Isaiah 5

* The state and conduct of the Jewish nation. (1-7) The

judgments which would come. (8-23) The executioners of these

judgments. (24-30)

1-7 Christ is God's beloved Son, and our beloved Saviour. The

care of the Lord over the church of Israel, is described by the

management of a vineyard. The advantages of our situation will

be brought into the account another day. He planted it with the

choicest vines; gave them a most excellent law, instituted

proper ordinances. The temple was a tower, where God gave tokens

of his presence. He set up his altar, to which the sacrifices

should be brought; all the means of grace are denoted thereby.

God expects fruit from those that enjoy privileges. Good

purposes and good beginnings are good things, but not enough;

there must be vineyard fruit; thoughts and affections, words and

actions, agreeable to the Spirit. It brought forth bad fruit.

Wild grapes are the fruits of the corrupt nature. Where grace

does not work, corruption will. But the wickedness of those that

profess religion, and enjoy the means of grace, must be upon the

sinners themselves. They shall no longer be a peculiar people.

When errors and vice go without check or control, the vineyard

is unpruned; then it will soon be grown over with thorns. This

is often shown in the departure of God's Spirit from those who

have long striven against him, and the removal of his gospel

from places which have long been a reproach to it. The

explanation is given. It is sad with a soul, when, instead of

the grapes of humility, meekness, love, patience, and contempt

of the world, for which God looks, there are the wild grapes of

pride, passion, discontent, and malice, and contempt of God;

instead of the grapes of praying and praising, the wild grapes

of 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 wealth

of the world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house

and a field to purchase another; but the fault is, that they

never know when they have enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and

while many envy the prosperous, wretched man, the Lord denounces

awful woes upon him. How applicable to many among us! God has

many ways to empty the most populous cities. Those who set their

hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed. Here is woe

to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of sense.

The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart

from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have

seized them, but they will not disturb themselves in their

pleasures. The judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so

high, death will bring him low; ever so mean, death will bring

him lower. The fruit of these judgments shall be, that God will

be glorified as a God of power. Also, as a God that is holy; he

shall be owned and declared to be so, in the righteous

punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who set

up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts.

They are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in

scorn that they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound

and overthrow distinctions between good and evil. They prefer

their own reasonings to Divine revelations; their own devices to

the counsels and commands of God. They deem it prudent and

politic to continue profitable sins, and to neglect self-denying

duties. Also, how light soever men make of drunkenness, it is a

sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God. Their judges

perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal it.
24-30 Let not any expect to live easily who live wickedly. Sin

weakens the strength, the root of a people; it defaces the

beauty, the blossoms of a people. When God's word is despised,

and his law cast away, what can men expect but that God should

utterly abandon them? When God comes forth in wrath, the hills

tremble, fear seizes even great men. When God designs the ruin

of a provoking people, he can find instruments to be employed in

it, as he sent for the Chaldeans, and afterwards the Romans, to

destroy the Jews. Those who would not hear the voice of God

speaking by his prophets, shall hear the voice of their enemies

roaring against them. Let the distressed look which way they

will, all appears dismal. If God frowns upon us, how can any

creature smile? Let us diligently seek the well-grounded

assurance, that when all earthly helps and comforts shall fail,

God himself will be the strength of our hearts, and our portion

for ever.

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