Isaiah 54

* The increase of the church by the conversion of the Jews and

Gentiles. (1-5) Its certain deliverance. (6-10) Its triumphant

state is described. (11-17)

1-5 Observe the low state of religion in the world, for a long

time before Christianity was brought in. But by preaching the

gospel, multitudes were converted from idols to the living God.

This is matter of great rejoicing to the church. The bounds of

the church were extended. Though its state on earth is but mean

and movable, like a tent or tabernacle, it is sometimes a

growing state, and must be enlarged as the family increases. But

the more numerous the church grows, the more she must fortify

herself against errors and corruptions. Thy Maker is thy

Husband. Christ is the Holy One of Israel, the Mediator of the

covenant made with the Old Testament church. Long he had been

called the God of Israel; but now he shall be called the God of

the whole earth. And he will cleanse from sin, and cause every

true believer to rejoice in this sacred union. We never can

enough admire this mercy, or duly value this privilege.
6-10 As God is slow to anger, so he is swift to show mercy. And

how sweet the returns of mercy would be, when God should come

and comfort them! He will have mercy on them. God's gathering

his people takes rise from his mercy, not any merit of theirs;

and it is with great mercies, with everlasting kindness. The

wrath is little, the mercies great; the wrath for a moment, the

kindness everlasting. We are neither to despond under

afflictions, nor to despair of relief. Mountains have been

shaken and removed, but the promises of God never were broken by

any event. Mountains and hills also signify great men.

Creature-confidences shall fail; but when our friends fail us,

our God does not. All this is alike applicable to the church at

large, and to each believer. God will rebuke and correct his

people for sins; but he will not cast them off. Let this

encourage us to give the more diligence to make our calling and

election sure.
11-17 Let the people of God, when afflicted and tossed, think

they hear God speaking comfortably to them by these words,

taking notice of their griefs and fears. The church is all

glorious when full of the knowledge of God; for none teaches

like him. It is a promise of the teaching and gifts of the Holy

Spirit. All that are taught of God are taught to love one

another. This seems to relate especially to the glorious times

to succeed the tribulations of the church. Holiness, more than

any thing, is the beauty of the church. God promises protection.

There shall be no fears within; there shall be no fightings

without. Military men value themselves on their splendid titles,

but God calls them, "Wasters made to destroy," for they make

wasting and destruction their business. He created them,

therefore he will serve his own designs by them. The day is

coming when God will reckon with wicked men for their hard

speeches, #Jude 1:15|. Security and final victory are the

heritage of each faithful servant of the Lord. The righteousness

by which they are justified, and the grace by which they are

sanctified, are the gift of God, and the effect of his special

love. Let us beseech him to sanctify our souls, and to employ us

in his service.

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