Isaiah 26* The Divine mercies encourage to confidence in God. (1-4) Hisjudgments. (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 Babylonshall be levelled with the ground. The unchangeable promise andcovenant of the Lord are the walls of the church of God. Thegates of this city shall be open. Let sinners then be encouragedto join to the Lord. Thou wilt keep him in peace; in perfectpeace, inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace ofconscience, peace at all times, in all events. Trust in the Lordfor that peace, that portion, which will be for ever. Whateverwe trust to the world for, it will last only for a moment; butthose who trust in God shall not only find in him, but shallreceive from him, strength that will carry them to thatblessedness which is for ever. Let us then acknowledge him inall our ways, and rely on him in all trials. 5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course ofobedience and holy conversation. And it is their happiness thatGod makes their way plain and easy. It is our duty, and will beour comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward himin the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles mustnever turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night ofaffliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we mustwait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion,whatever our profession may be, if we do not make heart-work ofit. Though we come ever so early, we shall find God ready toreceive us. The intention of afflictions is to teachrighteousness: blessed is the man whom the Lord thus teaches.But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go on in their evilways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose lawsthey persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortlyfeel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thingto fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see theevil of sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandontheir sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have mercy uponthem. 12-19 Every creature, every business, any way serviceable toour comfort, God makes to be so; he makes that work for us whichseemed to make against us. They had been slaves of sin andSatan; but by the Divine grace they were taught to look to beset free from all former masters. The cause opposed to God andhis kingdom will sink at last. See our need of afflictions.Before, prayer came drop by drop; now they pour it out, it comesnow like water from a fountain. Afflictions bring us to secretprayer. Consider Christ as the Speaker addressing his church.His resurrection from the dead was an earnest of all thedeliverance foretold. The power of his grace, like the dew orrain, which causes the herbs that seem dead to revive, wouldraise his church from the lowest state. But we may refer to theresurrection 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 useither under heaven or in heaven. Thus we shall be safe andhappy in the midst of tribulations. It is but for a short time,as it were for a little moment; when over, it will seem asnothing. God's place is the mercy-seat; there he delights to be:when he punishes, he comes out of his place, for he has nopleasure in the death of sinners. But there is hardly any truthmore frequently repeated in Scripture, than God's determinedpurpose to punish the workers of iniquity. Let us keep close tothe Lord, and separate from the world; and let us seek comfortin secret prayer. A day of vengeance is coming on the world, andbefore it comes we are to expect tribulation and suffering. Butbecause the Christian looks for these things, shall he berestless and dismayed? No, let him repose himself in his God.Abiding in him, the believer is safe. And let us wait patientlythe fulfilling of God's promises.
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