This Chapter opens with describing the nature and consequence of sin. The gracious interposition of Jesus, as a Surety and Intercessor, then follows. And the Chapter closeth with some sweet and precious promises, in consequence of the rich covenant of God in Christ.
What a blessed assurance does this Chapter open with; and, as if the Lord would have it particularly taken notice of, it is prefaced with a Behold! Very often, I believe, the people of God have found comfort from this scripture; and as it hath refreshed and sustained souls under sharp exercises; so will it continue to do, in all the remaining ages of the Church. And Reader! do not overlook the gracious revelation as it concerns yourself: If at any time the Lord hides his face, and his glory be for the moment eclipsed to our view, look diligently for the cause, and it will be found to originate in ourselves. It is our iniquities, our shyness to come to the Lord, and our deadness in coming, which makes a veil of separation. See Song of Solomon 5:2-3.
Here is a long and sad account of men's revolt and transgression, which fully explains what was said before, as well as accounts for the divine corrections which followed. Men may well wait for the light, and grope in darkness, when all the faculties are either benumbed with sin, or if alive are employed in the services of Satan, as here described; and how shall they know the way of peace, when their pursuits are all after sin? There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked, Isaiah 57:21.
I made but a short observation on the long passage before this, in order that I might enter upon the soul-relieving truth in the view of the Lord Jesus, which here succeeds the melancholy subject. He saw that there was no man. Whom is this spoken of, but of Jesus? Who was it saw the poverty and ruin of our nature, and determined to interpose for our salvation, but the Lord Jesus? Who, but he, could be both our Saviour and Intercessor? Precious Lord Jesus! it was, indeed, thine own arm that brought salvation; for the sins of thy people would have crushed every arm but thine, when, in the days of thy flesh, thou didst bear all the sins of thy redeemed in thine own body, on the tree! Oh! how truly lovely is it now, to behold thee, by faith, standing forth, the devoted head of thy body, the Church, and for her enduring the cross, and despising the shame! Oh! how truly blessed, to behold thee in thy priestly garments, and in a vesture dipped, in blood, triumphing over all the power of hell; and in our nature recompensing fury to thine enemies, and manifesting favor to thy chosen! And surely thy zeal to thy Father's house, and to thy Father's honour, may well, from the completeness of it, be compared to the covering of a cloke. Isaiah 63:1-6; Revelation 19:13; Psalms 69:9; John 2:16-17.
These words come in most blessedly, after the former, to show the consequence of Christ's interposition, and the effects of his offices and labour: we have a similar prophesy by Malachi that such should take place; and in Christ Jesus all is yea and amen; Malachi 1:11. And it is among the sweet offices of the Holy Ghost, to glorify Jesus, John 16:14. The Apostle Paul makes application of what is said here of the Redeemer coming to Zion, directly to the person of Christ, Romans 11:26. Reader! think how lovely our God our Kinsman-Redeemer is: and how ought all his brethren to be on the look-out for him, for the full accomplishment of this most blessed promise, when both Jew and Gentile shall be brought into one fold, under one Shepherd, John 10:16.
I know not with what views my Reader will regard this verse: But to me, I confess, it is as blessed a promise as any in the Bible. Indeed it forms a comprehension of almost every other. For is it not God the Father, speaking to the person of God the Son, in his proposed character of Mediator, in his rich promises concerning Jesus's redeemed? And doth not God, in his covenant-relationship, undertake to fulfil his gracious engagements, concerning the Lord's people? And, as such, may we not, as the redeemed of the Lord, look up, and plead for the accomplishment? Nay, is it not intended, by the very engagement itself, that we should? Blessed Lord, I would say, do as thou hast said: let a blessed portion of that Spirit, which was on Jesus, without measure, be upon all Jesus's seed and offspring, according to the measure of the gift of Christ John 3:34; Ephesians 4:7.
MY soul! learn from what thy God hath said, how to form conclusions, both of the Lord's hand in helping his people, and of the Lord's ear in hearing their prayers. If at any time the enemy triumph, and the Lord seem to hide his face, search for the cause, and trace thine iniquities to their source. Alas! what need have I, like Ezra, day by day, to take shame and confusion of face, because mine iniquities are increased, and my trespasses grown up to the heavens.
Precious Lord Jesus! what everlasting confusion would cover me, did I not behold thee, as this sweet Chapter represents, coming as the Advocate and Propitiation, the Redeemer and Intercessor, of poor perishing sinners! Thine own arm, O Lord, wrought out deliverance tor thy people; for none of thy redeemed were competent to stand with thee. Take, Lord, to thyself all the glory, for thou alone hast wrought all the salvation, while all the blessed consequences of it are to thy people.
And do thou, most gracious God and Father, for thy dear Son's sake, fulfil all thy promises in the soul of thy people. Put, Lord, thy blessed Spirit in us, and we shall live: and let the everlasting efficacy of Christ's blood and righteousness, produce the everlasting blessings of both, among thy redeemed, from henceforth and forever!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 59". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany