Isaiah 27

* God's care over his people. (1-5) A promise of their recall to

Divine favour. (6-13)

1-5 The Lord Jesus with his strong sword, the virtue of his

death, and the preaching of his gospel, does and will destroy

him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, that old

serpent. The world is a fruitless, worthless wilderness; but the

church is a vineyard, a place that has great care taken of it,

and from which precious fruits are gathered. God will keep it in

the night of affliction and persecution, and in the day of peace

and prosperity, the temptations of which are not less dangerous.

God also takes care of the fruitfulness of this vineyard. We

need the continual waterings of Divine grace; if these be at any

time withdrawn, we wither, and come to nothing. Though God

sometimes contends with his people, yet he graciously waits to

be reconciled unto them. It is true, when he finds briers and

thorns instead of vines, and they are set in array against him,

he will tread them down and burn them. Here is a summary of the

doctrine of the gospel, with which the church is to be watered

every moment. Ever since sin first entered, there has been, on

God's part, a righteous quarrel, but, on man's part, most

unrighteous. Here is a gracious invitation given. Pardoning

mercy is called the power of our Lord; let us take hold on that.

Christ crucified is the power of God. Let us by lively faith

take hold on his strength who is a strength to the needy,

believing there is no other name by which we can be saved, as a

man 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 sure

way, to be saved. God is willing to be reconciled to us.
6-13 In the days of the gospel, the latter days, the gospel

church shall be more firmly fixed than the Jewish church, and

shall spread further. May our souls be continually watered and

kept, that we may abound in the fruits of the Spirit, in all

goodness, righteousness, and truth. The Jews yet are kept a

separate and a numerous people; they have not been rooted out as

those who slew them. The condition of that nation, through so

many ages, forms a certain proof of the Divine origin of the

Scriptures; and the Jews live amongst us, a continued warning

against sin. But though winds are ever so rough, ever so high,

God can say to them, Peace, be still. And though God will

afflict his people, yet he will make their afflictions to work

for the good of their souls. According to this promise, since

the captivity in Babylon, no people have shown such hatred to

idols and idolatry as the Jews. And to all God's people, the

design of affliction is to part between them and sin. The

affliction has done us good, when we keep at a distance from the

occasions 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 has

awfully come to pass. And this is a figure of the deplorable

state of the vineyard, the church, when it brought forth wild

grapes. Sinners flatter themselves they shall not be dealt with

severely, because God is merciful, and is their Maker. We see

how weak those pleas will be. Verses #12,13|, seem to predict

the restoration of the Jews after the Babylonish captivity, and

their recovery from their present dispersion. This is further

applicable to the preaching of the gospel, by which sinners are

gathered into the grace of God; the gospel proclaims the

acceptable year of the Lord. Those gathered by the sounding of

the gospel trumpet, are brought in to worship God, and added to

the church; and the last trumpet will gather the saints

together.

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