Verse 1 – The righteous perishes, and no man take it to heart; merciful men are taken away, while no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil.
Verse 2 – He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.
Retribution does not always happen in this life. Good things come to bad people, just as bad things happen to the righteous. However, the righteous have an eternal peace waiting on them, whereas the wicked do not.
Verse 3 – “But come here, you sons of the sorceress, you offspring of the adulterer and the harlot!
God addresses those who are not counted among the righteous in the most harshest of terms.
Verse 4 – Whom do you ridicule! Against whom do you make a wide mouth and stick out the tongue? Are you not children of transgression, offspring of falsehood,
Verse 5 – inflaming yourselves with gods under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
Verse 6 – Among the smooth stones of the stream is your portion; they, they, are your lot! Even to them you have poured a drink offering, you have offered a grain offering. Should I receive comfort in these?
Verse 7 – “On a lofty and high mountain you have set your bed; even there you went up to offer sacrifice.
Verse 8 – Also behind the doors and their posts you have set up your remembrance; for you have uncovered yourself to those other than Me, and have gone up to them; you have enlarged your bed and made a covenant with them; you have loved their bed, where you saw their hand.
When God’s people gave their love to idol’s, He said they had committed adultery – breaking their exclusive commitment to God.
Verse 9 – You went to the king with ointment, and increased your perfumes; you sent your messengers far off and debased yourself even to Sheol.
Molech was an Ammonite god whose worship included child sacrifice by fire.
Verse 10 – You are wearied in the length of your way; yet you did not say, ‘There is no hope.’ You have found the life of your hand; therefore you were not grieved.
Verse 11 – “And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, that you have lied and not remembered Me, nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you did not fear Me?
Verse 12 – I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they will not profit you.
God says that He will expose their righteousness and works for what they really were. They were pretending to do good. Same with us: We cannot gain our salvation through good deeds because our best is not good enough to outweigh our sin. Salvation is a gift from God, received only through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8, 9), then good works follow.
Verse 13 – When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you. But the wind will carry them all away, a breath will take them. But he who puts his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain.
God had warned them that if they worshiped idols instead of Him, He would let these so-called idols deliver them.
Verse 14 – And one shall say, “Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.”
Verse 15 – For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Verse 16 – For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would fail before Me, and the souls which I have made.
Verses 1-13 speak of pride and lust; verses 14-21 tells how God relates to those who are humble and repentant (a contrite heart).
Verse 17 – For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
Verse 18 – I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
Verse 19 – “I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near.”
Verse 20 – But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
Verse 21 – “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
There is a distinction between those to whom God grants peace and those who remain wicked. The wicked will have no peace and only chaos will come like a sea being tossed.