Isaiah 5* The state and conduct of the Jewish nation. (1-7) Thejudgments which would come. (8-23) The executioners of thesejudgments. (24-30)1-7 Christ is God's beloved Son, and our beloved Saviour. Thecare of the Lord over the church of Israel, is described by themanagement of a vineyard. The advantages of our situation willbe brought into the account another day. He planted it with thechoicest vines; gave them a most excellent law, institutedproper ordinances. The temple was a tower, where God gave tokensof his presence. He set up his altar, to which the sacrificesshould be brought; all the means of grace are denoted thereby.God expects fruit from those that enjoy privileges. Goodpurposes and good beginnings are good things, but not enough;there must be vineyard fruit; thoughts and affections, words andactions, agreeable to the Spirit. It brought forth bad fruit.Wild grapes are the fruits of the corrupt nature. Where gracedoes not work, corruption will. But the wickedness of those thatprofess religion, and enjoy the means of grace, must be upon thesinners themselves. They shall no longer be a peculiar people.When errors and vice go without check or control, the vineyardis unpruned; then it will soon be grown over with thorns. Thisis often shown in the departure of God's Spirit from those whohave long striven against him, and the removal of his gospelfrom places which have long been a reproach to it. Theexplanation is given. It is sad with a soul, when, instead ofthe grapes of humility, meekness, love, patience, and contemptof the world, for which God looks, there are the wild grapes ofpride, passion, discontent, and malice, and contempt of God;instead of the grapes of praying and praising, the wild grapesof cursing and swearing. Let us bring forth fruit with patience,that in the end we may obtain everlasting life. 8-23 Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealthof the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a houseand a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that theynever know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; andwhile many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denouncesawful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God hasmany ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set theirhearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woeto those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense.The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heartfrom God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments haveseized them, but they will not disturb themselves in theirpleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever sohigh, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bringhim lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God willbe glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; heshall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteouspunishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who setup sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts.They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is inscorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confoundand overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefertheir own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices tothe counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent andpolitic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denyingduties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is asin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judgesperverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it. 24-30 Let not any expect to live easily who live wickedly. Sinweakens the strength, the root of a people; it defaces thebeauty, the blossoms of a people. When God's word is despised,and his law cast away, what can men expect but that God shouldutterly abandon them? When God comes forth in wrath, the hillstremble, fear seizes even great men. When God designs the ruinof a provoking people, he can find instruments to be employed init, as he sent for the Chaldeans, and afterwards the Romans, todestroy the Jews. Those who would not hear the voice of Godspeaking by his prophets, shall hear the voice of their enemiesroaring against them. Let the distressed look which way theywill, all appears dismal. If God frowns upon us, how can anycreature smile? Let us diligently seek the well-groundedassurance, that when all earthly helps and comforts shall fail,God himself will be the strength of our hearts, and our portionfor ever.
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