Isaiah 4* The havoc occasioned by war. (1) The times of the Messiah.(2-6)1 This first verse belongs to the third chapter. When thetroubles should come upon the land, as the unmarried state wasdeemed reproachful among the Jews, these women would actcontrary to common usage, and seek husbands for themselves. 2-6 Not only the setting forth Christ's kingdom in the times ofthe apostles, but its enlargement by gathering the dispersedJews into the church, is foretold. Christ is called the Branchof the Lord, being planted by his power, and flourishing to hispraise. The gospel is the fruit of the Branch of the Lord; allthe graces and comforts of the gospel spring from Christ. It iscalled the fruit of the earth, because it sprang up in thisworld, and was suited for the present state. It will be goodevidence that we are distinguished from those merely calledIsrael, if we are brought to see all beauty in Christ, andholiness. As a type of this blessed day, Jerusalem should againflourish as a branch, and be blessed with the fruits of theearth. God will keep for himself a holy seed. When most of thosethat have a place and a name in Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall becut off by their unbelief, some shall be left. Those only thatare holy shall be left, when the Son of man shall gather out ofhis kingdom every thing which offends. By the judgment of God'sprovidence, sinners were destroyed and consumed; but by theSpirit of grace they are reformed and converted. The Spiritherein acts as a Spirit of judgment, enlightening the mind,convincing the conscience; also as a Spirit of burning,quickening and strengthening the affections, and making menzealously affected in a good work. An ardent love to Christ andsouls, and zeal against sin, will carry men on with resolutionin endeavours to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Everyaffliction serves believers as a furnace, to purify them fromdross; and the convincing, enlightening, and powerful influencesof the Holy Spirit, gradually root out their lusts, and renderthem holy as He is holy. God will protect his church, and allthat belong to it. Gospel truths and ordinances are the glory ofthe church. Grace in the soul is the glory of it; and those thathave it are kept by the power of God. But only those who areweary will seek rest; only those who are convinced that a stormis approaching, will look for shelter. Affected with a deepsense of the Divine displeasure, to which we are exposed by sin,let us at once have recourse to Jesus Christ, and thankfullyaccept the refuge he affords.
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