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This chapter is explanatory of the former. The Lord showeth the causes of Babylon's ruin, to avenge the cause of his people, and to punish their enemies.
What a beautiful opening is here! And now while we are enabled to read the prophecies, unfolded and fulfilled in Christ, how is the whole explained to our clearest apprehension! Reader! though the final accomplishment of this prophecy refers to the restoration of the Jews, when all the Gentiles shall be gathered in, yet the Lord's mercy to his people, whom he foreknew, is all along carried on, from age to age, in the Church, and is uniformly spoken of as the one great object of his providence and grace!
I do not interrupt the reading through this long chain of the most wonderful events, because it forms one grand whole. The destruction which will ultimately fall upon the enemies of God and of his Christ, and the triumphs of the Church, are here set forth, under very strong and figurative expressions. I cannot improve upon them, by attempting to represent the truth in stronger language, than is here made use of; for nothing indeed can exceed it. But what I particularly beg the Reader, with me, to remark is, that what the Prophet had before said, is here completely fulfilled: Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: woe unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him! Isaiah 3:10-11 .
The date of the prophecy is here faithfully set down, in order that, when accomplished, it may not be suspected to have been written after the things predicted had come to pass. The year that Ahaz died. The same year that Uzziah died, Isaiah had that glorious vision, Isaiah 6:1 ; and the death of Ahaz was remarkable also in this burden, concerning Babylon. Isaiah forewarns Palestina not to rejoice at the death of the king, for others shall arise to punish.
This verse forms a blessed conclusion to the whole subject of Babylon's burden. It is as if the prophet had said, "Should any one of the nations around behold Babylon's fall, and Israel's emancipation, and return to their beloved Jerusalem, should any one ask, or send messengers to inquire into the cause, wherefore is this? the answer is direct: It is the Lord's controversy, not man's: Zion is the Lord's, he hath founded her, and therefore he will defend her. And though Zion's enemies may for awhile seem to triumph, and the transgressions of Zion may bring her into captivity; yet the Lord loveth Zion, and will bless her, and the poor of his people shall know this, and depend upon it." Zephaniah 3:12 .
How truly blessed it is to observe, and know, that the Lord watcheth over all the concerns of his people! Though Babylon triumph for awhile, and though the Lord suffer his people to go into captivity; yet they are still his people, and the Lord will not permit them to be oppressed forever.
But what an awful scripture is this, for all the enemies of Christ and his people to read: Hell from beneath is moved for all such, to meet them at their coming! And what an aggravated load of woe is it, to think that they have been uniformly fighting against God and his people; so that their misery is abundantly aggravated, like the rich man's in the parable, when lifting up their eyes in torments, and not only seeing heaven afar off, but they whom in this life they most hated made most completely happy!
My soul! see to it, that thou art a citizen of Zion, and not of Babylon! This is the Church, the City, the royal, the holy City, which the Lord hath founded. Oh! for grace to be found a citizen of Zion, when the Lord writeth up the people. Better to be a doorkeeper of the gates of Zion, than a dweller in the tents of ungodliness. Lord, it is thou that last founded Zion in Jesus; and in Jesus may my soul be found in Zion.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 14". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany