The speaker of these words is the personal Messiah. Notice the remarkable parallelism in the expressions selected as the text: "I will not hold My peace;" the watchmen "shall never hold their peace." And His command to them is literally, "Ye that remind Jehovah—no rest (or silence) to you! and give not rest to Him." So that we have here Christ, the Church, and God all represented as unceasingly occupied in the one great work of establishing Zion as the centre of light, salvation, and righteousness for the whole world.
I. The glorified Christ is constantly working for His Church. Scripture sets forth the present glorious life of our ascended Lord under two contrasted and harmonious aspects—as being rest, and as being continuous activity in the midst of rest. Through all the ages His power is in exercise. We have not only to look back to the cross, but up to the throne. From the cross we hear a voice, "It is finished." From the throne a voice, "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest."
II. Christ's servants on earth derive from Him a like perpetual activity for the same object. The Lord associates Himself with watchmen, whom He appoints and endows for functions in some measure resembling His own, and exercised with constancy derived from Him. They are watchmen, and they are also God's remembrancers. In the one capacity, as in the other, their voices are to be always heard. The watchman's office falls to be done by all who see the coming peril and have a tongue to echo it forth. The remembrancer's priestly office belongs to every member of Christ's priestly kingdom, the lowest and least of whom has the privilege of unrestrained entry into God's presence-chamber, and the power of blessing the world by faithful prayer. (1) Our voices should ever be heard on earth. (2) Our voices should ever be heard in heaven. (3) The power for both is derived from Christ.
III. The constant activity of the servants of Christ will secure the constant operation of God's power. Those who remind God are not to suffer Him to be still. The prophet believes that they can regulate the flow of Divine energy, can stir up the strength of the Lord. An awful responsibility lies on us. We can resist and oppose, or we can open our hearts and draw into ourselves His strength. We can bring into operation these energies which act through faithful men faithfully proclaiming the faithful saying; or we can limit the Holy One of Israel. On all sides motives for strenuous toil press in upon us. Look at the energy around, beneath, above us. When are we in all this magnificent concurrence of energy, for purposes which ought to be dear to our hearts, as they are to the heart of God?
A. Maclaren, Sermons Preached in Manchester, 3rd series, p. 19.
References: Isaiah 62:1.—J. P. Gledstone, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvii., p. 89; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vii., p. 50. Isaiah 62:1-7.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. xiv., p. 56. Isaiah 62:2.—Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times" vol. ix., p. 3. Isaiah 62:5.—B. Waugh, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxv., p. 118. Isaiah 62:6, Isaiah 62:7.—W. J. Mayers, Ibid., vol. xvi., p. 276. Isaiah 62:10.—Outline Sermons to Children, p. 97; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xix., No. 1131.
One of the deadliest thoughts which can infect a human spirit is this—I am of no use, no worth, to earth or to heaven. And yet it is a natural thought, the natural utterance of our selfish, sensual lives. Who has not groaned out the confession of Asaph: "I was as a beast before Thee"? Man is profoundly conscious at once of sinfulness and impotence. The worst sin against heaven is despair. The idea the Lord hath need of thee is a very fundamental principle of the Gospel, the good news from God to man.
I. Is there not something radically false in this connection of need or want with the Divine name? The writers of the Scripture see this difficulty plainly. They are full of sublime statements of the awfulness of the Divine supremacy. God absolute and infinite; the creature dependent and limited. But, on the other hand, they present and reiterate ideas as to the relation of the creature to the Creator, as to God's need of man in a very solemn sense, and man's need of God in every sense, which we are unable to square with any definition of the Divine attributes in which the intellect can find no flaw.
II. It is through Christ and Christ alone that we attain to the knowledge of the name and the mind of God. His love is essentially redeeming. It is a love which seeks and seeks to save. And this love which redeems has a great sorrow and want in the heart of it. It misses something which is infinitely dear to it, and it prepares to endure infinite toils and pains to recover that and to bring it home. The whole expression of the Incarnate One is a seeking, a longing, a loving.
III. It is impossible that God can seek us with more intense earnestness of purpose, or in more effectual modes, than those which are embodied in the mission of Christ to recover us to Himself. We may say reverently that the Father hath exhausted all the riches of His love in the gift of Christ to the world.
J. Baldwin Brown, The Sunday Afternoon, p. 62.
References: Isaiah 62:12.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., No. 525; Ibid., Evening by Evening, p. 71.
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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Isaiah 62". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany