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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary
Isaiah 18



Verse 4


‘For so the Lord said unto me, I will take my rest.’

Isaiah 18:4

Notice what is for us of commanding interest in this chapter, the prophet’s conception of history, or, to put it otherwise, of God in history. ‘For so the Lord said unto me, I will take My rest’—Jehovah resting.

I. This is the rest of God’s holy judgments.—Every one has noticed how the course of justice too often runs among men: how old abuses are tolerated with utter want of thought till the conscience or heart of the people is roused; and how often then the result is a hot haste of revenge, a severity which is just as cruel and unjust in its way as the injustice it is meant to rectify, without consideration or compensation allowed for the innocent suffering it involves. Thus human history seems to be a perpetual oscillation; perfect judgment is seldom or never reached except by some happy accident, or for a moment, in the transition from one extreme to another of injustice.

II. How different, the prophet feels, it is with Jehovah!—In Him you have the perfect self-restraint of adequate knowledge and power, of love that is passionless in its intensity. In Him is no bias nor any haste; but, as the result, that quiet, even-handed, universal justice which men seek for all in vain from one another. There is no hurry in God’s judgments. Ohne hast, ohne rast: without stay or stir, He moves forward to His ends. Such is the prophet’s conception of history: Jehovah resting; an open eye that quietly surveys, notes all; a hand that holds the reins of power, yet gives to human freedom its play; a providence which makes the restless sea of human passions, blind, furious, cruel, its pathway, and moves, or rather rests, in its own eternal purpose that embraces all. How little do we grasp this thought! How little does the quiet of eternity fill our lives or even influence our judgment! One thing should keep us calm all through; the faith Isaiah had as he saw the swift messengers gleaming across the waves on their restless search for human help, as he heard the tramp of hosts, and felt the heart of a great people tremble—Jehovah is resting: that faith shared with him.


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Isaiah 18:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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