Isaiah 21* The taking of Babylon. (1-10) Of the Edomites. (11,12) Of theArabs. (13-17)1-10 Babylon was a flat country, abundantly watered. Thedestruction of Babylon, so often prophesied of by Isaiah, wastypical of the destruction of the great foe of the New Testamentchurch, foretold in the Revelation. To the poor oppressedcaptives it would be welcome news; to the proud oppressors itwould be grievous. Let this check vain mirth and sensualpleasures, that we know not in what heaviness the mirth may end.Here is the alarm given to Babylon, when forced by Cyrus. An assand a camel seem to be the symbols of the Medes and Persians.Babylon's idols shall be so far from protecting her, that theyshall be broken down. True believers are the corn of God'sfloor; hypocrites are but as chaff and straw, with which thewheat is now mixed, but from which it shall be separated. Thecorn of God's floor must expect to be threshed by afflictionsand persecutions. God's Israel of old was afflicted. Even thenGod owns it is his still. In all events concerning the church,past, present, and to come, we must look to God, who has powerto do any thing for his church, and grace to do every thing thatis for her good. 11,12 God's prophets and ministers are as watchmen in the cityin a time of peace, to see that all is safe. As watchmen in thecamp in time of war, to warn of the motions of the enemy. Aftera long sleep in sin and security, it is time to rise, to awakeout of sleep. We have a great deal of work to do, a long journeyto go; it is time to be stirring. After a long dark night isthere any hope of the day dawning? What tidings of the night?What happens to-night? We must never be secure. But many makecurious inquiries of the watchmen. They would willingly havenice questions solved, or difficult prophecies interpreted; butthey do not seek into the state of their own souls, about theway of salvation, and the path of duty. The watchman answers byway of prophecy. There comes first a morning of light, andpeace, and opportunity; but afterward comes a night of troubleand calamity. If there be a morning of youth and health, therewill come a night of sickness and old age; if a morning ofprosperity in the family, in the public, yet we must look forchanges. It is our wisdom to improve the present morning, inpreparation for the night that is coming after it. Inquire,return, come. We are urged to do it quickly, for there is notime to trifle. Those that return and come to God, will findthey have a great deal of work to do, and but little time to doit in. 13-17 The Arabians lived in tents, and kept cattle. Adestroying army shall be brought upon them, and make them aneasy prey. We know not what straits we may be brought intobefore we die. Those may know the want of necessary food who noweat bread to the full. Neither the skill of archers, nor thecourage of mighty men, can protect from the judgments of God.That is poor glory, which will thus quickly come to nothing.Thus hath the Lord said to me; and no word of his shall fall tothe ground. We may be sure the Strength of Israel will not lie.Happy are those only whose riches and glory are out of the reachof invaders; all other prosperity will speedily pass away.
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