the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Lord will help me.”
When Israel was carried into captivity it was not because God had forgotten his covenant, or wantonly cast off his people. He was not like a cruel husband who divorces his wife in anger, or like a poor needy father compelled to give up his children to his creditors for debt. No, it was sin which brought every evil upon Israel; sin, and nothing else. This also is true in our case. Sin is the root of misery; if we rebel against God, he will surely make us smart under his displeasure.
Isaiah 50:2 , Isaiah 50:3
When Jesus came to the Jews they received him not; this was their condemnation. They were lost, not because he could not save, but because they would not receive him.
Isaiah 50:2 , Isaiah 50:3
God has wrought these marvels and can work them again. By these deeds of power he delivered his people, and he is quite as able to save them now. Their sinful unbelief shuts men out from seeing the great power and love of God.
Jesus, as man, was endowed with wisdom without measure, for the Spirit in his fulness rested upon him. He knows how to comfort mourners, he is learned in the art of consolation.
Isaiah 50:5 , Isaiah 50:6
No sufferings daunted our blessed Redeemer; his testimony brought him into shame, but he would not cease from it till he had fulfilled his Father’s will, and accomplished our redemption. Who would not trust such a Saviour?
This is true, not only of our Lord, but of all his witnesses; the Lord makes them bold, and they tremble not at persecution. They expect to suffer, for Jesus suffered; they are confident of victory, for he overcame.
The gospel, like its founder, laughs at opposition. Men are but puny things, so feeble that the worm will devour them. The righteous have no cause to fear, they may bear witness for God in spite of the most furious adversaries, for the Lord will triumph in them and by them.
Isaiah 50:10 , Isaiah 50:11
Children of light often walk in darkness; let them trust in the Lord, and their joy will return. Children of darkness walk in a light of their own kindling, but they have good cause to be afraid; for when the night comes in which they most need a candle, they must go to the bed of the grave in the dark. How solemn a threatening! To lie down in sorrow, sorrow from God’s own hand. Let us escape from such a doom.
When we cannot see our way,
Let us trust, and still obey;
He who bids us forward go,
Cannot fail the way to show.
“Fear ye not the reproach of men.”
Isaiah 51:1 , Isaiah 51:2
Lest they should grow dejected at the low estate of the nation, they are bidden to remember whence it came. One man was chosen, and one woman, they were both old before a child was born to them, they were a lone family in the earth; yet out of them sprang a great nation; nothing could be more apparently hopeless, yet the covenant was fulfilled, and therefore the like could and would be done again, and poor, downtrodden Israel would yet arise.
God is faithful, and will be true to his covenant; it is no agreement for days and years, its tenure is everlasting. The salvation which this covenant promises shall not be hidden in a corner, afar off it shall be published, even as it is at this day in our own fair island of the sea. Nothing can be more delightful than to have this salvation in possession, and to see its stable foundation in the covenant of grace.
Fear not dying man, trust in the ever-living God.
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab or Egypt
and wounded the dragon? or the crocodile, the emblem of Egypt.
This is a bold prayer. It lays hold upon that glorious arm which wrought such marvels in Egypt on behalf of the Lord’s elect, and its plea is that he can do like deeds again, and that the time has come for him to do them.
Assured faith here quotes the promise which had been given in a previous prophecy, and confidently asserts that it will be ever so. It is always well to have a promise at our fingers’ ends.
Isaiah 51:12 , Isaiah 51:13
It is in God’s hands. No oppressor can rage against us unless the Lord permits; why then do we fear? He who gives our foe permission to annoy us in measure, holds the other end of his chain and will keep him within bounds. In holy confidence let us stand still and see the salvation of God.
Awake, all-conquering Arm, awake,
And Satan’s mighty empire shake;
Assert the honours of thy throne,
And make this ruin’d world thine own.