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This Chapter contains a mingled subject of divine judgment and divine mercies, The enemies of God and his Church are threatened, and his people comforted.
If this denunciation be directed, as it should seem to be, being personal, to any particular character or nation, the Assyrian must be the one evidently intended. In proof, let the Reader consult 2 Kings 18:11 and 2 Kings 19:35-36 . And for the full ruin, See Daniel 4:28 to the end.
What a sweet, though short prayer! And if it refers to the former history of the invasion of Samaria, by the king of Assyria, how speedily was it answered.
If the Prophet be here speaking of general things, the whole will be suited to all times, in the Church. God's faithfulness is the same: the efficacy of Christ's blood and righteousness, the same: and the blessed effect of both, the same, on the minds of the people. When Jehovah ariseth in grace upon the hearts of his redeemed, how is he exalted in glory to their view!
If temporal judgments, like those which God wrought upon the Assyrian army, had such effect upon the sinners in Zion, what will be the terror and dismay of transgressors, in the prospect of the everlasting judgments of God? And, Reader, do not fail to remark, that these things are here said, not of sinners in general, but Zion's sinners more especially; the Christ-despising sinners, who count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing. Jeremiah 12:5 ; Hebrews 10:29 .
W hat a string of rich promises are here, like so many pearls for the believer's neck! What is it to walk righteously, but to walk in Christ, and with Christ? Colossians 2:6 . And what is it to despise the gain of oppressions and the like, but, under the sweet influences of grace, to live as becometh the gospel, of Christ: to put off the old man which is corrupt, and to put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness? See the portrait at the full, Ephesians 4:21-25 . And what will be the consequence of this life of faith? He shall dwell on high; in Jesus out of the reach of danger. Being one with Christ, he is saved in Christ. No arrow from the shaft of the enemy shall touch him. No weapon formed against him shall prosper. But these blessings are not all. His place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks. He shall be hid out of sight, out of reach, out of danger, in times of general calamities, when the sinners in Zion are afraid. And though in rocks, and retired corners, yet his bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure. Precious promises! And as full and sure, in spiritual things, to the people of God, as in temporals. For though hid from men, his eyes shall see Jesus in his beauty. And he will be to him both the bread of life and the water of life: all he needs in time, and all his blessedness to all eternity. John 6:35 .
These precious things are said, to carry off the minds of the people from the terrors of the approaching captivity, to the prospect of gospel times, which should be accomplished by the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Assyrians, and those which would lead Israel into bondage, would be a fierce people, and of a language the Hebrews could not understand: But, saith the Lord, let Zion be comforted in the prospect of his coming, whose advent shall be in righteousness, and who bringeth salvation forever! Oh! how truly blessed is it to read those rich promises, with an eye to Jesus! And now we who live in gospel times have seen them accomplished; what unspeakable mercies have they all found, who have truly found them in Jesus, and Jesus in them! In him and his complete salvation, we are indeed come to that blessed climate, where sickness, sorrow, and death, in the final consequences of it, are done away; and we hear him, in his glorious character, proclaimed, Jehovah Rophe, I am the Lord that healeth thee, Exodus 15:26 .
BLESSED Lord! I would pass by all other reflections, profitable as they might otherwise be, if I had not thee in view, to look at my Lord Jesus, under some of those most sweet and precious revelations which thy servant the Prophet has given of thee in this chapter. Here I see thee, Lord, the true, the lawful king in Zion! Here I behold thee, the glorious Lord in the midst of thy people! Yes, blessed Jesus, thou wilt be indeed, and thou last been in all ages, a place of broad rivers and streams. For what though thy Church, like Jerusalem of old, hath no navigable seas, nor gallant ships, nor frontiers of her own, to keep her from the common foe; yet if Jesus, in his own person be all these, and more, who shall attack, or dare approach to hurt? What proud galley with oars shall row to the hurt of thine anointed, while Jesus is himself the broad river, and streams of waters? Oh! precious Lord! how eternally secure must they be, who have a God in Christ for their judge; a God in Christ for their lawgiver; and a God in Christ for their king! Take me, dear Lord, under thy protection, and be thou to me, Jesus: for then I shall no longer say, I am sick, when thou hast forgiven, and taken away all iniquity, and cast all my sins into the depths of the sea.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 33". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Easter