Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
O that my people had hearkened unto me,.... This might have been expected from them, as they were his professing people; and it would have been to their advantage if they had hearkened to him, as well as it would have been well pleasing to him; for that is what is designed by this wish, which does not express the purposing will of God; for who hath resisted that? if he had so willed, he could have given them ears to hear; but his commanding will, and what is his approving one: to hearken to him is not only to hearken to what he commands, but to what he approves of; it is the good and acceptable will of God that men should hearken to the declarations of his will in the law, and to the declarations of his grace in the Gospel; and indeed it is the voice of Christ, the Angel of God's presence, who went before the children of Israel in the wilderness, which they were to hearken to and obey, that is here meant; see Exodus 23:20, and Hebrews 3:6,
and Israel had walked in my ways; which he marked out and directed them unto, meaning his ordinances and commandments; which to walk in, as it denotes progress and continuance, and supposes and requires life and strength, so it is both pleasant and profitable.