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Here is the same delightful subject continued, and carried on, through the whole; namely, the Lord's care of his church, and the destruction of his enemies, and this united subject runs through the whole chapter.
In the opening of this chapter, the Prophet begins it, if not in the same words, yet at least to the same amount, as the Psalmist doth one of his Psalms, when he saith, I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing; Psalms 101:1 ; for here is mercy to the Lord's Church; and judgment to the Lord's enemies. The Prophet is using figurative language, when, under the image of a serpent and a dragon, he would represent the enemies of God's Church and people. The scripture hath explained both, and in the victories of Jesus plainly shown to whom they both refer. The arch-apostate spirit is uniformly known in the word of God, as the dragon, and the old serpent, which is the devil, Revelation 20:2 . The Church is very frequently represented under the similitude of a vineyard, and a garden; and the red wine is the choicest wine, intimating that all choice things are given to the Church; Isaiah 5:1 . etc. Matthew 20:1 , etc. Song of Solomon 7:11-12 . But what a sweet promise is here of the Lord's keeping his vineyard: how gracious, how constant, how unceasing is the Lord's watchfulness over it! And Reader! do observe: the Lord not only keeps it, but waters it; not only defends it from without, but blesses it from within; not only keeps off evil, but is himself her chief good! Song of Solomon 4:12 . And observe how gracious the Lord is in the intimations of his love and forbearance. There is nothing of anger or resentment in him towards his people. If there were, everything opposed to the Lord, would be but as briers and thorns, which the fire of his fury would instantly consume.
I place this verse alone, in order that the Reader may consider it somewhat more particularly. It is Jehovah the Father who is here speaking, and therefore it may be supposed that he is speaking, in the first sense, of the person of our glorious Mediator. And the words will then be as if Jehovah said, "Let him, as God, for such he is, and as such he is able, let him take hold of me. For having both natures, as God and man in one person, he is able, by virtue of both, to take hold of both parties, God and man, and in the strength of Jehovah, make peace between both, "by the blood of his cross." And if we regard the words as the direction given to the Church, though still with reference to Christ; the direction is, "Let the poor sinner in every state, and under every exercise, take hold of Christ, my strength, and rest upon him by faith, in a firm dependence upon his salvation; and he shall find peace with me." Reader! what a precious promise, founded on a precious Saviour!
All these are so many different expressions, to intimate that the Lord's mercy to his people is all of grace, and not for their deserts. The Lord watcheth over them for good; but it is for the exaltation of his free grace.
I detain the Reader over this verse, just to remark, that though, in the first view, the doctrine may seem harsh, yet the proper apprehension presently clears it up, and stops such a conclusion. The sense of the passage will not be far to gather, if we consider who, and what are meant by a people of no understanding. It doth not mean persons born with weak or no intellect: this is not what is meant in scripture language, when speaking of persons of no understanding. Job explains it at once, when he saith, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding, Job 28:28 . Hence, therefore, by the people the prophet here speaks of, which have no understanding, is meant men that do not, and will not, depart from evil; who know what is good, but do what is evil; who hear of Jesus, but reject and despise him. Concerning such, this scripture saith, He that made them, and he that formed them, inasmuch as they reject Christ, which is the mercy of God, will show them no favor.
The chapter closeth most graciously. There is a day promised, when Israel shall be gathered, yea, individually gathered. And when the gospel proclamation, in the jubilee trumpet, shall be blown, the saving effects shall be known. Poor sinners, ready to perish, from all the countries of the earth, shall come, outcasts from Assyria and Egypt; and all the Lord's people, shall be united together, and be one fold under one shepherd; for Jesus shall be all in all. Jeremiah 33:13 ; Revelation 14:6-7 .
READER! while Jehovah is thus singing to his Church, and commanding his people to sing unto her also, a vineyard of red wine: let you and I join the holy song, and beginning in Him, who is the chief musician, and the whole cause of our song, and who alone can string our hearts, and tune them to his praise; let us consider the blessedness of this vineyard of the Lord, and how he hath formed it for himself, and for the showing forth of his glory. Did not God the Father form this vineyard? And did not Jesus, his dear and ever-blessed Son, purchase it from his Father, at infinite cost and pains, even with his blood? And did not God the Holy Ghost gather the stones out of the hearts of his people and form them as trees of his own right hand planting? And do not all the sacred persons of the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, bless this vineyard, and with their sweet and gracious droppings of dew and rain, and all the blessed influences of heaven, visit it, and watch it, and water it every moment? And if so, who but would sing the song of salvation to this vineyard, so favoured, so blessed, and so kept, by sovereign and almighty grace! Oh! Lord! grant that there may be no blasted fruit, no withered branches in thy church and vineyard; but let the gracious cultivation flourish and bring forth fruit to the praise of thy name! And, Oh! precious Jesus! do thou come into thy garden, and eat of thy pleasant fruit! Oh! suffer not the wild boar out of the wood to root it up, nor the wild beast of the field to devour it. But do thou enable all of thine to take hold of thy strength, and in thy righteousness to be eternally secured. Be thou, Lord, the security of thy vineyard, and both the glory and the defense thereof: for then we shall be indeed strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; and unceasingly sing of the Lord's redemption of his vineyard, the Church, upon earth, and the everlasting glories of Jesus and his Church in heaven Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 27". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19