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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
Isaiah 24

 

 


Verse 23

DISCOURSE: 890

THE REIGN OF CHRIST GLORIOUS

Isaiah 24:23. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his antients, gloriously.

THE chapter before us seems to refer to the destruction of the Jewish Church and polity by the Chaldeans. But it looks forward, also, to their restoration, and to the establishment of the Messiah’s empire consequent upon it. Of that period it is delightful to speak: for, in fact, the glory of it far exceeds all that language can express, or the most enlarged imagination can conceive.

To give you some idea of the Messiah’s advent, as it is here described, I will endeavour to set before you,

I. The nature of his kingdom—

[It differs widely from all other kingdoms. Other kings have dominion over the persons and the property of their subjects; but his empire is over their souls — — — The laws of other kingdoms are almost entirely restrictive: his, however restrictively expressed, are not prohibitory only, but preceptive; and intended to call forth into exercise every power of the soul. The substance of them all is contained in these two sayings, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength; and thy neighbour as thyself.” Nor does any one fully approve himself to him as a faithful subject, unless “every thought of his heart be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ [Note: 2 Corinthians 10:5.].”]

II. The extent of his dominion—

[Never was there a kingdom like unto His. At present, indeed, His is very limited: but, at the period mentioned in my text, it will be absolutely universal: “All kings shall bow down before him, all nations shall serve him [Note: Psalms 72:11.],” and “the utmost ends of the earth shall be his possession [Note: Psalms 2:8.].” “There will then be but one Lord over the face of the whole world, and his name one [Note: Zechariah 14:9.].” Nor will there be any who yield him only a forced or partial obedience; for in that day “all will be righteouse [Note: Isaiah 60:21.]: “nor will there be any more a Canaanite in the land of the Lord of Hosts [Note: Zechariah 14:21.].”]

III. The happiness of his subjects—

[If the happiness of a people be estimated by their honours, their wealth, their enjoyments, never was there a kingdom to be compared with His. The most exalted person in any other kingdom is but a child of man: whereas the least and meanest of his subjects is a child of the living God. “Israel,” says Jehovah, “is my son, my first-born [Note: Exodus 4:22.].” The wealth of earthly monarchs, however great, may be counted: that which is owned by the poorest of his subjects is “unsearchable [Note: Ephesians 3:8.].” “Though he have nothing (of an earthly nature), he actually possesses all things [Note: 2 Corinthians 6:10.].” In earthly kingdoms, a few only, and those of the higher ranks, have access to their king; and that only for a short season, on some particular occasions. But in Christ’s yea, and has liberty to “ask whatsoever he will;” with an absolute certainty, that (provided the gift will be beneficial to his soul) he shall obtain it [Note: John 14:13-14; John 15:7.]. In other kingdoms, the subjects are only subjects: but in Christ’s kingdom every subject is himself a king [Note: Revelation 1:6.], having a throne [Note: Revelation 3:21.], a crown [Note: 2 Timothy 4:8.], a kingdom [Note: Luke 22:29.], for his unalienable and everlasting possession. The subjects of other kingdoms have their pleasures and their joys; but the subjects of Christ are “full of joy and peace in believing [Note: Romans 15:13.],” yea, “of joy unspeakable and glorified [Note: 1 Peter 1:8.].” Well might Moses say, “Happy art thou, O Israel, O people saved by the Lord, who is the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thine excellency [Note: Deuteronomy 33:29.]!”]

IV. The glory of his reign—

[Truly, never did there exist among men such a kingdom as this. In this there will not be found one enemy unsubdued; ar one subject of the realm debased, or destitute, or unholy, or unhappy. Even at present, so far as Christ really reigns in the heart, this is found a truth: but in that day, when his power will be universally operative and effectual, it will be productive of these effects in every place and in every bosom. But, as the crown and summit of all, every soul will refer to Christ as the life, the peace, the strength, the joy, the glory of his whole Church. There will be stars differing from each other in splendour; but all will acknowledge him as the sun, from whence all their lustre is derived, and to whom alone all the glory must be ascribed. In the reign of Solomon, so great was the prosperity of the Jewish people, that “silver was common as the stones,” and “of no account” in the public estimation [Note: 1 Kings 10:21; 1 Kings 10:27.]. But that was poverty itself, in comparison of what shall be the portion of God’s people in the millennial age: for then the very poorest amongst them shall be able to say, “All things are mine; for I am Christ’s [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:22-23.].”

That there may be trials then, as well as now, I do not deny: but they will all be made subservient to the advancement of the people’s happiness: seeing, that “as their tribulations abound, their consolations also by Christ shall much more abound [Note: 2 Corinthians 1:5.].”]

See then, Brethren,

1. What you should affect on earth—

[The sun and moon may well be considered as emblems of all that is great and glorious upon earth: but “glorious as they are, they have no glory, by reason of the glory that excelleth.” Before the superior lustre of the Redeemer’s kingdom they must hide their diminished heads, “ashamed and confounded,” as unworthy of regard, in comparison of Christ, and of the felicity that is enjoyed through him. Let this, then, be the one object of your desire, to become subjects of his kingdom. Verily, “to be a door-keeper in his house, is better than to dwell in the most magnificent and richly furnished tents of the ungodly [Note: Psalms 84:10.].” Seek to be able to say, “My Beloved is mine, and I am his [Note: Song of Solomon 2:16.];” and you can have no richer bliss out of heaven.]

2. What blessedness awaits you in the eternal world—

[There you will “behold the King in his beauty [Note: Isaiah 33:17.],” yea, in the full effulgence of his majesty and glory. There, too, will you yourselves be freed from all your present infirmities: for there “the spirits of the just are made perfect [Note: Hebrews 12:23.].” There your powers will be enlarged, beyond all that you can now conceive; and you will be filled with bliss, to the utmost extent of your capacity to contain it. And what will you think of earthly honours and enjoyments then? Verily you will wonder how it was ever possible for you to be so enchanted with them as you once were. The sight of Christ “face to face [Note: 1 Corinthians 13:12.]” will swallow up every inferior object, even as the meridian sun eclipses and banishes the stars: and then your bliss will be complete, because there will no longer remain any object to distract your mind, or so much as a thought that does not emanate from, and centre in, your Saviour and your King. Methinks, in the anticipation of that day, I hear you already saying, “Allelujah; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth [Note: Revelation 19:6.]!”]

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Isaiah 24:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/isaiah-24.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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