And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him…But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): The righteous judgment of God clearly appears in this instance.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): The righteous God, in His judgments, often observes a rule of proportion, as in the case of Adonibezek…With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again, Matthew 7:2; perhaps in this world, so that men may read their sin in their punishment.
DAVID DICKSON (1583-1662): His judgments bear the impression of His wisdom and justice, so as the sin may be read written on the rod.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Every sin has one twig in God’s rod appropriated to itself. Suffice it to say, that in God’s hand there are punishments for each particular transgression; and it is very singular to notice how in Bible history almost every saint has been chastened for the sin he has committed by the sin itself falling upon his own head. Transgression has been first a pleasure, and afterward it has been a scourge.
JOHN GILL: Samson walked after his eyes, and therefore the Philistines plucked out his eyes, Judges 16:21.
MATTHEW HENRY: For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways, Job 34:11. This is the standing rule of distributive justice, to give to every man according to his work.
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Thou temptest God to suffer thy locks to be cut, when thou art so bold as to lay thy head in the lap of a temptation.
JOHN GILL: The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways. Proverbs 14:14. There may be a backsliding when the heart does not wickedly depart from God; but is through the infirmity of the flesh and the force of temptation; from which backslidings the Lord’s people are recovered, and which are healed by His grace; but here such an one is meant who willingly and heartily backslides; and such shall have the reward of their hands and actions given them, or the full and due punishment of their sins; they shall have their bellyful of their own wicked ways and works, the just recompense of reward for them.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): The terrible and memorable punishments, which are everywhere recounted, instruct us in reverence towards God, and inspire our hearts with awe, lest we should falsely boast ourselves to be His children, whilst indulging in the liberty of sin…“Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him,” Isaiah 3:10,11. It may be easily inferred what was the design of the Prophet, namely, to comfort the godly, and to terrify the wicked by the judgment of God.
MATTHEW HENRY: Those who will not observe the judgments of God’s mouth shall not escape the judgments of His hand.
ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): “Power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work,” Psalm 62:11, 12. These, then, are the two grand truths that the law, yea, the whole revelation of God, declares through every page. He is the Almighty; He is the most merciful; and hence the inference: The powerful, just, and holy God, the most merciful and compassionate Lord, will by and by judge the world, and will render to man according to his works. How this beautiful meaning should have been unseen by almost every interpreter, is hard to say: these verses contain one of the most instructive truths in the Bible.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Now, the tragedy is that we have been separating these things in the character of God. I have often asserted that the condition of the Church today is due to one major factor: and that is that during the last century, a new attitude towards the Scripture came in, in which men decided that they knew much more about the character of God than what was revealed in this Book. And what they did was to say that God is love and nothing else. So they have put out the justice and the righteousness, and all that God has revealed about Himself, and they have said that God will clear the guilty. ‘God,’ they say, ‘is love. It does not matter what you do. Go and tell Him you are sorry. Ask for forgiveness, all is well.’ But it is a lie. And the lawlessness we are witnessing in the world, and the lawlessness in the Church, arises from that and nothing else. God will by no means clear the guilty. He is a God of compassion, and of mercy, and of kindness…Yes, but he is still a holy God, remember. He is still the righteous God. And when He forgives, He forgives in a righteous manner.
JOHN CALVIN: God by way of free favour pardons our sins, but only when we renounce them.
ISAAC AMBROSE (1604-1664): True repentance is to cease from sin.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Before you drop on your knees next time and begin to speak to God, try to remember His greatness and His majesty and His might, and then go on to remember that He is life, that He is holy, that He is righteous, that He is just, and that He is of such a pure countenance that He cannot even look upon evil. Remember that you are speaking to the Judge of the whole world.
JOHN CALVIN: He does not so repose in heaven, as to cease to be the Judge of the world; nor will He be unmindful of the execution of His office, in due time.
MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): The judgment of God, in that day, will be according to righteousness.
C. H. SPURGEON: Righteousness is His immutable attribute, and judgment marks His every act.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: He is righteous, He hates sin, and He will punish sin. Do you not have a feeling that this is the one thing that this modern world of ours needs to know? This world that feels that it can dismiss God, and laugh at Him, and break all His laws with impunity. My friends, is not this the thing we need to preach to the world?―That God is holy, that God is righteous, that He hates sin with an eternal hatred, and will punish sin. That is His own revelation of Himself.
MATTHEW HENRY: If services persevered in now go unrewarded, and sins persisted in now go unpunished, yet there is a day coming when God will fully render to every man according to his works, with interest for the delay.