The Prophet is at prayer: and God is in the confirmation of his promises in Christ, and the glories of the Church in her Husband and Saviour, are most joyfully set forth and celebrated.
They were happy times, when the Lord's servants burned with an holy zeal for their Lord's honour; and the Church of Zion, whose name hath been from all eternity engraven on the Lord's hands, had the first affection in the people's hearts. Whoever was the person here spoken of that felt so ardent a concern for Zion, we must not over-look the Person of him whose zeal for his Father's house did eat him up. Psalms 69:9. Precious Lord Jesus! what were thy prayers for, in which thou didst spend whole nights, but for thy Zion! Who shall describe them? Luke 6:12.
How much the Holy Ghost seems to dwell upon the Church; beauty and loveliness, in various parts of his word: See Song of Solomon 4:7; Isaiah 65:15. And was not this scripture fulfilled, when the Redeemer informed John of the blessings of the Church in him? Revelation 3:12.
The Church is her Lord's glory: so the Apostle was commissioned to inform the Church, 2 Corinthians 8:23. And when John saw the Lord Jesus in a vision, he beheld on his head many crowns, Revelation 19:12. Reader? It is Christ's coronation day, when any poor sinner is brought to ascribe the sole glory of his redemption to the Lord Jesus Christ, Jesus hath then another crown.
Hephzi-bah, signifies delight; and Beulah means union and marriage. The joy is, that the soul is a marriageable creature, and that the Lord Jesus, in his assumption of our nature, hath married us, and made us one with himself. Sweetest of all thoughts, my soul! thy Maker is thine Husband: the Lord of hosts is his name; Isaiah 54:5. Well might the Apostle speak of it as a great mystery, Ephesians 5:32.
Here we see, in whose appointment ministers are, and what ought to distinguish the earnestness of their labours. What can be more blessed, and what service so honourable, as to be always engaged in speaking from God to the people, and bearing the people, in the arms of faith and prayer, before God?
I beg the Reader to observe, how very sweet and frequent those promises are, scattered here and there, all over scripture which speak of God's absolute engagement to bless his people; and let him not for a moment forget, that they are all yea and amen in Christ.
The gospel way is a high way, and was all along to be so marked; and the Lord promised that it should be so plain, that the way faring men, though fools, should not err therein; Isaiah 35:8. And the character of the Lord's people was also as plainly sketched. They were to be a peculiar people; a people that should dwell alone, and not be reckoned among the nations. Jesus undertook to search them out, in all places, whither they had been driven, in the cloudy and dark day. Reader! it will be always profitable to discover, in our own experience, the sweet testimonies to these truths.
OH! for a portion of that holy zeal, which inflamed the minds of the faithful of old, when they preferred Zion, and her interests, above their chief joy! But now, alas! it may be said, in the language of the Prophet, Zion hath none to guide her, among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any to take her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up. Alas! what a day of languishing is Zion now in! Oh! that the Lord would take to himself his great name, and come forth in his own glorious cause, conquering and to conquer; that those sweet promises might be fulfilled, when his land should no more be termed forsaken, nor be found desolate; but that Zion's walls might become salvation, and her gates praise!
And oh! ye watchmen, whom our God hath set upon the walls of his Jerusalem, see to it, that ye hold not your peace, day nor night! Speak to the people for God and his Christ; and speak to our God, for his people in Christ. Ye know the vast, the infinite importance of your situation, and the awful responsibility in which the service of the sanctuary placeth you. Like watchmen, therefore, do ye not only watch over your own souls, but over the souls of the people. Look well to their state, to their order, and discipline. Mark well how others walk with Christ, and in Christ. See the tendencies of the Lord in his word, in his providence, in his grace, to his Church and people. Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people. Observe, and tell the people of the motions and advances of the enemy upon the ramparts of Zion; and above all, look up with holy earnestness and importunity to the Great King of Zion, and wrestle with him in prayer, that when the enemy cometh in like a food, the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard against him. Blessed Lord Jesus: make thy Zion, thy Church, as thou hast here said, the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, and as a city that thou hast sought out, and which shall never be forsaken!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 62". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany