Isaiah 27* God's care over his people. (1-5) A promise of their recall toDivine favour. (6-13)1-5 The Lord Jesus with his strong sword, the virtue of hisdeath, and the preaching of his gospel, does and will destroyhim that had the power of death, that is, the devil, that oldserpent. The world is a fruitless, worthless wilderness; but thechurch is a vineyard, a place that has great care taken of it,and from which precious fruits are gathered. God will keep it inthe night of affliction and persecution, and in the day of peaceand prosperity, the temptations of which are not less dangerous.God also takes care of the fruitfulness of this vineyard. Weneed the continual waterings of Divine grace; if these be at anytime withdrawn, we wither, and come to nothing. Though Godsometimes contends with his people, yet he graciously waits tobe reconciled unto them. It is true, when he finds briers andthorns instead of vines, and they are set in array against him,he will tread them down and burn them. Here is a summary of thedoctrine of the gospel, with which the church is to be wateredevery moment. Ever since sin first entered, there has been, onGod's part, a righteous quarrel, but, on man's part, mostunrighteous. Here is a gracious invitation given. Pardoningmercy is called the power of our Lord; let us take hold on that.Christ crucified is the power of God. Let us by lively faithtake hold on his strength who is a strength to the needy,believing there is no other name by which we can be saved, as aman that is sinking catches hold of a bough, or cord, or plank,that is in his reach. This is the only way, and it is a sureway, to be saved. God is willing to be reconciled to us. 6-13 In the days of the gospel, the latter days, the gospelchurch shall be more firmly fixed than the Jewish church, andshall spread further. May our souls be continually watered andkept, that we may abound in the fruits of the Spirit, in allgoodness, righteousness, and truth. The Jews yet are kept aseparate and a numerous people; they have not been rooted out asthose who slew them. The condition of that nation, through somany ages, forms a certain proof of the Divine origin of theScriptures; and the Jews live amongst us, a continued warningagainst sin. But though winds are ever so rough, ever so high,God can say to them, Peace, be still. And though God willafflict his people, yet he will make their afflictions to workfor the good of their souls. According to this promise, sincethe captivity in Babylon, no people have shown such hatred toidols and idolatry as the Jews. And to all God's people, thedesign of affliction is to part between them and sin. Theaffliction has done us good, when we keep at a distance from theoccasions of sin, and use care that we may not be tempted to it.Jerusalem had been defended by grace and the Divine protection;but when God withdrew, she was left like a wilderness. This hasawfully come to pass. And this is a figure of the deplorablestate of the vineyard, the church, when it brought forth wildgrapes. Sinners flatter themselves they shall not be dealt withseverely, because God is merciful, and is their Maker. We seehow weak those pleas will be. Verses #12,13|, seem to predictthe restoration of the Jews after the Babylonish captivity, andtheir recovery from their present dispersion. This is furtherapplicable to the preaching of the gospel, by which sinners aregathered into the grace of God; the gospel proclaims theacceptable year of the Lord. Those gathered by the sounding ofthe gospel trumpet, are brought in to worship God, and added tothe church; and the last trumpet will gather the saintstogether.
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