Isaiah 28

* The desolations of Samaria. (1-4) The prosperity of Judah;

with reproofs for sinfulness and unbelief. (5-15) Christ is

pointed out as the sure Foundation for all believers. (16-22)

God's dealings with his people. (23-29)

1-4 What men are proud of, be it ever so mean, is to them as a

crown; but pride is the forerunner of destruction. How foolishly

drunkards act! Those who are overcome with wine are overcome by

Satan; and there is not greater drudgery in the world than hard

drinking. Their health is ruined; men are broken in their

callings and estates, and their families are ruined by it. Their

souls are in danger of being undone for ever, and all merely to

gratify a base lust. In God's professing people, like Israel, it

is worse than in any other. And he is just in taking away the

plenty they thus abuse. The plenty they were proud of, is but a

fading flower. Like the early fruit, which, as soon as

discovered, is plucked and eaten.
5-15 The prophet next turns to Judah, whom he calls the residue

of his people. Happy are those alone, who glory in the Lord of

hosts himself. Hence his people get wisdom and strength for

every service and every conflict. But it is only in Christ Jesus

that the holy God communicates with sinful man. And whether

those that teach are drunk with wine, or intoxicated with false

doctrines and notions concerning the kingdom and salvation of

the Messiah, they not only err themselves, but lead multitudes

astray. All places where such persons have taught are filled

with errors. For our instruction in the things of God, it is

needful that the same precept and the same line should be often

repeated to us, that we may the better understand them. God, by

his word, calls us to what is really for our advantage; the

service of God is the only true rest for those weary of the

service of sin, and there is no refreshment but under the easy

yoke of the Lord Jesus. All this had little effect upon the

people. Those who will not understand what is plain, but scorn

and despise it as mean and trifling, are justly punished. If we

are at peace with God, we have, in effect, made a covenant with

death; whenever it comes, it cannot do us any real damage, if we

are Christ's. But to think of making death our friend, while by

sin we are making God our enemy, is absurd. And do not they make

lies their refuge who trust in their own righteousness, or to a

death-bed repentance? which is a resolution to sin no more, when

it is no longer in their power to do so.
16-22 Here is a promise of Christ, as the only foundation of

hope for escaping the wrath to come. This foundation was laid in

Zion, in the eternal counsels of God. This foundation is a

stone, firm and able to support his church. It is a tried stone,

a chosen stone, approved of God, and never failed any who made

trial of it. A corner stone, binding together the whole

building, and bearing the whole weight; precious in the sight of

the Lord, and of every believer; a sure foundation on which to

build. And he who in any age or nation shall believe this

testimony, and rest all his hopes, and his never-dying soul on

this foundation, shall never be confounded. The right effect of

faith in Christ is, to quiet and calm the soul, till events

shall be timed by Him, who has all times in his own hand and

power. Whatever men trust to for justification, except the

righteousness of Christ; or for wisdom, strength, and holiness,

except the influences of the Holy Ghost; or for happiness,

except the favour of God; that protection in which they thought

to shelter themselves, will prove not enough to answer the

intention. Those who rest in a righteousness of their own, will

have deceived themselves: the bed is too short, the covering too

narrow. God will be glorified in the fulfilling of his counsels.

If those that profess to be members of God's church, make

themselves like Philistines and Canaanites, they must expect to

be dealt with as such. Then dare not to ridicule the reproofs of

God's word, or the approaches of judgements.
23-29 The husbandman applies to his calling with pains and

prudence, in all the works of it according to their nature. Thus

the Lord, who has given men this wisdom, is wonderful in

counsel, and excellent in his working. As the occasion requires,

he threatens, corrects, spares, shows mercy, or executes

vengeance. Afflictions are God's threshing instruments, to

loosen us from the world, to part between us and our chaff, and

to prepare us for use. God will proportion them to our strength;

they shall be no heavier than there is need. When his end is

answered, the trials and sufferings of his people shall cease;

his wheat shall be gathered into the garner, but the chaff shall

be burned with unquenchable fire.

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