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Bible Commentaries

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary
Isaiah 62

 

 

Verse 1

THE FUTURE GLORY OF THE CHURCH

Isa . For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, &c.

I. The implied obscurity of Zion.

The modern Church is obscured—

1. By its divisions.

2. By its assimilation to the world.

3. By its peculiar position as an agency in progress, working for the world's highest good.

II. The ultimate extension of the Church's glory.

This is the night of the Church's history; she is now in the shade. But as the morning sunlight bursts on the scene, banishing every lingering shred of twilight, and revealing the rarest scene of life and loveliness that was before but dimly seen, so shall her righteousness by and by appear. There are indications of the coming glory—

1. In the triumphs of the Gospel at home.

2. In the salient features of the present age (see p. 333).

III. The Divine energy is pledged to accomplish the Church's future glory.

Inspiring fact! Jehovah is ceaselessly, in speech and action, working for His people. In this we have the inviolable guarantee of Zion's future glory.

1. God's Word is His voice. This voice has sounded through the ages of the past, protesting against every prevalent form of iniquity, instructing the nations in sublimest truths, and preparing them for a loftier destiny. Like a many-toned bell it still peals through the world in strains at once monitory and joyous. Never shall that voice be hushed till its mission is fulfilled,

2. God's providence is His action. The world is governed by Jehovah in the interest and furtherance of the higher purposes of Christianity.

3. The motive influencing the Divine energy—the love of God for Zion. God loves His Church, because He sees in her a photograph of Himself, a reflection of His own image, the embodiment and universal manifestation of His own glory. She is the fruit of sufferings unparalleled, &c. His own honour is involved in the ultimate triumph and glory of His Church.

Lessons.

1. We see the vanity and groundlessness of our fears for the Church's safety and ultimate victory.

2. We see the blessedness of consecrated service for the Church of God.—George Barlow: The Study, vol. iii. p. 450, &c.

THE LOVE OF THE CHURCH.

I. THE PURE AND HOLT INCENTIVES THAT MOVED THE PROPHET TO RELIGIOUS ACTIONS.

1. For Zion's sake. He loved Zion for the beauty, joy, strength, and safety she afforded the world. Analogies between Zion and the Church (Psalms 48).

2. For Jerusalem's sake (see p. 436).

II. THE EARNEST RESOLUTIONS OF THE PROPHET IN REGARD TO THE DISCHARGE OF THE APPROPRIATE DUTIES OF HIS OFFICE AND MINISTRY TOWARD ZION AND JERUSALEM. I. He resolved not to hold his peace. He was not only a praying prophet, but a preaching prophet,

2. He was resolved not to rest or cease from his ministerial labours.

III. THE WISE AND USEFUL ENDS THE PROPHET HOPED TO ACCOMPLISH.

1. The establishment of righteousness in Zion and Jerusalem.

2. The promotion of their salvation.—Geo. Nestor: The Preachers' Monthly, vol. vii. pp. 50-52.

The prophets were true philanthropists—their love of country was deep and ardent. The heaven-kindled passion was not quenched by afflictions however sore, or by apostasy however general. O that their mantles might fall on us! that we may experience a quenchless passion to promote the welfare of Zion. Notice—

I. THE SUBJECTS OF THE PROPHET'S SOLICITUDE. To the devout Jew "Zion" was the dearest spot on earth. Zion remains "beautiful fur situation," &c. The temple which graced its heights was its glory. Type of the Christian Church (1Pe ).

II. THE MODE OF MANIFESTING HIS SOLICITUDE.

1. "I will not hold my peace." He resolved to lift up his voice and cry aloud—

(1) Before God. Prayer the natural outlet of the believer's solicitude. Let us plead with God as did Abraham, Moses, Daniel, &c. Power of prayer.

(2) Before men. There is a time to be silent, and a time to speak. Those who are deeply concerned for the welfare of Zion will be sure to speak.

2. "I will not rest." Our solicitude and activity must be ceaseless. A spasmodic and fitful zeal is unhealthy. Perseverance is nowhere more needful than in religion. Whether men hear or forbear, it should be ours to give "line upon line," &c.

III. THE BRILLIANT RESULTS DESIRED. The allusion is to a marriage ceremony, &c.—Benjamin Browne.


Verse 2

THE NEW NAMH

Isa ; Isa 62:12. Thou shalt be called by a new name. And they shall call them, &c.

According to the Hebrew idiom, the name which expresses the nature and character of a person is used as equivalent to that nature and character. The promises of these verses involve accordingly, far more than appears upon the surface.

I. The new name abolishes the old, In the prophetical writings Israel's sins are very plainly described and very faithfully upbraided. The favoured people are called rebels and traitors, idolaters and spiritual adulterers. Upon their repentance, the old reproach is wiped away, and the old appellations are discarded. This is how Divine mercy treats all true penitents and believers. Former sins are forgotten, former rebukes are reversed, former sentences of condemnation are cancelled.

II. The new name expresses a new character. The Christian dispensation provides, by peculiar agencies and spiritual powers, for the renewal of the nature and the life of men (2Co ). In accordance with the fact is the expression of the fact; in accordance with the new nature, the new birth, the new life, is the new name. They who were unholy become the holy people, because, from being the bondsmen of sin, they have become the redeemed of the Lord.

III. The new name is significant of a new state of favour and acceptance. Especially those upon whom the great change has passed are "the Lord's,"—His possession and property, His beloved and honoured, for whom no privileges are too great and no dignities too eminent. The new name is His name who confers it, and who delights to deem and to call His beloved ones His own."—The Homiletical Library, vol. ii. p. 153.


Verse 3

THE CHURCH A CROWN OF GLORY

Isa . Thou shalt also be a crown of glory, &c.

A very interesting promise made to the Church of God. God will not rest until Zion is as perfect as His hand can make her. Notice three things:—

I. The Church of God is highly prized. She is dearer to Him than all created beings. What makes her precious in His sight? No finite being can tell. Why He prized her before He visited her, is known only to Himself. Infinite wisdom can do nothing without reason: He says that He loved her, and in this truth we rest. She has no worth in herself, and is rendered precious by free, unmerited, unchangeable love.

II. As she is so prized, she is eminently honoured. Having paid such a price for her (1Jn ), He will beautify her by all that infinite wisdom, love, and power can do.

III. As she is so precious and 30 highly honoured, she shall be safely preserved. Secure in His hands. Can any overcome Omnipotence? Then may they snatch the crown out of the hands of Jehovah (Joh ). Attempts are indeed made to destroy her. Satan tries to do so,

1. By error.

2. By persecution.

3. By snares and temptations. But she is safe (Mat . See pp. 357, 558; H.E.I., 1246-1251, 2449).—William Howels: Sermons, vol. i. pp. 235-241.

Isa . I. The estimate God puts upon His people. II. The honour He confers, upon them. III. The care He exercises over them (p. 341).

Isa . I. Zion's reproach. II. Exaltation. III. The occasion of the change.

Isa . I. The joy of Israel at their return. II. The joy of God over them (Isa 65:19).

I. The rapid increase of Zion (see pp. 348, 546). II. The joy it occasions (see p. 546). On earth. In heaven.—J. Lyth, D.D.

Isa . The text is the Divine summons to prayer Tor the prosperity of the Church. It points out—

I. The persons by whom it should be presented.

1. The ministers of the Gospel.

2. The members of the Church. II. The blessings for which it should be presented. Pray—

1. That the Church may be built on sure foundations.

2. That it may be distinguished by spiritual characteristics.

3. That it may be extended. III. The manner in which it should be presented.

1. It must be sincere.

2. Believing.

3. Persevering. Qualify yourselves to be the Lord's remembrancers, in the retirement of the closet, and in the assembly of the brethren.—J. Rawlinson.

Isa . I. There is always need of watchmen. II. God has never left the Church without watchmen. III. Christ's call is to all the members of His Church. How are you responding to the call?—The Homiletical Library, vol. ii. p. 275.

Isa . God's oath. I. The matter of it.

1. The protection.

2. The happiness of His people. II. The certainty and solemnity of it. He has sworn. Who is true. By His right hand—has power to effect it (see on Isa ; Isa 59:1).—J. Lyth, D.D.

Isa . I. The preparation. II. The proclamation. III. The felicitous result.—Dr. Lyth.

Isa . The work of God's people. I. Gates to enter. Of righteousness. II. A way to prepare (Isa 57:14). III. Stones of stumbling to be removed (Isa 57:14). IV. A standard to uplift (vol. i. p. 219).—J. Lyth, D.D.


Verse 6-7

THE HEAVENLY WORKERS AND THE EARTHLY WATCHERS

Isa ; Isa 62:6-7. For Zion's sake will I not hold My peace. I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, &c.

Two expository remarks.

1. The speaker is the personal Messiah (Isa ).

The remarkable parallelism in the expressions selected as the text should be noticed: "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. Christ, the Church, and God are 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. Consider these three perpetual activities—

II. CHRIST'S SERVANTS ON EARTH DERIVE FROM HIM A LIKE PERPETUAL ACTIVITY FOR THE SAME OBJECT (Isa ). Note a twofold form of occupation devolving on these Christ-sent servants. They are watchmen, and they are also God's remembrancers. The former metaphor is commonly applied in the Old Testament to the prophetic office, but in accordance with the genius of the New Testament, as expressed on Pentecost, should be extended to the whole mass of Christian people.

1. Our voices should ever be heard on earth. With faith in Christ come responsibilities. We are watchmen. Let us ponder the pattern.

2. Our voices should ever be heard in heaven. Faith is a mute appeal to God's faithful love; and, beyond that, our prayers come up for a memorial before God. They remind God. The prayer that prevails is a reflected promise. These two forms of action ought to be inseparable. Prayerless work will soon slacken, and never bear fruit; idle prayer is worse than idle.

3. The power for both is derived from Christ. He sets the watchmen; He commands the remembrancers. And our pattern is His manner of discharging them, and the condition of receiving the power is to abide in Him.

III. THE CONSTANT ACTIVITY OF THE SERVANTS OF CHRIST WILL SECURE THE CONSTANT OPERATION OF GOD'S POWER. "Give Him no rest." Bold words. The prophet believes that those who remind God can stir up the strength of the Lord. Practically, God reaches His end—the establishment of Zion, through the Church. The great reservoir is always full; but the bore of the pipe and the power of the pumping-engine determine the rate at which the stream flows from it (Mat ). We may have as much of God as we want, as much as we can hold, far more than we deserve. An awful responsibility lies on us. With what grand confidence may the weakest go to his task.

STIMULATING LESSONS.—

1. Look at the energy around us. Do we work as hard for God as the world does for itself.

2. Look at the energy beneath us. If we are sitting drowsy by our camp fires, the enemy is on the alert. It is no time for God's sentinels to nod.

3. Look at the energy above us. On the throne of the universe is the immortal Power who slumbereth not. Before the altar of the heavens is the Priest of the world. Round Him stand perfected spirits, who "rest not day and night." Do we work for God as He and all that are with Him do? Alas! have we not been like the three Apostles sleeping, even while the Lord was wrestling with the tempter in Gethsemane. Let us lift up our cry to God: "Awake, awake" (Isa ); and the answer shall be an echo of the prayer turned into a command (Isa 52:1).—A. Maclaren, D.D.: Sermons, Second Series, pp. 19-38.


Verse 10-11

ACTIVE ZEAL IN SPREADING THE GOSPEL

Isa . Go through, go through the gates, &c.

I. THE GENERAL ORDERS OF OUR GREAT LEADER.

1. The general order. The Church is considered under the figure of an army in its winter quarters. From this state of comparative ease, it is called to enter upon active service. The repetition of the charge points out the earnestness of the speaker. Activity in goodness characterises God, who sent forth His Son to seek and to save the lost; our Lord who came forth on this great errand; and His true disciples in every age.

2. The peculiar services assigned them. Those who are to receive the Gospel are considered as at a distance from the city, and are requiring much to be done to facilitate their approach.

(1). The Jews are first mentioned. "The people." Isaiah constantly distinguishes the Jews from the Gentiles, by using the singular number for the Jews, and the plural for the Gentiles (cf. Isa with Isa 2:6; Isa 11:10 with Isa 11:11; and Isa 11:12 with Isa 11:16). Further the Church is to "cast up the highway;" that is, provide for them every outward means that may be useful to assist in their conversion, such as sending missionaries to them, &c. Next, "Gather out the stones," i.e., remove the numerous stumbling-blocks at present in the way of that people; such as the unkind treatment, the unscriptural tenets, the ungodly lives, and the distressing immoralities of those who are called Christians.

II. AN ANIMATING ENCOURAGEMEN TO FULFIL THESE ORDERS.

This three-fold "Behold" seems to imply something on which the armies of the living God should fix their eyes with intense earnestness. Here, in fact, there is unsurpassed encouragement to missionary exertion. Of this you will be convinced, if you consider—

1. The countries to which the proclamation it mentions is directed: "Unto the end of the world," i.e., wherever any of the remnant of Israel are scattered.

2. The person for whom the proclamation is to be made: "The daughter of Zion," i.e., the remnant of Judah.

3. The contents of the message to that people: "Behold, thy salvation cometh," &c. A message exactly accordant both to the desires and the necessities of the Jews. They have long been looking for the coming of their Messiah. They mistook Him, when He appeared the first time; for when they expected that He would come with outward pomp and splendour, not discerning that the prophet had declared that He had another work to do (e.g., ch. 53; Dan ). But still they are expecting Him. To them we are to say, "Your Saviour now draws nigh. That Jesus whom your fathers crucified," &c. Surely such a message as this is an encouragement to "go through the gates," for, if anything can touch the heart of the daughter of Zion, it is to hear that her King is coming, that her Saviour is at hand.—J. Haldane Stewart, M.A: A Practical View of the Redeemer's Advent, pp. 296-315.


Verse 12

THE SEEKING LOVE OF GOD

Isa . Thou shalt be called, Sought out.

Without violence we may use these words of every member of the Church of God. All His children may take for their name and distinction the words "Sought out."

I. THE NATURAL CONDITION IMPLIED IN THIS TITLE.

1. The Church of God was originally lost.

2. So lost that we did not seek the Lord.

3. Nor should we have ever willed to return to Him.

4. We did not desire Him to seek us.

5. Our being sought out, considering our condition, was one of the greatest wonders ever known or heard of.

II. SURPASSING GRACE REVEALED. That they were sought out at all.

2. The persons sought out.

3. That we were sought OUT. The word "out" conveys a mass of meaning. We were mingled with the mire, &c.

4. That we were sought out Divinely—by God Himself.

5. Effectually.

III. THE DISTINGUISHING TITLE JUSTIFIED. How were we sought out?

1. In the eternal purpose and work of Christ.

2. By gracious words of mercy.

3. By afflictions.

4. By mysterious visitations.

5. By the Holy Spirit.

IV. THE SPECIAL DUTY INCUMBENT UPON THOSE WHO WEAR THIS TITLE. Seeking others out. The preaching of the Gospel is not the only means. Let us hunt for souls by—

1. Visitation. Take the Gospel to the people.

2. Your prayers.—C. H. Spurgeon: Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Nos. 525, 526.

 


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Bibliography Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 62:4". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-62.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, June 1st, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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