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Bible Commentaries

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae
Isaiah 26

 

 

Verse 3-4

DISCOURSE: 894

TRUST IN GOD RECOMMENDED

Isaiah 26:3-4. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee; because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.

IT was designed of God that under the Gospel dispensation his people should enjoy a state of very exalted happiness. The Jews had a spirit of bondage, as servants: we have a spirit of adoption, as sons. In conformity with this idea, the prophet, in the preceding chapter, speaks of the Lord as spreading a rich luxurious feast for all nations [Note: Isaiah 25:6.]; and, in the chapter before us, records “A song which should be sung” by all the guests [Note: ver. 1.]. And well indeed may they sing, who are enabled to make such an appeal to God, as that which we have just read: well may they sing, who have the Lord Jehovah himself engaged to keep them in perfect peace.

May our hearts be tuned to join in this Divine anthem, while we,

I. Shew what blessedness God will confer on his believing people—

It is said by the voice of inspiration, “The faithful man shall abound with blessings [Note: Proverbs 28:20.]:” and again, “God will bless his people with peace [Note: Psalms 29:11.].”

The unbeliever is an utter stranger to peace—

[He may be stupid and insensible as a beast; but he can know nothing of real peace: even his apathy vanishes when once he begins to think of death and judgment. As his serenity resembles that of the irrational creation; so it arises from a similar source, a want of foresight or reflection in reference to the concerns of his soul. If he thinks of God, he is troubled, and will gladly have recourse to any thing to banish such uneasy reflections from his mind. This is his state, even when in the midst of all that the world accounts good and great: but how utterly devoid of peace is he, when once he is awakened to a sense of his real condition! Then he is full of terror, like the three thousand on the day of Pentecost; and, if he do not think of suicide, like the affrighted Jailor, he would gladly exchange condition with the beasts, if only the dissolution of the animal life might put an eternal period to his existence.

We speak not of the tumultuous passions by which the ungodly are agitated; because there are some who by the mere force of philosophy are enabled in a very great degree to moderate their feelings. But none can reflect on an eternity beyond the grave, without being appalled at the thought of the doom that awaits them, if they are unprepared to meet their God: so true is that which is spoken by the prophet, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, that cannot rest: there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked [Note: Isaiah 57:20-21.].”]

But God promises this blessing to the believer—

[“The man whose mind is stayed on God, shall be kept in perfect peace.” He shall have peace in relation to his pardon and acceptance with God. Often in the day of his flesh did our Lord assure persons that their sins, though numerous, were forgiven [Note: Matthew 9:2. Luke 7:47.]: and will he be less gracious to his people now? Though he will not give us that assurance by any audible voice, he will by the inward witness of his Spirit [Note: Romans 8:16.]. As once he sent “a Seraph to take a live coal from off his altar, and to touch with it the prophet’s lips, and to say to him, Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin is purged [Note: Isaiah 6:6-7.],” so will he now send his Holy Spirit, as a Spirit of promise, to apply the promises to our souls, and to be within us a pledge and earnest of our heavenly inheritance [Note: Ephesians 1:13-14.].

The Believer shall have peace also in relation to his perseverance in the divine life. He “knows in whom he has believed, and that he is able to keep that which has been committed to him [Note: 2 Timothy 1:12.].” He knows that his Lord and Saviour is “able to keep him from falling, and to present him faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy [Note: Jude, ver. 24.]:” and whilst he contemplates heaven as an “inheritance reserved for him, he has the comfort of reflecting that he also is kept for it, even by the power of God through faith unto everlasting salvation [Note: 1 Peter 1:4-5.].” Persuaded as he is that “He is faithful who hath promised [Note: Hebrews 10:23.],” and “able also to perform” his word [Note: Romans 4:21.], he is “confident of this very thing, that He who hath begun a good work in him will perform it until the day of Christ [Note: Philippians 1:6.],” and “will preserve him blameless unto his heavenly kingdom [Note: 2 Timothy 4:18.].”

He shall have peace also in relation to every thing that may occur in his way to heaven. Numberless things arise of a temporal or spiritual nature to disturb the minds of those who are weak in faith: but when once “the mind is stayed on God,” all these distractions cease. God is acknowledged as the author of all that is done, whether good or evil: not a sparrow, or a hair of our heads, falls to the ground, but by his special permission: and from whatever quarter trials arise, whether from voluntary agents, or unconscious elements, he is regarded as their true and proper source [Note: Job 1:14-21.], and that consideration reconciles the soul to the dispensation [Note: Psalms 39:9.]; yea, he acquiesces in it, assured that “all things shall work together for his good [Note: Romans 8:28.].” He is careful for nothing, because he “casts all his care on God [Note: 1 Peter 5:7.];” and in humble prayer commits every thing to his all-wise disposal: and thus in a measure enjoys as much tranquillity, in relation to future events, as the birds of the air, or the lilies of the field [Note: Matthew 6:25-34.].]

This blessing God will bestow upon him, “because he putteth his trust in him”—

[There is nothing meritorious in faith, any more than in other graces: but there is in faith a power peculiar to itself: it engages the Most High God, and, if we might dare to use such an expression, we would almost say, binds him to exert himself in our behalf. When we lay hold on his word by faith, he feels his own honour pledged to fulfil our desire, and not to suffer us to be disappointed of our hope. Indeed, inasmuch as faith pre-eminently honours him, he delights to honour it: and to such a degree would he honour it, that, “if we had faith only as a grain of mustard-seed,” that figure should be realized in our experience; we should be rooted up from this world, as a sycamore-tree from the earth; and though liable in ourselves to be tossed about by every wave, we should be fixed immoveably amidst the most tempestuous billows [Note: Luke 17:6.]. This is strongly intimated in the very words of our text, where the literal expression, as pointed out in the margin, is, “Thou wilt keep him in peace, peace,” that is, in peace indubitably certain, uninterruptedly abiding, and richly abundant. If only we cherished an “earnest expectation and hope” in God, verily “we should never be ashamed or confounded world without end [Note: Philippians 1:20. Isaiah 45:17.].”]

Having thus shewn what God has prepared for them that love him, we would,

II. Urge you to seek that blessedness in God’s appointed way—

God calls us all to trust in him:

1. Consider what a God we have to trust in—

[Consider what “exceeding great and precious promises he has given to us.” There is not a situation or a circumstance wherein we can be placed, but God has given us promises exactly suited to it. It would be a highly profitable employment to extract from the Scriptures for ourselves the various promises contained in them, and especially those which apply more particularly to our own case; and then to spread them from time to time before our God in prayer. What sweet encouragement would this afford us, in all our addresses at the throne of grace; and what holy confidence would it create in us! If we have only a promise from a man like ourselves, it tends exceedingly to compose our minds: but how much more would this effect arise from apprehending the promises of a faithful God!

But consider also how able God is to perform all that he has promised to us. Truly “with him is everlasting strength:” “There is nothing impossible with him.” “It is alike with him to save by many or by few.” He can save with means, or without means, or against means. As for our weakness, or the strength of our enemies, it makes no difference to him. In the words following our text, it is said, “He will bring down them that dwell on high: the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.” Is it asked, By whom he will do this? it is added, “The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy [Note: ver. 5, 6. See also ch. 14:2.]:” yes, “He will strengthen the spoiler against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress [Note: Amos 5:9.].” The weaker we are in our own apprehension, the more strong we are in reality; because “his power shall rest upon us,” and “his strength be perfected in our weakness [Note: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.].”]

Let us trust in him with our whole hearts—

[There are persons who imagine they trust in God, when, in fact, they are trusting only in their own delusions [Note: Isaiah 48:1-2.]. There must be an express renunciation of every other hope [Note: Proverbs 3:5-6.], and an actual committing of our way to him in prayer [Note: Psalms 62:8.]. There must be a direct exercise of faith in him, as able, and willing to effect whatsoever our necessities require; and a firm persuasion that he will do that which shall in the issue be best for us. This is implied in having “the mind stayed on him.” We have a fine description of this state of mind contained in the prophecies of Isaiah: it is primarily indeed applicable to the Messiah; but is proper also to be realized in the experience of all the saints; since “all who fear the Lord” are extorted in seasons of the deepest darkness and distress to set it before them as a model, and, after his example, to stay themselves upon their God [Note: Isaiah 50:7-10.] — — — How important this duty is, may be inferred from the reiterated injunctions given us respecting it [Note: Psalms 115:9-11.]. Let us then “trust in God at all times.” In times of ease and security, let us remember that we are in his hands, and not be saying with ourselves, “My mountain standeth strong; I shall not be moved [Note: Psalms 30:7.].” In times of trouble and distress, let us “not stagger at the promises through unbelief, but be strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Let us, after the example of David, say, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation, and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God [Note: Psalms 62:5-7.].”

This is the kind of trust to which alone the promise is made. “If our faith waver, we shall receive nothing of the Lord [Note: James 1:6-7.]:” but if we commit our every concern to him, “our very thoughts,” the most fluctuating of all things, “shall be established [Note: Proverbs 16:3.],” and “the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep (the affections of) our hearts and (the imaginations of) our minds, through Christ Jesus [Note: Philippians 4:6-7. See the Greek.].”]

Address—

1. Those who know nothing of this blessedness—

[Do not suppose that this peace is merely ideal; and that, because you do not experience it, it has no existence in the Believer’s mind: for it is the legacy of Christ to all his people: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you [Note: John 14:27.]:” and it is indeed “a peace that passeth all understanding.” It is not a mere absence of feeling, but a positive sense of reconciliation with God, a sweet consciousness of being under his protecting care, and a humble, yet confident, expectation, that he will order every thing for our eternal good. We cannot give a juster picture of it, than by referring you to the description given of it by the sweet singer of Israel [Note: Psalms 23.]. Nothing alarms him, or disturbs his rest, because he knows that “his God is for him, and that therefore none can, with any effect, be against him [Note: Romans 8:31.].” “His God gives him quietness; Who then can make trouble [Note: Job 34:29.]?”

And will you be content to continue ignorant of this happiness? Why should you do so? Christ has purchased it for “those who are afar off, as well as those who are near [Note: Ephesians 2:17.];” and he will confer it in rich abundance on all who call upon him [Note: Romans 10:11-13.].]

2. Those who through the weakness of their faith do not yet partake of it—

[How dishonourable is your conduct, and injurious to that God who redeemed you by the blood of his only dear Son! Whom has he ever deceived, that you cannot rely upon his promises? In what instance has he ever shewn himself deficient, either in faithfulness or power? What enemies also are you to your own happiness, at the time that you are so dishonouring him! “Has he not said to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God [Note: John 11:40.]?” “Believe in the Lord, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper [Note: 2 Chronicles 20:20.]:” but, “if ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established [Note: Isaiah 7:9.].”]

3. Those who profess to enjoy that peace—

[Well may we say with David, “O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee [Note: Psalms 84:12.];” blessed is the man who with humble confidence can approach thee, saying, “O God, thou art my God.” And are any of you brought to this happy state? O “cast not away your confidence, which has such great recompence of reward [Note: Hebrews 10:35.]:” for then, and then only, “are we partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end [Note: Hebrews 3:14.].” But, on the other hand, beware lest you abuse that confidence, and walk unworthy of your high calling: for, “if God has spoken peace” unto your souls, he especially enjoins you “never more to return to folly [Note: Psalms 85:8.].” Let it be seen then what is the genuine effect of saving faith: and, if you call yourselves sons of God, and profess to have your portion with him in the world to come, then remember, that “every one that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as He is pure [Note: 1 John 3:2-3.].”]


Verse 13

DISCOURSE: 895

HUMILIATION WITH ZEAL

Isaiah 26:13. O Lord our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.

MANY devout songs are composed in Scripture for the use of God’s Church and people in the latter day. But, amidst their praises for mercies vouchsafed unto them, care is taken to keep up in their minds a remembrance of their former sins, and a sense of those duties which they owe to their heavenly Benefactor. On a review of the past, they are taught to acknowledge the evil of their ways; and in a prospect of the future, to consecrate themselves, with all due solemnity, to the service of their God. Now, at this season [Note: New Year’s Day.], I cannot do better than recommend to your adoption,

I. Their retrospective acknowledgment—

It is probable, that, in the words before us, respect is had to the civil bondage to which that nation had again and again been reduced on account of their iniquities [Note: 2 Chronicles 28:5-6. Nehemiah 9:36-37.] — — — But, considering for what period the song is prepared, we cannot doubt but that there is a reference also to the moral bondage in which they have been held by their corruptions. And in this sense, the acknowledgment well becomes us at this day; since we are told by an inspired Apostle, that “to whomsoever we yield ourselves servants to obey, his servants we are to whom we obey [Note: Romans 6:16.].” And what has been our conduct through life?

The greater part of us have “served only our own lusts and pleasures [Note: Titus 3:3.]”—

[Look at all around you: or, rather, look within your own bosoms; and say, to whom have your lives been devoted, to God, or Mammon? — — — Verily, there is but too much reason to confess, that “God has not been in all our thoughts [Note: Psalms 10:4.]” — — —]

Of those who have had some respect to God, still must this acknowledgment be required—

[”Other lords besides God, have had dominion over you. The lip and the knee perhaps you have devoted to Jehovah in the observance of outward duties, both in the public assemblies of the Church, and in your own closets; but where has been the heart [Note: Isaiah 29:13.]? You “have had the form of godliness perhaps, but where has been the power [Note: 2 Timothy 3:5.]? Call to mind your prayers and your praises, how cold have they been! Have they not even frozen, as it were, upon your very lips? On the other hand, see with what ardour and delight you have followed your earthly pursuits, whether intellectual or corporeal, and whether for pleasure or honour or emolument — — — But God says, “Give ME thine heart;” and in the want of this, all the services you have rendered him are no better than “the cutting off a dog’s neck for sacrifice, or the offering of swine’s blood [Note: Isaiah 66:3.]” — — —]

Whilst I recommend the deepest humiliation before God in the review of your past lives, I cannot but urge for your adoption what is here suggested for,

II. Their prospective determination—

The Israelites were forbidden to make mention of the name of any of the gods which were worshipped in the land of Canaan [Note: Exodus 23:13. Joshua 23:7.]. By them no other name than that of Jehovah was to be uttered; because He, and he alone, was God. Hence “the making mention of his name was equivalent to an acknowledgment of him as the only true God, and was therefore considered as a just description of his peculiar people [Note: Isaiah 62:6.]. But this must be done in sincerity and truth; else it would be regarded only as an act of hypocrisy and profaneness [Note: Isaiah 48:1.]. It must comprehend all that attachment which is due to the supreme God, who is the only proper object of fear, or love, or confidence — — —

Now, then, I recommend this to you,

1. As your duty—

[Who else is entitled to any of these regards, except in entire subordination and subserviency to Him? — — —]

2. As your interest—

[Who can so recompense your services, or so avenge the want of them? — — —]

3. As your happiness—

[Ask the most successful votaries of this world what they have ever gained? Ask them what solid satisfaction they have ever found in all that the world could give them? Then ask the servants of the living God, whether they have not found his service to be perfect freedom, and “his ways to be ways of pleasantness and peace?” As to the eternal world, it is almost superfluous for me to speak: for there are none so ignorant as not to know, that the pleasures of sense all “perish with the using,” and that those only who seek their happiness in God can ever enjoy “the pleasures which are at his right hand for evermore” — — — I therefore confidently say to all of you without exception, Let this be the determination of you all, that henceforth you will make no mention of any name in a way of fear, or love, or confidence, but “the name of Jehovah only.”]

Thus far I have spoken to you as men only. But what shall I say to you as Christians?

[Tell me, whether, as “bought with the precious blood of Christ,” you have any duty, any interest, any happiness, worthy of a moment’s consideration, in comparison of his service, his honour, his glory [Note: 1 Corinthians 6:20.]? — — —]

Let me, in conclusion, submit to your consideration the following questions—

1. Who amongst you does not need to make this retrospective acknowledgment? — — —

2. What will the acknowledgment avail you, if you do not make, and carry into effect, the prospective determination? — — —

3. To what purpose will it be to begin well, if you ever “become weary in well-doing [Note: Galatians 6:9.]?”

[You must maintain “a patient continuance in well-doing, if ever you would attain eternal life [Note: Romans 2:7.].” If ever you draw back, whatever your attainments for a season may have been, “you will draw back unto perdition:” for “God’s soul can have no pleasure in you [Note: Hebrews 10:38-39.]” — — —]

I must not, however, dismiss you without one most important and necessary caution—

[The resolution which I have recommended must not be made in your own strength, but entirely in dependence upon God. This is very particularly intimated in my text: “By thee only will we make mention of thy name.” In the very words before the text is it said, “Thou hast wrought all our works in us.” Yes, “our sufficiency is of God alone [Note: 2 Corinthians 3:5.].” The Apostle Paul himself was constrained to say, “By the grace of God I am what I am [Note: 1 Corinthians 15:10.]:” and if any of you confide for one moment in your own strength, you will fall [Note: Proverbs 28:26.]. On the other hand, if you trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are assured, in this very Song, that your “strength shall be according to your day [Note: Compare ver. 3, 4. with Jude. ver. 24.].” “Be strong, then, in the Lord, and in the power of his might [Note: Ephesians 6:10.]:” and then let the Psalmist’s resolution be yours, and his song be yours; “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only [Note: Psalms 71:15-16.].”]


Verse 20-21

DISCOURSE: 896

THE ONLY REFUGE OF SINNERS

Isaiah 26:20-21. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.

GOD has been pleased to manifest at all times such a tender concern for the welfare of his people, that he has scarcely ever done any thing of importance, which he has not revealed to them beforehand by his servants the prophets [Note: Amos 3:7.]. Did he determine to destroy the earth with a flood? he instructed Noah first to build an ark for the preservation of himself and his family [Note: Genesis 6:13-14.]. Was he about to rain fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrha? he could not execute his vengeance till righteous Lot had retired to a place of safety [Note: Genesis 19:22.]. Had he decreed to bring on Jerusalem such judgments as the world had never before seen? he warns his people to escape from it, and provides them a retreat in the neighbouring mountains [Note: Luke 21:21-22.]. Thus he had decreed the destruction of Babylon; and the preceding part of the chapter contains a hymn of triumph, which should be sung by his people on that occasion. But, as there would be great danger of their being involved in the common calamity, he apprises them of his intention, and exhorts them to hide themselves, till the danger should be overpast. It is not, however, necessary to confine the words to this sense; because there are many other occasions on which God comes forth to punish mankind; and because the advice given, is suitable to all such occasions.

In discoursing on this passage, we shall call your attention to,

I. The warning here given—

Heaven is the habitation of God’s holiness and glory [Note: Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 63:15.]. And from thence he is said to “come forth,” when he manifests himself in any signal manner upon earth [Note: Micah 1:3.]. And, alas! how often do the iniquities of men necessitate him to come down and visit them with his sore judgments [Note: If this were the subject of a Fast Sermon, the particular judgments that are deprecated, should be specified here as the tokens of God’s displeasure, and should be dwelt upon at some length.]! But there is one period in particular, when God shall come, not to punish one particular nation only, but all who shall have lived and died in sin, from the foundation of the world.

[The day of judgment is called “the day of wrath,” “the day of vengeance,” “the day of the revelation of God’s righteous judgments,” “the day of the perdition of ungodly men [Note: Romans 2:5. 2 Peter 3:7.].” In that day the Lord Jesus Christ, “whom the heavens have received till the time of the restitution of all things [Note: Acts 3:21.],” “shall come in power and great glory:” and the express end of his coming will be “to reveal his wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men [Note: Romans 1:18.].”

Now he winks, as it were, at men’s iniquities [Note: Acts 17:30.]; and endures with much patience and longsuffering the vessels of wrath that are fitting themselves for destruction [Note: Romans 9:22.]: yea, to such a degree does he exercise forbearance towards them, that scoffers are ready to say, Where is the promise of his coming [Note: 2 Peter 3:3-4.]? But soon the time fixed for the exercise of his grace, shall come to an end, and all the dead shall be summoned to his tribunal, to receive at his hands according to their works [Note: Revelation 20:12-13.].

Nor let any one think that gross iniquities only shall be noticed in that day; for God will “manifest even the counsels of men’s hearts,” and “bring every secret thing into judgment [Note: 1 Corinthians 4:5.]:” then a forgetfulness of God, or a rejection of his Gospel, shall as surely be punished with everlasting destruction, as any of those sins which are more reprobated and condemned by the world [Note: Psalms 9:17. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8.].]

The warning being of such universal and infinite importance, let us consider,

II. The advice accompanying it—

[The exhortation in the text may simply import, that we should retire to our chambers to commune with our own hearts, and with our God [Note: Psalms 4:4. Matthew 6:6.]. In this view it recommends the duty, the indispensably necessary duty of secret prayer.

But by “chambers” we may understand God himself, who is often spoken of in this light [Note: Psalms 90:1; Psalms 57:1.], and who is the sure refuge of all that flee unto him. Every perfection of his forms, as it were, a hiding-place whereto we may run for safety. His wisdom would be our guide, his power our defence, “his faithfulness and truth our shield and buckler.”

To us, who are taught to view God in the person of Christ, the word “chambers” may convey a more immediate intimation respecting Christ himself, who is our refuge [Note: Hebrews 6:18.], and whom this very prophet describes as “an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the storm [Note: Isaiah 32:2.].” His person, work, and offices are a security to his people, that “they shall never perish, but shall have eternal life.”

To him therefore we should flee by faith, and hide ourselves from the impending judgments. As Noah entered into the ark [Note: Genesis 7:7.], which was the appointed mean of delivering him from the deluge, and as the Israelites shut themselves up in their houses to escape the sword of the destroying angel [Note: Exodus 12:22; Exodus 12:28.], so are we to take refuge, as it were, in Christ, that the sword of divine justice may not slay, or the deluge of God’s wrath overwhelm us.]

While we listen to the voice of God, we must not overlook,

III. The particular manner in which the advice is given—

[Almost every word of this exhortation contains an argument for our compliance with it.

If we were bidden to hide ourselves in a pit or a dungeon, methinks, any place should be a welcome hiding-place from the wrath of God. But it is to our own “chamber,” where every thing is provided for our rest and comfort; yea, it is a pavilion [Note: Psalms 27:5.], surrounded by guards, and furnished with royal dainties; it is even to the tabernacle [Note: Psalms 27:5.] wherein God himself dwells, and where we shall have most intimate communion with him, that we are told to flee. Shall we need any inducement to yield to such advice?

If we cannot endure confinement (though surely we can have no reason to complain of that in such a retreat) we are told it is to be only for “a moment,” yea, lest that should appear too long, it is said to be only for “a little moment.” Did the Israelites think a single night too long, when they were to be screened from the destroying angel? and shall we think a moment, a little moment (for such in truth is the present life), too long to abide in Christ, that we may escape the wrath of an incensed God?

The certainty of success is another argument which may well induce us to follow this advice. Were there only a distant probability of obtaining deliverance from such unspeakable miseries, it were a very sufficient reason for our trying the experiment: but when success, as the text intimates, is certain to attend our efforts, shall we need any persuasion to exert ourselves?

On the other hand, the certainty that God’s indignation must fall upon us, if we be not found in Christ, ought to operate powerfully on our hearts: for “who can stand before his indignation? who can abide the fierceness of his anger [Note: Nahum 1:6.]?” The fate of those who despised the warnings of Moses, and sought not shelter from the storms of hail, shews us what we must expect, if we seek not refuge in Christ Jesus [Note: Exodus 9:19; Exodus 9:25.].

Above all, the earnestness of the exhortation should overcome the reluctance of our hearts. To enter fully into its spirit, we should conceive a parent, seeing a savage beast running towards his heedless and unprotected child in order to destroy him. The affrighted father calls to him in the agony of his mind; “Come, my son, run into the house, shut the door, hide yourself till the danger be overpast.” Thus, precisely thus, does God himself cry to each of us. He knows our danger; he sees our inadvertence; and, with all the anxiety of a parent, he calls to us. Must we not be more deaf than adders, more obdurate than rocks, if we will not obey his voice?

But there is one thing yet, which must on no account be overlooked. The language is intentionally changed from the plural to the singular; “Come, my people, enter thou,” &c. One it ready to think, that he has no need to fear the indignation of God: another thinks he is too unworthy to be admitted into the chamber to which others have fled. But God addresses both the one and the other of them; “Enter thou;” for, however secure thou mayest think thyself, there is no security but in Christ; and “thou;” for unworthy as thou art, it is “thy” chamber; it was erected for such as thee; and the more unworthy thou art in thy own estimation, the more ready admittance shalt thou find there; the more certainly also shalt thou enjoy in it everlasting security [Note: This section might not improperly form the basis of a particular application to the self-righteous Pharisee, and the self-condemning penitent.].

Thus whether we consider the chamber to which we are to flee, the time we are to abide in it, the certainty of success, the danger of delay, or the earnest manner in which God addresses every one of us in particular, we should without hesitation follow the advice, and seek deliverance in Christ our Lord. None of us should indulge security; none of us should give way to desponding fears. But, rejoicing that the chamber is not yet barred against us, we should all hide ourselves in it; nor venture out of it one single moment, till the danger be for ever past.]

END OF VOL. VII.

 


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Bibliography Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Isaiah 26:4". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/isaiah-26.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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