Isaiah 57* The blessed death of the righteous. (1,2) The abominableidolatries of the Jewish nation. (3-12) Promises to the humbleand contrite. (13-21)1,2 The righteous are delivered from the sting of death, notfrom the stroke of it. The careless world disregards this. Fewlament it as a public loss, and very few notice it as a publicwarning. They are taken away in compassion, that they may notsee the evil, nor share in it, nor be tempted by it. Therighteous man, when he dies, enters into peace and rest. 3-12 The Lord here calls apostates and hypocrites to appearbefore him. When reproved for their sins, and threatened withjudgments, they ridiculed the word of God. The Jews were guiltyof idolatry before the captivity; but not after that affliction.Their zeal in the worship of false gods, may shame ourindifference in the worship of the true God. The service of sinis disgraceful slavery; those who thus debase themselves tohell, will justly have their portion there. Men incline to areligion that inflames their unholy passions. They are led to doany evil, however great or vile, if they think it will atone forcrimes, or purchase indulgence for some favourite lust. Thisexplains idolatry, whether pagan, Jewish, or antichristian. Butthose who set up anything instead of God, for their hope andconfidence, never will come to a right end. Those who forsakethe only right way, wander in a thousand by-paths. The pleasuresof sin soon tire, but never satisfy. Those who care not for theword of God and his providences, show they have no fear of God.Sin profits not; it ruins and destroys. 13-21 The idols and their worshippers shall come to nothing;but those who trust in God's grace, shall be brought to the joysof heaven. With the Lord there is neither beginning of days, norend of life, nor change of time. His name is holy, and all mustknow him as a holy God. He will have tender regard to those whobring their mind to their condition, and dread his wrath. Hewill make his abode with those whose hearts he has thus humbled,in order to revive and comfort them. When troubles last long,even good men are tempted to entertain hard thoughts of God.Therefore He will not contend for ever, for he will not forsakethe work of his own hands, nor defeat the purchase of his Son'sblood. Covetousness is a sin that particularly lays men underthe Divine displeasure. See the sinfulness of sin. See also thattroubles cannot reform men unless God's grace work in them.Peace shall be published, perfect peace. It is the fruit ofpreaching lips, and praying lips. Christ came and preached peaceto Gentiles, as well as to the Jews; to after-ages, who wereafar off in time, as well as to those of that age. But thewicked would not be healed by God's grace, therefore would notbe healed by his comforts. Their ungoverned lusts and passionsmade them like the troubled sea. Also the terrors of consciencedisturbed their enjoyments. God hath said it, and all the worldcannot unsay it, That there is no peace to those who allowthemselves in any sin. If we are recovered from such an awfulstate, it is only by the grace of God. And the influences of theHoly Spirit, and that new heart, from whence comes gratefulpraise, the fruit of our lips, are his gift. Salvation, with allits fruits, hopes, and comforts, is his work, and to him belongsall the glory. There is no peace for the wicked man; but let thewicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him,and to our God, and he will abundantly pardon.
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