Isaiah 26

* The Divine mercies encourage to confidence in God. (1-4) His

judgments. (5-11) His people exhorted to wait upon Him. (12-19)

Deliverance promised. (20,21)

1-4 "That day," seems to mean when the New Testament Babylon

shall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise and

covenant of the Lord are the walls of the church of God. The

gates of this city shall be open. Let sinners then be encouraged

to join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfect

peace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of

conscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lord

for that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whatever

we trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; but

those who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shall

receive from him, strength that will carry them to that

blessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him in

all our ways, and rely on him in all trials.
5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course of

obedience and holy conversation. And it is their happiness that

God makes their way plain and easy. It is our duty, and will be

our comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward him

in the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles must

never turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night of

affliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we must

wait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion,

whatever our profession may be, if we do not make heart-work of

it. Though we come ever so early, we shall find God ready to

receive us. The intention of afflictions is to teach

righteousness: blessed is the man whom the Lord thus teaches.

But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go on in their evil

ways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose laws

they persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortly

feel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing

to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the

evil of sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandon

their sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have mercy upon

12-19 Every creature, every business, any way serviceable to

our comfort, God makes to be so; he makes that work for us which

seemed to make against us. They had been slaves of sin and

Satan; but by the Divine grace they were taught to look to be

set free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God and

his kingdom will sink at last. See our need of afflictions.

Before, prayer came drop by drop; now they pour it out, it comes

now like water from a fountain. Afflictions bring us to secret

prayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his church.

His resurrection from the dead was an earnest of all the

deliverance foretold. The power of his grace, like the dew or

rain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, would

raise his church from the lowest state. But we may refer to the

resurrection of the dead, especially of those united to Christ.
20,21 When dangers threaten, it is good to retire and lie hid;

when we commend ourselves to God to hide us, he will hide us

either under heaven or in heaven. Thus we shall be safe and

happy in the midst of tribulations. It is but for a short time,

as it were for a little moment; when over, it will seem as

nothing. God's place is the mercy-seat; there he delights to be:

when he punishes, he comes out of his place, for he has no

pleasure in the death of sinners. But there is hardly any truth

more frequently repeated in Scripture, than God's determined

purpose to punish the workers of iniquity. Let us keep close to

the Lord, and separate from the world; and let us seek comfort

in secret prayer. A day of vengeance is coming on the world, and

before it comes we are to expect tribulation and suffering. But

because the Christian looks for these things, shall he be

restless and dismayed? No, let him repose himself in his God.

Abiding in him, the believer is safe. And let us wait patiently

the fulfilling of God's promises.

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