once made a breach in a bank, soon defies all endeavours to restrain it, and inundates the whole country. It is thus with sin of every kind: when it is once permitted to act, none can tell where it will stop. Impiety is generally to be found in the train of ungoverned passions: and, from “walking in the way of sinners,” it is no uncommon thing to “sit in the seat of the scornful.” Let us be aware of this, and endeavour to oppose sin in its very first rise; ever remembering, that, “if he who despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses, a much sorer punishment awaits us,” if we become the slaves and victims of any evil propensity — — —]

2.

In others—

[The people gave information of the man’s profaneness, and Moses, by God’s direction, gave orders for the whole assembly to unite in executing judgment on him. This draws a profitable line of distinction for us. The magistrate did not use any compulsory measures to make the man an Israelite; but he did interfere to prevent his God and his religion from being exposed to derision. This is the proper province of a magistrate; he must not use the power of the sword to make men religious; but he may use it to keep them from being openly profane: and it is the duty of every man to lend his aid in this matter, and to co-operate for the maintenance of external order and decorum [Note: If this were a subject taken either for an Assize Sermon, or a sermon for the suppression of vice, this idea should be enlarged upon.]. Let us then not only “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove,” and, if possible, suppress them.]


Verses of Leviticus 24

13

Consult other comments:

Leviticus 24:13 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Leviticus 24:13 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 24:13 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Leviticus 24:13 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 24:13 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Leviticus 24:13 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Leviticus 24:13 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)