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Notwithstanding certain parts, here and there, in this Chapter, which may, at the first glance, appear to have an historical allusion to Babylon and the captivity: yet the great and evident point in the whole hath reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. His person, offices, and character, are strongly marked.
The Prophet Hosea whose ministry was not many years before that of Isaiah hath made use of the same figure of the married state, to represent the Mediator's union with his people; and here the Prophet Isaiah adopts the same method. It is indeed, a very striking figure, and the Lord Jesus himself seems to delight in it. See Hosea 2:0 ; Jeremiah 3:14-15 ; Matthew 22:2 . It may serve to teach us some sweet and precious things. By the assumption of our nature the Lord Jesus hath shown, that the soul is a marriageable creature to Christ, and therefore capable of an union with him, and enjoyment in him, to all eternity. What a sorrowful thought then is it, that by sin we should at any time estrange ourselves from our Lord, our husband; and that our iniquities should act like a bill of divorcement! Precious Jesus! be thou our husband still, and perform the tender office of the husband and the friend, notwithstanding our backsliding; for the Lord God of Israel saith that he that hateth putting away, Malachi 2:16 . I only add, that perhaps the expressions here denoted, concerning the Lord's, drying up the sea, making the rivers a wilderness, and causing the fish to stink, hath respect to the display of his miracles in Egypt, for the deliverance of his people.
I should think it an unnecessary service to point out whom this account refers to. Everything here spoken is so directly descriptive of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, that it is hardly possible to lose sight of Jesus while reading what is here said. Of whom but Jesus could it ever be said, that he had the tongue of the learned? Who could say to the weary, Come unto me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls? Whose ear was opened, or bored, as Jehovah's servant, that loved his master, loved his wife and children, and therefore would not go out free? Of whom but Jesus could this have ever been said, to the full extent? Psalms 40:6-7 , compared with Exodus 21:5-6 . Who but Jesus gave his back to the smiters, and hid not his face from shame and spitting? And Reader, do not overlook as interesting a part as any, in this representation of Jesus; namely, that it was the Lord God Jehovah, who appointed thy Surety, to all this. Oh! what strength doth faith derive from the view, when, in the sufferings of Christ, we trace the hand of Jehovah appointing to all! It was this which crowned the whole, that Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest: and in all he bore and suffered, it was the Lord who laid on him the iniquities of us all, Hebrews 5:5 ; Isaiah 53:6 . Therefore how sure was Christ's dependence for support from the Father, to carry him through the work; and how sure is our dependence and confidence in him, for justification, as the Lord our righteousness!
Here is the Lord Jesus; having the tongue of the learned, giving a word of comfort to the weary and exercised soul. Reader! pray observe how likely, yea, how proper it is, that one who feareth the Lord, may yet walk in darkness. But how blessed is the case of such an one, that, however dark his walk may be, Jesus is at the end to lighten it up, and in the mean time will be his light and salvation. Psalms 27:1 .
We have several examples in the ministry of God's servants, who, in their animated expostulations, adopt language like this. The Apostle Paul, after finishing a solemn discourse to his countrymen, on the subject of Christ's redemption, makes use of the same, Acts 13:41 ; and what an awful darkness will that be, in which men must lie down forever, if they refuse all light to walk by, but of their own kindling; despising the light of Jesus, who is the light, and the life of the world! Oh! for grace, that it may never be the condemnation of the writer, or reader, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil! John 3:19 .
Lamb of God! do I not behold thee, in this representation of the Prophet, the man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief? And though thou didst set thy face as a flint, amidst all the despisings of men, when condescending to the deepest abasement; yet, Lord, thou hadst indeed the tongue of the learned, and now, thou knowest how to speak a word in season to weary souls, as thou didst then, when thine own soul was put to grief, and it pleased the Lord to bruise thee. Oh! speak to me that sweet word, in every season, which may make me rest with full assurance of faith on thy blood and righteousness!
Why, blessed Lord, was it, that thou, who art thyself the light, and the life of men, didst walk in darkness? Wherefore wast thou deserted of the Father, when, in that unequalled season of agony on the cross, it forced dolorous cries from thy soul? Was it, dearest Jesus, that thy people might know, from thy bright example, where to look, and in whom to confide? And wast thou for a time deserted, and in darkness, that thy people might not be deserted forever? Arise, ye poor benighted souls, who now walk in darkness! Look unto Jesus, and let him be your light, and your life, and your salvation! And while others are walking in the glow worm sparks of their own confidence, do ye behold the glory of the Lord risen upon thee, whose light shall no more go down, neither cause thee to lie down in sorrow, for the Lord Jesus shall be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 50". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14