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This Chapter is but a continuation of the same subject as that of the former. The Lord is comforting and encouraging his church; and pronouncing judgment against her enemies.
Nothing can be more lovely or blessed than what is contained in these gracious promises, if read, as they are evidently designed, as made, first, to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, as Mediator; and, secondly, to all his seed in him. I hope the Reader is, by this time, so well acquainted with his Bible, as not only to hear Jesus called Jehovah's servant, without being offended at the Son of God's humiliation; but also to see and enjoy a blessedness in the name. Had not the Lord Jesus, when he took our name and nature, put himself into covenant engagements to stand in our law-room and place, as Jehovah's servant, never would our redemption by his blood and righteousness, have been accomplished. But now, in fulfilling all righteousness, and coming down to the lowest state of humbleness, for the purpose of obedience. He hath been made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him; 2 Corinthians 5:21 ; Philippians 2:11; Philippians 2:11 . And how truly blessed is it to behold, in all things, and in all offices, what the Lord Jesus became, as the sinner's Surety and Saviour, by God the Father's own appointment! All the promises here made to the Head of the Church, and his people, are by Him who made and formed the human nature of Christ, when giving him a body for the purposes of redemption, and engaging to help him through the whole of the vast undertaking; see Psalms 139:13-16; Psalms 139:13-16 ; Hebrews 5:4-5 . Then follow the promised blessings to Christ and his seed; and oh! how truly blessed is it to see the barren, dry, and wilderness state of poor perishing souls, made flourishing and fruitful, in and through their union with Christ Jesus? And when God the Father remembers his everlasting covenant with his dear Son, and pours out his Spirit from on high; then all those blessings follow, which are here described. One saith, another confirms it, and all deliberately make a voluntary surrender of themselves to be the Lord's, when once the Holy Ghost hath brought them to see and know who Christ is, and what Christ is, and hath made them willing in the day his power? Son 2:16 ; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 .
W hat sublimity is in these verses! How truly delightful to see the Lord Jehovah claiming his rightful sovereignty, and revealing himself under such glorious and distinguishing characters! There needs no comment upon what the Lord here saith of himself. Reader! let us be humbled to the dust in the contemplation of Jehovah's glory.
What a fine contrast does this view of the dung-hill god of a man's own creating, form with what went before, in which the glory of Jehovah is so sublimely set forth! If there were not facts existing to prove it, would it ever be credited, that any man, much less multitudes of men, should be found weak enough in intellect to form an image of wood, and fall down before it in worship? But, Reader! remark from it, to what an awful state is man reduced by the fall. Oh! how truly blessed is it here again, as in every other instance, to behold the mercies which Jesus brought in by redemption. Jeremiah 2:11 .
Reader! methinks I can never say enough in calling up your attention, with my own, to observe in what endearing terms the Lord is pleased to recommend his grace, and love, an mercy to his Israel! And do not forget that what is here said, is said, to the person of our Lord: first to him, and then, in him, to all his people. And be not hurt that the promise is, of blotting out as a thick cloud his transgressions; for when Jesus stood as Israel, and, as such, the surety and representative of Israel, his Church; he stood as defiled with the filthy garments of our poor fallen polluted nature. He saith himself, by the spirit of prophecy, that his iniquities were gone over his head, as a heavy burden too heavy for him, Psalms 38:4 . And is it not the express doctrine of the Bible, that Jehovah laid on him the iniquity of all his people? Indeed, had this not been the case, how would our sins have been taken away? See, I pray you, those scriptures in confirmation, and may the Holy Ghost give both you and me a right understanding in them: Isaiah 53:4-6 ; Galatians 3:13 . And hear the holy Jesus, in his cries under the weight and burden of our sins, Psalms 69:1-4 . When you have duly pondered this solemn, but most blessed of all subjects, then look well for your own interest in these promises of Jehovah, from your oneness and union with Christ, and see that you have redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of all your sins, according to the riches of God's grace; Ephesians 1:6-7 .
How beautiful and lovely comes in this hymn of praise, after the review of what went before of redemption by Christ. And how beautiful and lovely is it to observe, that the Lord takes the whole glory and praise of it to himself. He is the Author and Finisher; the Orderer, the Contriver; for in his wisdom, and love, and counsel, and purpose, the whole originated. And observe, it is Jehovah himself that here calls upon all creation, both animate and inanimate, to join in the song of redemption. Oh! Reader! what a song will redemption be, in that day, when the Lord Jesus shall come to gather up his jewels!
Here is a renewed instance of Jehovah's claiming the distinguishing prerogative of his sovereignty; and a most blessed one it is. And when we consider the reasons for which the Lord thus reveals himself, in holding it forth for the confirmation of his love to his people, nothing can be more blessed, both as it serves to display the divine glory, and to encourage the minds of the people. The Lord here first introduceth Cyrus by name, who in after-ages was to be raised up for the deliverance of his people: concerning whom the succeeding chapter speaks more largely.
READER! let us not dismiss this blessed Chapter (for it is a very blessed one), until we have first looked up for grace to gather the several improving reflections it affords; and also looked within, into our own hearts, for the discovery of our personal interest in it.
And first, blessed Immanuel! my soul would desire to behold thee, as the glorious Head and Representative of thine Israel; unto whom all these precious promises are given, and in whom they become yea and amen to thy redeemed in thee. Yea, Lord, thou hast condescended to become all that is here said for thy Church, thy body; and therefore, in thee, and by thee, and from thee, would my soul alone look for all the blessings of the covenant.
And shall I not plead then with thee, my God and Father in Christ Jesus, for his righteousness sake, that thou wilt do as thou hast said? Did Jehovah promise our glorious Surety, to pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground? And is not my soul athirst for those waters of Bethlehem; and longing for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, more than the hart panteth for the water brooks? Oh! for the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit, to be poured out from on high on my soul, until the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water! And oh! for grace to give, and to be continually giving the same full testimony to the truth as it is in Jesus, that I may call myself the Lord's, and fully and unalterably subscribe with my hand and whole heart, that I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine!
Blessed Lord! would I say, while the heavens are singing salvation, and the lower parts of the earth are sounding praise, let my poor lisping tongue join the charming chorus, that the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 44". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany