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This is a most precious chapter, containing promises on the part of God, and praises on the part of the Church. It is all over gospel; and as suited to the present hour of the Church, as to the time in which it was delivered.
The Prophet, in the name of the Church, begins the song of praise. And without all doubt, it is a gospel song, in which redemption is celebrated. Probably with reference to the ruin of Babylon, which, though the captivity of the Church in Babylon was not then begun, much less finished; yet looking to the close of it, under the teaching of the Spirit, the prophet blesseth Jehovah for bringing his people out of it, and destroying the Church's enemies. But we lose the whole beauty of this hymn, and the design for which it is handed down to us, if we do not see in it the faithfulness and truth of Jehovah, in the accomplishment of redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ. Here the Church sings and triumphs, and every redeemed soul shouts aloud, O Lord thou art my God. I will exalt thee, for thou hast indeed, done wonderful things. Reader, think what wonders in redemption! what wonders in thy redemption!
Reader! look at Jesus, while reading these verses. Behold him as all this, and infinitely more: and what a rich enjoyment do those views in Him, and by Him, and from Him, afford the soul, under any, and all the exercises here spoken of; when we not only find a fence, and a strength, but refreshment and comfort; not only see ourselves sitting under his shadow, but tasting of his fruit; and not only enjoy his salvation, but find him to be himself the whole of our salvation! See those scriptures, Song of Solomon 2:3-4 ; Isaiah 32:1-2 ; Psalms 27:1-6 .
I do not say but that the Prophet had an eye to Israel's joy, in returning, after their captivity, to their own land; and in the first sense of these verses, to the end of the chapter, the words may be so referred: but it were sadly to read those precious things, were we not, now they are unfolded to us in gospel days, to read them principally and fully, as pointing to Jesus, and the rich feast of salvation brought by him, in the holy mountain of his Church. Here we have a feast, indeed, and a feast of fat things. The Lord of Hosts, even Jehovah, in his threefold character of persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, hath made it. And it is made for all people; not merely the house of Israel only, but for us poor Gentiles, who were aliens and strangers to the commonwealth of Israel. And he that made the feast, hath called us to the feast, and sent to us in the lanes, and streets, and highways, to bring us in, though poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind. And we have found, that our unworthiness hath proved no obstacle to the receiving the bountiful provision of the Lord. It is the feast of a king, yea, the heavenly king; and they that are the highly privileged partakers of it, do partake of it, without money and without price. Precious Lord Jesus! have I found thy flesh to be meat indeed, and thy blood, to be drink indeed? Then if so, Lord, to my soul's salvation, these things become as marrow to the body, and as the strongest bodied wine to the animal spirits, which by resting upon the lees, both gets out all the strength of the grape, and becomes refined, by remaining, long unshaken; so, Lord, would I feed and rest on thee! Matthew 22:2-4 ; Proverbs 9:1-5 ; Luke 14:16-24 .
Was not this blessed promise faithfully and fully completed, when, at the hour of Christ's death, by an invisible hand, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom? Mark 15:38 . Before this, the veil of ignorance, the veil of enmity, and the numberless veils of separation, which stood, and must forever have stood, between a holy God and unholy sinners, kept all people back from the smallest possible communion with God, and totally covered all people and all nations. But now, blessed Jesus, by thy blood, thou hast opened a new and living way for thy people, and art entered thyself within the veil, to cause thy redeemed to follow thee, that where thou art, there they shall be also; Hebrews 6:19-20 . Let the Reader compare such blessed views as these of our Lord Jesus, with what is said concerning Moses, and learn therefrom, the felicity to which believers are called, in the removal of all coverings in their drawing nigh to the Lord; Exodus 34:33-34 ; 2 Corinthians 3:10 to the end. Hebrews 10:19-25 .
This verse, if there were no other in the chapter, would at once decide that somewhat infinitely more important than the mere temporal deliverance of the Church from Babylon, was intended in this blessed chapter. And who is it but our Jesus, of whom, and by whom, it could be said, that death should be swallowed up in victory? How should tears be wiped away from all faces, until Jesus had first taken away all sin, which is the sole cause of tears, by his blood? Who are the people here spoken of but Jesus's people? And how, to all eternity, could the rebukes of sin, the rebukes of God's broken law, the rebukes of God's justice, the rebukes of all God's creation; yea, the rebukes of their own guilty consciences; how could all these be taken away, but by Jesus becoming both sin and a curse for them, that they might be made the righteousness of God in him? Blessings on thee, thou Lamb of God for the accomplishment of all these precious things! And praised be the Lord
Jehovah, our God and Father, that his mouth hath spoken it, and his covenant faithfulness hath confirmed it. Reader, do not pass away from this most blessed verse, until thou hast read the following scriptures: Hosea 13:14 compared with 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 ; Hebrews 2:9-15 ; Revelation 21:3-4 .
There is a very great beauty in this verse, as well as great glory; and the believer enters into the proper apprehension of it, when what is here said by the Church at large, he knows, and can, and doth make application of to himself. There is now no question as to whom redemption is wholly owing, in that precious soul's experience, from knowing and feeling, under the convincings of the Holy Ghost, the plague of his own heart, hath fled to Jesus, and found him a full all-sufficient, and complete Saviour. And what holy triumphs will be his portion in that day, that blessed glorious day, when, closing the eye of the body in death, the eye of the soul opens to the view of Jesus, and in him, to all the glories of eternity! Oh! the blessedness of the long waiting, yea, the long exercised soul, when this day breaks in upon him! I detain the Reader with a short observation more upon this verse, just to remark that the word save, he will save us, is derived from the same root as the word Jesus, a Saviour, is derived: as if to direct the Church to his identical person: this is our God - this is our Lord! It is blessed to observe this!
Reader! I must not swell my Poor Man's Commentary: I only, therefore; detain you, to observe on these verses, that the Lord hath uniformly, through all the Bible, connected the subject of destruction to his foes, and the foes of his Church, with the salvation of his people. And however m en may amuse themselves with hopes, like the spider's web, that peace and safety shall be their portion; yet the enemies of God, and of his Christ, must be found liars. When Jehovah first made known, what had lain in his bosom from all eternity, the setting up his dear Son as the Head of his Church, the devil set up his kingdom against him: all, therefore, that oppose Christ are taking part with that apostate spirit, and, if living and dying in his service and kingdom, can have no inheritance in the kingdom of God, and of his Christ. All, therefore, of this description, will be trodden down, as straw is trodden own for the dunghill. Awful consideration!
READER! how shall we close our meditation on the gospel subject contained in this chapter, in better terms than in seeking grace to catch the Prophet's note, and blessing God, and exalting his holy name, as he did, for such mercies as are here recorded, and with which the Lord comforted his Church and people, in days remote from the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! Think, Reader! how gracious the Lord is, and was, and ever will be, that he will have his people made happy in the expectation of blessings, as well as in the enjoyment of them! So that by faith, our fathers in the Church, gone before us, lived upon Christ, and feasted on the Redeemer's blood and righteousness, as the souls of his redeemed now live and feast upon him since redemption - work hath been completed; and all, with one heart and one mouth, glorify the same God, and Saviour, for the same precious salvation. Hail! holy, gracious, almighty God and Father! let the souls of all thy people bless and praise thee, in and through the person and work of our adorable Mediator; that from thine own free and everlasting love it is, that thou hast made a feast of fat things in thy Church, thy holy mountain! Yea, Lord, it is thou who hast given us Jesus, thy dear and ever blessed Son, and with him thou hast given all things.
Hail! thou blessed Immanuel! thou art strength to thy poor, a feast to thy hungry, a garment to thy naked; yea, everything, in life, in death, in time, and to all eternity! It is thou, blessed Jesus, who in our nature hath conquered sin and all its dreadful consequences, and fully, and finally, and completely taken away their rebuke, and wiped away all tears from off all faces.
Hail! thou blessed and eternal Spirit! by whose gracious teachings these precious things are made known to us, and by whose divine influences our hearts are brought both to believe and to rejoice in them! Blessed be thy holy name, for the discovery that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it!
Lord! add one blessing; more to the numberless blessings contained in this chapter, if agreeable to thy holy mind and will; and cause the heart of him that writes, and him that reads, to know their own personal interest in the blessings themselves. Oh! for grace here, that in glory hereafter, we may join that rapturous song: Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation! Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 25". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter