Isaiah 17* Syria and Israel threatened. (1-11) The woe of Israel'senemies. (12-14)1-11 Sin desolates cities. It is strange that great conquerorsshould take pride in being enemies to mankind; but it is betterthat flocks should lie down there, than that they should harbourany in open rebellion against God and holiness. The strong holdsof Israel, the kingdom of the ten tribes, will be brought toruin. Those who are partakers in sin, are justly made partakersin ruin. The people had, by sins, made themselves ripe for ruin;and their glory was as quickly cut down and taken away by theenemy, as the corn is out of the field by the husbandman. Mercyis reserved in the midst of judgment, for a remnant. But veryfew shall be marked to be saved. Only here and there one wasleft behind. But they shall be a remnant made holy. The few thatare saved were awakened to return to God. They shall acknowledgehis hand in all events; they shall give him the glory due to hisname. To bring us to this, is the design of his providence, ashe is our Maker; and the work of his grace, as he is the HolyOne of Israel. They shall look off from their idols, thecreatures of their own fancy. We have reason to account thoseafflictions happy, which part between us and our sins. The Godof our salvation is the Rock of our strength; and ourforgetfulness and unmindfulness of him are at the bottom of allsin. The pleasant plants, and shoots from a foreign soil, areexpressions for strange and idolatrous worship, and the vilepractices connected therewith. Diligence would be used topromote the growth of these strange slips, but all in vain. Seethe evil and danger of sin, and its certain consequences. 12-14 The rage and force of the Assyrians resembled the mightywaters of the sea; but when the God of Israel should rebukethem, they would flee like chaff, or like a rolling thing,before the whirlwind. In the evening Jerusalem would be introuble, because of the powerful invader, but before morning hisarmy would be nearly cut off. Happy are those who remember Godas their salvation, and rely on his power and grace. The troubleof the believers, and the prosperity of their enemies, will beequally short; while the joy of the former, and the destructionof those that hate and spoil them, shall last for ever.
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