Isaiah 48

* The Jews reproved for their idolatry. (1-8) Yet deliverance is

promised them. (9-15) Solemn warnings of judgment upon those who

persisted in evil. (16-22)

1-8 The Jews valued themselves on descent from Jacob, and used

the name of Jehovah as their God. They prided themselves

respecting Jerusalem and the temple, yet there was no holiness

in their lives. If we are not sincere in religion, we do but

take the name of the Lord in vain. By prophecy they were shown

how God would deal with them, long before it came to pass. God

has said and done enough to prevent men's boasting of

themselves, which makes the sin and ruin of the proud worse;

sooner or later every mouth shall be stopped, and all become

silent before Him. We are all born children of disobedience.

Where original sin is, actual sin will follow. Does not the

conscience of every man witness to the truth of Scripture? May

the Lord prove us, and render us doers of the word.
9-15 We have nothing ourselves to plead with God, why he should

have mercy upon us. It is for his praise, to the honour of his

mercy, to spare. His bringing men into trouble was to do them

good. It was to refine them, but not as silver; not so

thoroughly as men refine silver. If God should take that course,

they are all dross, and, as such, might justly be put away. He

takes them as refined in part only. Many have been brought home

to God as chosen vessels, and a good work of grace begun in

them, in the furnace of affliction. It is comfort to God's

people, that God will secure his own honour, therefore work

deliverance for them. And if God delivers his people, he cannot

be at a loss for instruments to be employed. God has formed a

plan, in which, for his own sake, and the glory of his grace, he

saves all that come to Him.
16-22 The Holy Spirit qualifies for service; and those may

speak boldly, whom God and his Spirit send. This is to be

applied to Christ. He was sent, and he had the Spirit without

measure. Whom God redeems, he teaches; he teaches to profit by

affliction, and then makes them partakers of his holiness. Also,

by his grace he leads them in the way of duty; and by his

providence he leads in the way of deliverance. God did not

afflict 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 and

regard to God's will. It will make the misery of the disobedient

the more painful, to think how happy they might have been. And

here is assurance given of salvation out of captivity. Those

whom God designs to bring home to himself, he will take care of,

that they want not for their journey. This is applicable to the

grace laid up for us in Jesus Christ, from whom all good flows

to us, as the water to Israel out of the rock, for that Rock was

Christ. The spiritual blessings of redemption, and the rescue of

the church from antichristian tyranny, are here pointed to. But

whatever changes take place, the Lord warned impenitent sinners

that no good would come to them; that inward anguish and outward

trouble, which spring from guilt and from the Divine wrath, must

be their portion for ever.

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