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The Lord Jesus, by his servant the Prophet, is still comforting his Church; calls upon her to live upon, and rest in the full enjoyment of his free salvation; holds forth many sweet promises, and points to the loveliness of his servants, by whom he sends his gospel of peace.
Was there ever a more gracious, a more encouraging invitation given for sinners to be made happy, than is here held forth, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ? Jehovah had before commanded his people to take hold of his strength, to make peace with him; and promised that they should do so: and here the Lord showeth what that strength is, and how it is to be received. For what is the strength of Zion, but the salvation of Jesus; and what is the beautiful garments of Jerusalem, but his robe of righteousness? And who can put it upon the believer, but God the Holy Ghost? Oh! how precious is it to see Jesus in everything! See Isaiah 27:5 ; and to the same amount, Job 23:3-6 ; John 16:13-14 . And when the Church of Jesus is thus clothed, thus adorned, as a bride for her husband, how perfectly free is she from all captivity, and all uncleanness; John 8:36 ; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ; Revelation 21:2 ; Ephesians 5:25-27 .
Reader! pause, and admire the beauty, as well as the grace, displayed in this scripture. The Lord had a right in his people, by creation, when they sold themselves to sin. When the devil broke into this our world, he came as a thief and a robber. The Lord did not lose his right by the devil's plundering, nor our apostasy; and, therefore, we were still his by right. Moreover, the sale we made of ourselves, was neither for his profit, nor our advantage. And, therefore, as the whole was an act of fraud, our redemption should be without money, and without price. But oh! how infinitely precious and invaluable was the purchase! See what the Apostle saith of it, 1 Peter 1:18-19 . And what a vassalage is sin! How do poor burdened sinners groan, when they come to feel the chains of sin, of Satan, of an awakened conscience, the terror of God's broken law and justice, and the dread of temporal and eternal death!
How very blessed and refreshing does this verse come in, after what went before! And, Reader, remark that this regard which Jehovah hath to his great name, is the best of all possible arguments for his people, when going to a throne of grace in Christ. See how Moses, how Joshua; dwelt upon it yea, observe how the Lord himself refers everything of grace which he purposeth, to this one glorious consideration; Exodus 32:9-15 ; Joshua 7:5-9 ; Ezekiel 36:22-23 . Reader! do we truly know the Lord's name, and is this gracious promise ours in Christ Jesus?
What glorious tidings of salvation must they be, when the very feet of those who bring them, are accounted by the Lord himself to be beautiful! This is indeed good news from a far country; and when the soul that hears the joyful sound, knows by heart-felt experience, that Jesus reigneth in and over all his affections, this is a joy unspeakable and full of glory. I cannot dismiss this view of the beautifulness of the feet of Jesus's sent servants, without reminding the Reader how Jesus honoured them; see John 13:3-5 ; neither can I look at the servants, without still having my mind more fully led to the contemplation of the master. Reader! think how beautiful were the feet of Jesus when he came over the mountains of sin, in our nature, and published peace in his blood! Think how the feet of Jesus appeared when on Mount Calvary they were nailed, for us and our salvation, to the cross! Oh! thou unequalled pattern of everything beautiful and lovely! And how blessed are the promises that follow! Zion's watchmen shall see, eye to eye, when redemption here promised, was completed; and was it not so, when they saw Jesus, face to face, in the days of his flesh, when he manifested his glory, and his disciples believed on him? John 2:11 . It is not so now, in every instance, both in the Jewish and the Gentile Church, where the Lord hath made bare his holy arm, and the believing soul cries out, as holy Simeon, Mine eyes have seen thy salvation Luke 2:30 . And will it not be so in that day, when the Lord shall make up his jewels, when every eye shall see him, and he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe? Rev 1:7 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:10 .
Probably the Prophet had his eye upon the deliverance of the people from Egypt; and it is probable also, that he connected with this view of what was past, the deliverance that was to come, when the Babylonish captivity, like the Egyptian should be over. But far greater prospects, no doubt, the Prophet had in contemplation, when he thus spake. The glorious redemption of poor sinners, by the Lord Jesus, called for this haste to depart, and to take nothing with them, when brought to see and feel their dreadful captivity in sin, and the pollutions of it. Oh! with what haste, like Lot's flight from Sodom, would men flee from the wrath to come, did they but know the things which make for their peace, and before they are forever hid from their eyes. Reader! do not overlook how this sweet scripture declares the everlasting presence of Jesus with his people. The pillar of the cloud, and the pillar of fire, are still with all the redeemed. Exodus 13:21-22 ; Matthew 28:20 .
The Prophet could not help following up what he had said in the preceding verse, of the Lord's presence, with somewhat of the Lord's person. And what a lovely, though short account, hath he given of him! How he speaks of his person, his visage, his form; and how of his conduct and humble demeanor! How he describes the treatment he should meet with, and his lamb-like deportment under it! Precious Lord Jesus! is it so? Was it so? - Is it said that Moses was exceeding fair; and that thou, Moses' Lord, hadst a form marred more that of any man! Lord, teach me to distrust all I see in man, and seek for nothing of comfort or of hope, but in thee only! Romans 15:21 .
READER! may it be your mercy and mine, that, while reading this blessed scripture, we may both awake, at the call of Jesus, and put on his beautiful garments of salvation, and find strength to our souls in his righteousness! May we have grace to shake ourselves from every defilement, and never let those souls of ours be again sullied with sin, after having been washed, and made white in the blood of the Lamb.
And do thou Lord, who hast redeemed us without money, fulfil all thy precious promises, which this chapter contains. Give us to know thy name, and the glories of it; and may we make use of it, by faith, for every occurrence. Thy name is WONDERFUL; and thou wilt perform wonders for thy people. Thy name is GRACIOUS; and thou wilt be most gracious, in pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin. Thy name is the HEARER OF PRAYER; and thou wilt be found of all them that call upon thee. Yea, Lord! so full and blessed is thy name, in every situation of thy people, that whatever names our wants may create, thou, Lord, hast a name infinitely beyond the whole, and able to answer all. Oh! then, cause me to know thy name, that I may put my trust in thee.
And while I read with what pleasure my God himself beholds the feet of his servants, whom he sends to publish, in his holy mountain, tidings of peace; let me welcome the faithful messenger, in the name of the Lord: and, above all, may it be my constant delight to sit at the feet of Jesus, to hear the gracious words that proceed out of his mouth!
Blessed servant of Jehovah! let me never cease to look on thee, never cease to love thee, never cease to adore thee! Let the kings and great ones of the earth shut their mouths at thee; be it my portion to behold thy face in righteousness, so shall I be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 52". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30