Isaiah 4

* The havoc occasioned by war. (1) The times of the Messiah.


1 This first verse belongs to the third chapter. When the

troubles should come upon the land, as the unmarried state was

deemed reproachful among the Jews, these women would act

contrary to common usage, and seek husbands for themselves.
2-6 Not only the setting forth Christ's kingdom in the times of

the apostles, but its enlargement by gathering the dispersed

Jews into the church, is foretold. Christ is called the Branch

of the Lord, being planted by his power, and flourishing to his

praise. The gospel is the fruit of the Branch of the Lord; all

the graces and comforts of the gospel spring from Christ. It is

called the fruit of the earth, because it sprang up in this

world, and was suited for the present state. It will be good

evidence that we are distinguished from those merely called

Israel, if we are brought to see all beauty in Christ, and

holiness. As a type of this blessed day, Jerusalem should again

flourish as a branch, and be blessed with the fruits of the

earth. God will keep for himself a holy seed. When most of those

that have a place and a name in Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be

cut off by their unbelief, some shall be left. Those only that

are holy shall be left, when the Son of man shall gather out of

his kingdom every thing which offends. By the judgment of God's

providence, sinners were destroyed and consumed; but by the

Spirit of grace they are reformed and converted. The Spirit

herein 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 men

zealously affected in a good work. An ardent love to Christ and

souls, and zeal against sin, will carry men on with resolution

in endeavours to turn away ungodliness from Jacob. Every

affliction serves believers as a furnace, to purify them from

dross; and the convincing, enlightening, and powerful influences

of the Holy Spirit, gradually root out their lusts, and render

them holy as He is holy. God will protect his church, and all

that belong to it. Gospel truths and ordinances are the glory of

the church. Grace in the soul is the glory of it; and those that

have it are kept by the power of God. But only those who are

weary will seek rest; only those who are convinced that a storm

is approaching, will look for shelter. Affected with a deep

sense of the Divine displeasure, to which we are exposed by sin,

let us at once have recourse to Jesus Christ, and thankfully

accept the refuge he affords.

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