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This Chapter, like the former, contains reproofs mingled with promises. The graciousness of God to his church is tenderly set forth and there is much of Christ in this sweet scripture.
Reader! remark amidst all the rebellions of Israel, how the Lord still calls them children. And though chastisement must and will follow their disobedience, yet, the very chastisement proves the Lord's design to recover them. And the method the Lord takes to accomplish his purpose, manifests his gracious intention. For, do they seek strength from foreign alliances? then shall those alliances be the rod to their own punishment. Do they seek to Pharaoh instead of the Lord? and trust in the reeds of Egypt, when the Rock of ages would have supported them? then shall shame and a reproach be the consequence. Reader! it surely distinguisheth a divine hand, when our confidences prove our ruin!
These are parts of the same burden, and not unlike what was said before concerning Egypt, under the figure of the land shadowing with wings, Isaiah 18:1 .
It should seem that Isaiah wrote to them, as well as preached to them. And as Israel's rebellion descended, like the blood in the veins, from father to son, there needed a standing memorial on the subject; for what the Prophet said to one, suited all. It is an awful thing when the preachers of the word accommodate what they deliver, to the false tastes of their hearers!
Now the Lord raiseth up instruments to punish his children from their own pursuits, and, like Jonah's gourd, maketh a worm to come forth from the root of it! The Lord had assured his people, that if they would rest upon his power, he would protect them. But they thought a banded army of men would be better, and, therefore, as they valued Egypt's strength more than heaven's security, they should find, to their cost, that that strength should profit them nothing.
Reader! observe the workings of grace, and how the Lord's love breaks out, before the weapons of sin in the rebellious child's hands fall down. And do observe, in this sweet scripture, not only the waitings in the Lord to be gracious, but to be very gracious; not only his bowels yearning to pardon, but to take into favor. And though, in outward providences, the Lord seemed to frown, in the hard and coarse fare of bread in adversity, and water in affliction, yet love was in all, and at the bottom of all. And, as a proof of it, whereas in times past, the Lord's prophets and teachers had been prohibited from speaking to the people, in the name of the Lord; yet now the people should not only hear and see them, but feel the power of grace upon their hearts, accompanying the word. They should have the hearing ear and the seeing eye, yea, they should not only hear the word behind them, but feel it in them, and have Christ formed in their heart, the hope of glory. Reader! do you know anything of this?
How very sweetly and blessedly doth the Prophet describe the sure effects of grace, in the hearts of those, where God's words, like the good seed, have fallen into good ground! Everything that is filthy, they desire to cast away; and everything that is holy, they desire to follow. And the Lord goeth on to bless such souls, and to water the word sown in their hearts, with the continual dew of his blessing: there shall be rivers and streams of waters, Song of Solomon 4:15 ; Psalms 46:4 . And as all creation groaneth by reason of man's sin, so shall the inferior creatures be made fat and full, by reason of man's recovery by grace. Yea, so blessed shall be this day, that light, life, and joy shall burst forth, compared to former darkness, death, and sorrow, as the light of seven days, a fulness of glory. Reader! is it not so in the soul, when Jesus, the morning star, hath arisen, and a light, never more to be darkness, is made by almighty grace, in the circumstances of every poor sinner?
I hope that the Reader is, by this time, so well acquainted with scripture, as to need not the remark how, all along, the Lord is forever blending, judgment with mercy. Here we have, as in many other places in the word of God, the horrible punishment of the despisers of God and of his Christ; while we have been comforted with the blessings of those that love and fear him. And in all periods of the Church we find these united predictions constantly and faithfully fulfilled. And the people of God are called upon to bless God, when the Lord puts down their enemies before their face. They have a song as in the night. Witness the case in Egypt, Exodus 15:1 , etc. Witness the same in Babylon, Psalms 137:8-9 . And the final triumph of God's people is described the same, when standing on the sea of glass, and singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb: Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name, for thou only art holy? For all nations shall come and worship before thee, for thy judgments are made manifest! Revelation 15:2-4 .
BLESSED Lord! rebellious as I am, and unworthy of the least of thy mercies, yet, Lord, for thine own great name's sake, let my covering be the covering of thy
Spirit; and let me never seek strength from the Egypts of this world, in an arm of flesh, or the false confidences of the heart. Oh! precious Lord Jesus! be thou my strength, and salvation, and my sure help in every time of need! And let that sweet promise of thine, everlastingly stay me; the Lord waiteth to be gracious; waiteth, not only to give the mercy in the best time, but to prepare his people for the best, and most timely enjoyment of it. Let this be my case, O Lord. Do thou prepare me for the true apprehension of thyself, and of all thy mercies. And when my Lord hath made room in my poor soul for himself, by driving out every other thought, and affection; then may my God and Saviour, come and take the entire possession, and reign and rule there, the Lord of life and glory!
Most gracious Lord! how ought my soul to praise thee, for thy graciousness to Zion, in the present hour; that amidst all the languishing state of thy Churches, thou art still merciful in preserving to us our ordinances. Yea, Lord, thou hast not, as our backslidings have deserved, removed our candlestick out of its place. Our sabbaths, we still enjoy. Thy holy word is still in our houses. Our teachers are not shut up in a corner. Oh! for grace to see our mercies and oh! for the
Lord's blessing upon them, that they may be rendered blessings indeed to us, and our souls made blessed in the use of them! But is there not, O Lord, cause to fear, that since, in the present day, the light of gospel truth, compared to former times, is as the light of seven days in one; if the nation that is called by thy name, loveth darkness rather than light, because her deeds are evil, that thine indignation, as this chapter sets forth, will burn as a devouring flame? Is there not reason indeed to dread, that the Lord will put a bridle in the jaws of the people causing them to err? And as they persist in despising this Christ, and do not like to retain God in their knowledge: the Lord will give them over to a reprobate mind? Almighty God! in reading thy judgments, mingled with mercy, I would rejoice indeed, but rejoice with trembling. Oh! give to my soul songs in the night. The present hour is an hour that needs such mercies. Do thou, Lord, impart them to thy people, as in the days of old. And now, while thy Church standeth as upon a sea of glass, let the song of Moses and of the Lamb be the song of all thy redeemed: Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty! just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 30". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13