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Bible Commentaries

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary
Isaiah 24

 

 

Verse 15

GLORIFYING GOD IN THE FIRES

Isa . Glorify ye the Lord in the fires.

We are required to honour God, not only in all we do (1Co ), but in all we suffer (text). Consider—

I. THE STATE HERE SUPPOSED. "In the fires." Fire and water are both Scriptural figures of affliction (Psa ; Isa 43:2; 1Pe 4:12). Stripped of metaphor, the passage before us supposes a state of suffering. In this state we may be found—

1. As men (Job ; H. E. I., 47-51);

2. As Christians (Psa ). This may seem strange to the natural man, who concludes that the favourite of Heaven is entitled to every indulgence upon earth; and it has proved a source of temptation to the people of God themselves, who have been led from their sufferings to suspect their safety. But this inference is unscriptural (Heb 2:10; Isa 53:10; Mat 10:25; Heb 12:6; H. E. I., 189-196). Could we view many of those who are infinitely dear to God, we should find them in a state of affliction, often exceedingly trying; and we should see them there, not hardening themselves by infidel reasonings or stoical apathy; not endeavouring to banish all sense of their sorrows by repairing to the dissipations of the world; but waiting humbly upon God (Psa 61:1-2; H. E. I., 157, 158). This is well; but it is not enough to seek God in our afflictions, we must serve Him. Consider, then—

II. THE DUTY HERE ENJOINED. "Glorify," &c. We cannot add to God's essential glory, but we can declare it; we can make it more fully and widely known (Psa ). This is the duty to which we are at all times called (1Pe 2:9). We discharge it in affliction, when we verbally and practically acknowledge—

1. God's agency, recognising that our trial has not come upon us by accident, but by His appointment or permission (Job ; H. E. I., 143; P. D., 92, 99).

2. His rectitude (Psa ; Dan 9:7; Psa 119:75).

3. His wisdom, which regulates His corrections and every circumstance connected with them. He never errs in the time, the place, the kind, the instrument, the continuance of affliction; it is precisely the very thing we need, and nothing could be altered without injury (H. E. I., 179-188).

4. His goodness, in sending the affliction at all (H. E. I., 162-165), and in the alleviations and compensations by which it is accompanied (H. E. I., 117-121). A grateful mind will never overlook these.

5. His power, to support us in the affliction, and in due season to deliver us from it. All the records of Scripture should minister to our faith in His ability to help and deliver; He is unchangeable; He is as near you as He was to His people of old; and you are as dear to Him as they were (H. E. I., 198-202).

III. REASONS FOR DISCHARGING THIS DUTY. We ought to glorify God in the fires—

1. Because it is our duty to honour Him at all times, and affliction cannot possibly exempt us from it. Though He has permitted affliction to come upon us, He still remains our Creator, our Preserver, our Benefactor, our Redeemer, and as such is entitled to the homage of our heart and life.

2. Because affliction furnishes one of the finest opportunities for honouring God (H. E. I., 3692-3694).

3. Hope should animate us, because it is distinctly declared that those who honour God shall be honoured by Him.

As the consequence of sanctifying God in the fires, one of two things is certain: either they will be removed, for when the end is answered the dispensation will cease; or you will be compensated for their continuance, by increasing either the present internal supports of grace, or the future recompense of glory, or in both these ways combined.

But can we, who are so weak, perform a duty so hard? No, you cannot do it; but the grace of God will be sufficient even for this. View your difficulties in connection with your supplies, God's commands in connection with His promises, and boldly face them all (Php ).—William Jay: Works, vol. xii. pp. 159-169.

Glorify God—

1. In the fires of persecution by resolute adherence to the truth;

2. In the fires of temptation by a firm resistance to evil;

3. In the fires of affliction by patient submission to His will.—George Smith, D.D.

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 24:4". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-24.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 28th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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