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W e have here a continuance of the same blessed subject as before. As the Prophet had held forth Christ's person, and then his Church; so here these blessed subjects are followed with gracious invitations, promises, and assurances of mercies in him.
The Reader will not fail to remark, in the very opening of this precious chapter, what an uniformity runs through all gospel proclamations. They are general, they are great, full, free, and extensive. everyone individually, both Jew and Gentile, bond and free, shall be welcome to Christ, if Christ be welcome to them. Yea, the Lord will answer before they call. If they do but thirst for Jesus, it is a proof that he hath made them willing in the day of his power; Isaiah 65:24 ; Psalms 110:4 ; John 7:37-39 . How sweet and gracious is this? The waters they are called unto, mean the word, the ordinances, and the several means of grace in the gospel: and the sacred viands, milk and wine, mean the body and blood of Christ. Jesus is all this, and infinitely more than all: For his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed; Song of Solomon 5:1 ; John 6:33-58 . The method of purchase differs from all others in the world; it is without money, and without price! Sweet consideration, and blessed encouragement to the poor and needy, who have nothing to buy with, and nothing to offer. The reason is obvious: Christ, the pearl of great price, is not sold, but given: moreover, if he were saleable, who could purchase? See 1 Peter 1:18-19 . When all these things are considered, how delightful is the counsel of Jesus, Revelation 3:17-18 . I only detain the Reader with one observation more on this passage, just to remark, that as all these mercies in Christ are general, free, full, and extensive; so are they, in Christ Jesus, sure and everlasting; liable to no change, incapable of being lost or taken away; for they are the sure mercies of David; alluding to God's covenant engagements with our spiritual David, the Lord Jesus Christ: compare 2 Samuel 23:5 , with Acts 13:34 . After such gracious declarations as these, what weakness and folly must it be to seek redemption in anything short of Christ, or in anything but Christ! This, in the language of this scripture, like the man that spends his substance for chaff, and not bread; and his labour for that which cannot satisfy.
How sweet and blessed is this declaration of Jehovah, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. Here he is revealed under those distinguishing characters. And is he not the faithful witness in heaven? Called of God the Father, hath he not witnessed the whole truth of God, by his spotless life and holy death? Yea, doth he not now, by his blessed Spirit, confirm the whole, in the hearts, and lives, and consciences of his people? Is he not the leader, the captain, the commander, of his little army, in guiding, directing, strengthening, and making more than conquerors, all his chosen, through this wilderness, to his kingdom above?
Reader! do observe, that as, in the former verse, Jehovah spoke of Christ, so here, now blessedly he speaks to him. And this promise is among the covenant engagements, that when he made his soul an offering for sin, he should see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied; Isaiah 53:11 .
Oh! how blessed is it to see the earnestness with which the Lord pleads with his people. The gospel is called the ministry of reconciliation, 2 Corinthians 5:18 .
Among a thousand testimonies in proof of this doctrine, as if to draw an everlasting line of distinction between the perfections of Jehovah and the character of all his creatures, this of grace and mercy in the thoughts and ways of God's works! What an unmeasurable distance is this little globe from the unlimited heavens, and the unknown worlds with which we are surrounded! And yet these inconceivable disproportions are nothing, in point of opposition, to the pardoning grace of God in Christ, compared to the guilt of man. Reader! it is our contracted notion of things, which makes us limit the Holy One of Israel. If the loftiest mountain were cast into the sea, the top of it would be lost, and totally covered; and the Prophet says that such is the fulness of grace and mercy in Christ, when God casts all our sins into the depths of the sea of Christ's blood; Micah 7:18-20 .
Here are more sweet images and similitudes, to describe the great and wonderful properties of God's sovereign grace in Christ Jesus. How doth the snow and the rain from heaven come down? Often unperceived; often in large showers; sometimes gentle; always unsought for, and unasked. Such, then, is the grace of God; it waiteth not for man, neither tarrieth for the sons of men. He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth: likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength, Job 37:6 . And oh! how blessed is it to observe, that this grace of God in Christ cometh as the rain from heaven! not only before we ask it, but before we know that we stood in need of it; yea, it cometh in opposition to all our undeservings and rebellions. Oh! Lord! how dost thou surprise thy people with thy grace? And how is the word of thy grace made prosperous in the souls of thy people, wholly from thine own almighty power! Micah 5:7 ; Psalms 72:6 .
Reader! do not fail to observe what a beautiful conclusion is made to this most gracious chapter! Surely, it is but just and right, that what begins in grace should end in thanksgiving! Praise is comely for the righteous. And how can any, and every redeemed soul do otherwise than shout aloud for joy, when Jesus is become his salvation? Such a blessed change is made from darkness to light, and from the power of sin and Satan unto God, that it may well be compared to the removal of briers and thorns, when Jesus hath taken them all away, and planted himself in the heart, as the fir-tree and myrtle-tree of Lebanon. Isaiah 35:0 throughout.
AND is this gospel call to every poor thirsty sinner, whose soul is scorched in this dry and thirsty land of sin? Doth Jesus indeed send out his heralds, yea, come himself with the invitation? Do I hear him say, as he said in the last great day of the feast, If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink? What! is the invitation so general, so great, so extensive, that to thirst only for Christ, is a sufficient qualification to find Christ? He doth not say, If any good man, any righteous man, any deserving man, thirst; but the proclamation from the court of heaven is simply, if any man thirst! Oh! for grace to hear and know the joyful sound, and that he who gives the call, may give also the thirst of soul, to come at the gracious invitation. Precious Lord Jesus! let it be the portion, both of him that writes, and him that reads, to receive, on our bended knees, in transports of rejoicing, the unspeakable gift, and come to the waters without money and without price. Like David, may we cry out, "Oh! that one would give me of these waters of our spiritual Bethlehem, even Jesus and his full salvation, to drink!" 2 Samuel 23:15 .
Do thou, Holy Spirit! give us, as poor sinners, to see, while reading this blessed scripture, that we are they that have indeed spent our time, and talents, and substance, while pursuing anything but Jesus, as those who spend their money for that which is not bread, and their labour in any righteousness but his, for that which cannot satisfy. Do thou, Lord, incline our ear, that we may hear, and come to Jesus, who is himself both the whole of the covenant, and the sure mercies of David. He saith himself, who is the faithful witness in heaven, that he will cause them that love him to inherit substance, and he will fill their treasures. And do thou help us, oh thou Spirit of all truth, to have such views of the freeness, fulness, and greatness of God's rich mercy in Christ, as may remove forever all our contracted notions of sovereign grace, that we may come to Him, who hath abounding pardons for abounding sin, and can, and will, save to the uttermost all who come to God by him. And, Lord, let thy word, like the precious influences of heaven, have free course upon our souls, to run and be glorified. Fulfil thine own gracious promises; cause it never to return void, but to be blessed, and accomplish thy merciful purposes. And then shall we go forth here, during a life of grace, like the flourishing plants of the earth; and ere long be among the trees of the Lord's right-hand planting, in the paradise of our God in heaven, in and through the glorious salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 55". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28