Isaiah 48* The Jews reproved for their idolatry. (1-8) Yet deliverance ispromised them. (9-15) Solemn warnings of judgment upon those whopersisted in evil. (16-22)1-8 The Jews valued themselves on descent from Jacob, and usedthe name of Jehovah as their God. They prided themselvesrespecting Jerusalem and the temple, yet there was no holinessin their lives. If we are not sincere in religion, we do buttake the name of the Lord in vain. By prophecy they were shownhow God would deal with them, long before it came to pass. Godhas said and done enough to prevent men's boasting ofthemselves, which makes the sin and ruin of the proud worse;sooner or later every mouth shall be stopped, and all becomesilent before Him. We are all born children of disobedience.Where original sin is, actual sin will follow. Does not theconscience of every man witness to the truth of Scripture? Maythe Lord prove us, and render us doers of the word. 9-15 We have nothing ourselves to plead with God, why he shouldhave mercy upon us. It is for his praise, to the honour of hismercy, to spare. His bringing men into trouble was to do themgood. It was to refine them, but not as silver; not sothoroughly as men refine silver. If God should take that course,they are all dross, and, as such, might justly be put away. Hetakes them as refined in part only. Many have been brought hometo God as chosen vessels, and a good work of grace begun inthem, in the furnace of affliction. It is comfort to God'speople, that God will secure his own honour, therefore workdeliverance for them. And if God delivers his people, he cannotbe at a loss for instruments to be employed. God has formed aplan, in which, for his own sake, and the glory of his grace, hesaves all that come to Him. 16-22 The Holy Spirit qualifies for service; and those mayspeak boldly, whom God and his Spirit send. This is to beapplied to Christ. He was sent, and he had the Spirit withoutmeasure. Whom God redeems, he teaches; he teaches to profit byaffliction, and then makes them partakers of his holiness. Also,by his grace he leads them in the way of duty; and by hisprovidence he leads in the way of deliverance. God did notafflict them willingly. If their sins had not turned them away,their peace should have been always flowing and abundant.Spiritual enjoyments are ever joined with holiness of life andregard to God's will. It will make the misery of the disobedientthe more painful, to think how happy they might have been. Andhere is assurance given of salvation out of captivity. Thosewhom God designs to bring home to himself, he will take care of,that they want not for their journey. This is applicable to thegrace laid up for us in Jesus Christ, from whom all good flowsto us, as the water to Israel out of the rock, for that Rock wasChrist. The spiritual blessings of redemption, and the rescue ofthe church from antichristian tyranny, are here pointed to. Butwhatever changes take place, the Lord warned impenitent sinnersthat no good would come to them; that inward anguish and outwardtrouble, which spring from guilt and from the Divine wrath, mustbe their portion for ever.
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