Isaiah 41

* God's care of his people. (1-9) they are encouraged not to

fear. (10-20) The vanity and folly of idolatry. (21-29)

1-9 Can any heathen god raise up one in righteousness, make

what use of him he pleases, and make him victorious over the

nations? The Lord did so with Abraham, or rather, he would do so

with Cyrus. Sinners encourage one another in the ways of sin;

shall not the servants of the living God stir up one another in

his service? God's people are the seed of Abraham his friend.

This is certainly the highest title ever given to a mortal. It

means that Abraham, by Divine grace, was made like to God, and

that he was admitted to communion with Him. Happy are the

servants of the Lord, whom he has called to be his friends, and

to walk with him in faith and holy obedience. Let not such as

have thus been favoured yield to fear; for the contest may be

sharp, but the victory shall be sure.
10-20 God speaks with tenderness; Fear thou not, for I am with

thee: not only within call, but present with thee. Art thou

weak? I will strengthen thee. Art thou in want of friends? I

will help thee in the time of need. Art thou ready to fall? I

will uphold thee with that right hand which is full of

righteousness, dealing forth rewards and punishments. There are

those that strive with God's people, that seek their ruin. Let

not God's people render evil for evil, but wait God's time. It

is the worm Jacob; so little, so weak, so despised and trampled

on by every body. God's people are as worms, in humble thoughts

of themselves, and in their enemies' haughty thoughts of them;

worms, but not vipers, not of the serpent's seed. Every part of

God's word is calculated to humble man's pride, and to make him

appear little in his own eyes. The Lord will help them, for he

is their Redeemer. The Lord will make Jacob to become a

threshing instrument. God will make him fit for use, new, and

having sharp spikes. This has fulfilment in the triumphs of the

gospel of Christ, and of all faithful followers of Christ, over

the power of darkness. God has provided comforts to supply all

their wants, and to answer all their prayers. Our way to heaven

lies through the wilderness of this world. The soul of man is in

want, and seeks for satisfaction; but becomes weary of seeking

that in the world, which is not to be had in it. Yet they shall

have a constant supply, where one would least expect it. I will

open rivers of grace, rivers of living water, which Christ spake

of the Spirit, #Joh 7:38,39|. When God sets up his church in the

Gentile wilderness, there shall be a great change, as if thorns

and briers were turned into cedars, and fir-trees, and myrtles.

These blessings are kept for the poor in spirit, who long for

Divine enlightening, pardon, and holiness. And God will render

their barren souls fruitful in the grace of his Spirit, that all

who behold may consider it.
21-29 There needs no more to show the folly of sin, than to

bring to notice the reasons given in defence of it. There is

nothing in idols worthy of regard. They are less than nothing,

and worse than nothing. Let the advocates of other doctrines

than that of salvation through Christ, bring their arguments.

Can they tell of a cure for human depravity? Jehovah has power

which cannot be withstood; this he will make appear. But the

certain knowledge of the future must be only with Jehovah, who

fulfils his own plans. All prophecies, except those of the

Bible, have been uncertain. In the work of redemption the Lord

showed himself much more than in the release of the Jews from

Babylon. The good tidings the Lord will send in the gospel, is a

mystery hid from ages and generations. A Deliverer is raised up

for us, of nobler name and greater power than the deliverer of

the captive Jews. May we be numbered among his obedient servants

and faithful friends.

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