« PreviousContinue »
16 joined together in sin, so shall they be in punishment : But the
LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness; his power and holiness
shall be seen and magnified in the righteous judgments brought 17 upon the wicked. Then shall the lambs feed after their manner;
the pious poor, who are left in the land, shall be suported and pro
tected; and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat ; , strangers shall devour what the rich men got by covetousness and 18 oppression. Wo unto them that draw iniquity with cords of
vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope ; who set themselves 19 seriously and resolutely about it, and encourage others in it: That
say, Let bim make speed, [and] hasten his work, that we may see (it :) and let the counsel of the lIoly One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know [it!] who say
that the prophetic threatenings are all bugbears, and that God can20 not or will not do as they have said. Wo unto them that call
evil good, and good evil ; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
who confound the nature of virtue and vice, contrary to their judg21 ment and knowledge. Wo unto [them that are] wise in their
own eyes, and prudent in their own sight, and so despise the 22 propher's instructions! Wo unto [them that are] mighty to
drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink ; who
drink a great deal without being disordered, and boast of it as an 23 accomplishment : Which justify the wicked for reward, and take
away the righteousness of the righteous from him, by condemnis 24 ing and punishing him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the
stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, (so) their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossoms shall go up as dust ; they shall be destroyed root and branch, like a iree rotten at the root : because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcasses Twere] torn, or, shall be as duny, in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still, he will
yet take further vengeance upon them. 20 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, to the
Chaldeans, and will hiss unto thein from the end of the earth; and, behold, they shall coine with speed swiftly; he will collect
them with the utmost case, as shepherd's gather their sheep by 27 whistling : None shall be weary nor stumble among them ;
none shall slumber por sleep ; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken ; he will
strengthen them for their work, and nothing shall hinder them in 28 their march: Whose arrows (are] sharp, and all their bows
bent, completely armed for destruction; their horses' hoofs shall be counted like fint, they shall noi be broken by the roughness of the road, and their wheels like a whirlwind, which intimalc: the 29 stiftness of their march, and the violence of the attack : Their
roaring (shall be) like a lion, they shall roar like young lions, yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry
(it) away safe, and none shall deliver [it,] neither the Jews them30 selves, nor the Egyptians, whom they depended upon. And in
that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea ; and if (one) look unto the land, behold darkness (and) sorrow : and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof; every thing about them shall be terrible, black, and disma'.
P ROM this chapter we are taught, that a sinful state is a wo.
T ful state, and should particularly attend to the awful woes denounced against some transgressors. :
1. Against those who are guilty of insatiable covetousness: a vice particularly prevalent in corporate towns, encouraged by their monopolists, and pleaded for in defence of their rights. It appears in being greedy of gain, opposing and undermining others of the same business, striving to get all trade to themselves, and artfully depriving others of the means of supporting their families. It is just in God to disappoint such greedy persons, and to blast their en deavours ; at least, he will punish them hereafter for their avarice and cruelty.
2. Let the votaries of riot and mirth attend to their doom, as here pronounced by the Almighty. Let drunkards hear and tremble ; and know, that God will punish thein who tarry long at the wine, though they can go home sober: the mispence of their substance and time, the inflaming of their lusts and passions by strong drink, are sins with which he is higoly displeased. Yea, let those who are given to pleasure, and spend their time in mirih, gaming, and gav assemblies, which ought to be devoted to reading and prayer, considering the works of God, and taking care of their families, remember, that there is a wo against them, though they should not drink to excess. But,
3. The most wicked and dangerous sinners are those who confound the difference between good and evil. The difference is as great as between light and darkness ; yea, as plain and evident to the mind, as the difference between light and darkness is to the eye, or that between sweet and bitter to the taste. These are they who argue against the principles and practice of religion, and misrepresent the ways of God, gloss over the practices of sin, and labour to weaken the restraints of piety, and justify that which is evil. As in this they act contrary to the light of nature and the convictions of conscience, their guilt is highly aggravated.
4. We see upon the whole the ground of God's controversy with nations : it is for these and such like sins abounding in them, an'l particularly that which is at the bottom of all, v. 24, refusing to subnuit to his reproofs and receive his instructions ; and despising the counsel of his messengers and the cominands of his law.
These predictions were intended as warnings to Israel, and they are written for our admonition ; that, if we desire the prosperity of our country, and the salvation of our own souls, we may live soberly, righteously, and godly, in the present world.
Here is a new commission given to the prophet, to promote his rev
erence for God, his activity and perseverance in his work, and to encourage him amidst the unsuccessfulness of his ministry.
1 TN the year that king Uzziah died I saw also, in a dream,
Tor a vision when awake, the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, the Shekinah, or glory of the Lord, which was
Christ, (John xii. 41.) and his train, or skirts, filled the temple. 2 Above it, or beside it, stood the seraphims; an allusion to the cher.
ubim attending the ark ; they are called seraphims, or burnings, to express their holy nature and fervent zeal : each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. This is very expressive of their
reverence of God, and their activity in executing his commands. 3 And one cried unto another, alternately expressing their transports of zeal and joy, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts ; he is supremely and unchangeably holy in all his dispensations and judgments : the whole earth [is] full of his glory;
his perfections now shine in his works and providence ; but it shall 4 be more so in gospel times. And the posts of the door moved at
the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke,
in token of God's indignation against his people. 5 Then said I, Wo [is] me! for I am undone, or, I am struck
dumb, because I (am) a man of unclean lips, I am a polluted sinful creature, unfit to be employed in any service for God, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips : for mine eyes
have seen the King, the LORD of hosts; I have seen him in all 6 his splendor and purity, appearing as a judge. Then Aew one
of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, 7 (which) he had taken with the tongs from off the altar : And
he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips ; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged; this is a sign that thy guilt is pardoned, and that a commission is
given thee to be a preacher and reprover to this people. 8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I
send, and who will go for us? He asked not for information, but that Isaiah might willingly offer himself. Then said I, Here
[am] I ; send me ; I am very willing to go now my incapacity is 9 removed. And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye, in
deed, but understand not ; and see ye indeed, but perceive not ; though I give you the means of instruction, and lay brfore you
things most worthy of seeing and hearing, yet by my prophet I 10 foretell that ye will not be affected with them. Make the heart of
this people fat, stupid and hardened, that is, declare that it shall be 80 ; be not wanting to instruct and reprove them, though this should be the consequence ; and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes ; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be heal. ed, or pardoned. Thus Jeremiah is said to build and destroy king
doms, and Ezekiel is said to destroy Jerusalem, because they fore11 told that they should be destroyed. Then said I, Lord, how long
shall this judgment, this judicial blindness continue? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate ; till utter
destruction come upon them as a nation : referring to their de12 siruction by the Romans, forty years after Christ's time ; And the
LORD have removed men far away, and (there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land ; till many flee away, and others
are carried captive by the Romans, so that very few are left. 13 But yet in it [shall be) a tenth, or tythe of the inhabitants, and [it]
shall return to God, and shall be eaten, that is, be acceptable to him, as the tythe was calen by the priest, and is called meat in his house : as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance [is] in them, when they cast (their leaves ;] like a tree that seems withered and dead in winter, yet is alive and shall sprout again : (so] the holy seed (shall be) the substance thereof; those who embrace ihe gospel shall preserve the nation from utier ruin, and at length it shall flourish again ; so that the Jerus shall never be entirely cast off, but in due time be numbered again among God's people.
1. I ET us make this grand description of the Lord Jehovah
u familiar to our minds. He is exalted above all cherubims; attended with an innumerable company of bright and holy beings. Observe with what humility and reverence they appear before bim, covering their faces. With what ardour and zeal do they praise him ! with what activity and speed do they execute his commands! May we engage in religious services with the same disposition ! contemplate and adore him as superlatively holy ; and particularly think of him in this light when earthly kings die. In the year Uzziah died, who was upon the whole a good king, and reigned very long, Isaiah saw this vision. It was comfortable, in such circumstances, to reflect on the Lord as the King eternal and immortal; and to think that he has committed all judgment to his Son, whose glory, as the image and representative of Jehovah, the prophet saw.
2. When we seriously consider the inGnite purity and holiness of God, we may justly tremble before him. We are ready to think Isaiah was very happy in such a sight as this ; but, exalted as bis
genius and piety were, he cries out, Wo is me! for I am undone a We are all men of polluted lips ; have said many rash and unholy things ; are unfit to appear before the Lord, and unworthy to be employed as his servants ; therefore it becomes us to be afraid of his righteous displeasure, and to abase ourselves deeply before him. God is greally lo be feared, and to be had in reverence of all them that draw nigh unio him.
3. How honourable is it to be emploved for God, and how cheerfully should we engage in his service! It should be the great des sire of all christians, as the servants of God, more especially of ministers, to have their iniquity purged, their guilt removed, their inclinations to sin mortified, and to have a comfortable sense of pardon and peace. We should all be willing to work for God; and though the times may be bad, and we may meet with many discouragements in our christian work, and see little hope of success in our endeavours to do good, yet still our language should be, Here am 1, Lord ; send me. It is honour enough to be employed for God, though our work should be unsuccessful. But this is an additional comfort, that our work is with the Lord, and we shall by no means lose the reward.
4. What a deplorable condition is theirs, who hear the gospel, but are made worse by it. This is the case of the Jews ; and this passage is quoted six times in the New Testament, and applied to them by Christ and his apostles. And it is the case of too many christians; they hear, but understand not ; will not apply their minds to consider and attend to their own concern in it; so that they continue in sin, and are not healed; yea, they are given up to spiritual blindness, and their hearts grow harder by their misimprovement of the means of grace. Let us beware that this case be not ours. It is indeed a very discouraging circumstance to ministers, that it is so common a case ; but there is this to balance it, that there is a holv seed, a pious remnant, that will hear, learn, and improve ; and that while the word of God is to some a savour of death unto death, it is to others of life unto life, and they are a savour to Cod in both.
The design of this chapter is, to assure the house of David, or roval
family, that they should not be destroyed by the linge of Suria and Israel, who were confederate against them, but shouid be punished by the king of Assyria, in whom they trusted.
1 A ND it came to pass in the days of Abaz the son of Jotham,
the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, [that] Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went
up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail 2 against it. And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria
is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and