Isaiah 24

* The desolation of the land. (1-12) A few shall be preserved.

(13-15) God's kingdom advanced by his judgments. (16-23)

1-12 All whose treasures and happiness are laid up on earth,

will soon be brought to want and misery. It is good to apply to

ourselves what the Scripture says of the vanity and vexation of

spirit which attend all things here below. Sin has turned the

earth upside down; the earth is become quite different to man,

from what it was when God first made it to be his habitation. It

is, at the best, like a flower, which withers in the hands of

those that please themselves with it, and lay it in their

bosoms. The world we live in is a world of disappointment, a

vale of tears; the children of men in it are but of few days,

and full of trouble, See the power of God's curse, how it makes

all empty, and lays waste all ranks and conditions. Sin brings

these calamities upon the earth; it is polluted by the sins of

men, therefore it is made desolate by God's judgments. Carnal

joy will soon be at end, and the end of it is heaviness. God has

many ways to imbitter wine and strong drink to those who love

them; distemper of body, anguish of mind, and the ruin of the

estate, will make strong drink bitter, and the delights of sense

tasteless. Let men learn to mourn for sin, and rejoice in God;

then no man, no event, can take their joy from them.
13-15 There shall be a remnant preserved from the general ruin,

and it shall be a devout and pious remnant. These few are

dispersed; like the gleanings of the olive tree, hid under the

leaves. The Lord knows those that are his; the world does not.

When the mirth of carnal worldlings ceases, the joy of the

saints is as lively as ever, because the covenant of grace, the

fountain of their comforts, and the foundation of their hopes,

never fails. Those who rejoice in the Lord can rejoice in

tribulation, and by faith may triumph when all about them are in

tears. They encourage their fellow-sufferers to do likewise,

even those who are in the furnace of affliction. Or, in the

valleys, low, dark, miry places. In every fire, even the

hottest, in every place, even the remotest, let us keep up our

good thoughts of God. If none of these trials move us, then we

glorify the Lord in the fires.
16-23 Believers may be driven into the uttermost parts of the

earth; but they are singing, not sighing. Here is terror to

sinners; the prophet laments the miseries he saw breaking in

like a torrent; and the small number of believers. He foresees

that sin would abound. The meaning is plain, that evil pursues

sinners. Unsteady, uncertain are all these things. Worldly men

think to dwell in the earth as in a palace, as in a castle; but

it shall be removed like a cottage, like a lodge put up for the

night. It shall fall and not rise again; but there shall be new

heavens and a new earth, in which shall dwell nothing but

righteousness. Sin is a burden to the whole creation; it is a

heavy burden, under which it groans now, and will sink at last.

The high ones, that are puffed up with their grandeur, that

think themselves out of the reach of danger, God will visit for

their pride and cruelty. Let us judge nothing before the time,

though some shall be visited. None in this world should be

secure, though their condition be ever so prosperous; nor need

any despair, though their condition be ever so deplorable. God

will be glorified in all this. But the mystery of Providence is

not yet finished. The ruin of the Redeemer's enemies must make

way for his kingdom, and then the Sun of Righteousness will

appear in full glory. Happy are those who take warning by the

sentence against others; every impenitent sinner will sink under

his transgression, and rise no more, while believers enjoy

everlasting bliss.
Copyright information for MHCC