Isaiah 66

* God looks at the heart, and vengeance is threatened for guilt.

(1-4) The increase of the church, when Jew and Gentile shall be

gathered to the Redeemer. (5-14) Every enemy of the church shall

be destroyed, and the final ruin of ungodly men shall be seen.

(15-24)

1-4 The Jews gloried much in their temple. But what

satisfaction can the Eternal Mind take in a house made with

men's hands? God has a heaven and an earth of his own making,

and temples of man's making; but he overlooks them, that he may

look with favour to him who is poor in spirit and serious,

self-abasing and self-denying; whose heart truly sorrows for

sin: such a heart is a living temple for God. The sacrifice of

the wicked is not only unacceptable, but a great offence to God.

And he that now offers a sacrifice after the law, does in effect

set aside Christ's sacrifice. He that burns incense, puts

contempt upon the incense of Christ's intercession, and is as if

he blessed an idol. Men shall be deceived by the vain

confidences with which they deceive themselves. Unbelieving

hearts, and unpurified consciences, need no more to make them

miserable, than to have their own fears brought upon them.

Whatever men put in the place of the priesthood, atonement, and

intercession of Christ, will be found hateful to God.
5-14 The prophet turns to those that trembled at God's word, to

comfort and encourage them. The Lord will appear, to the joy of

the humble believer, and to the confusion of hypocrites and

persecutors. When the Spirit was poured out, and the gospel went

forth from Zion, multitudes were converted in a little time. The

word of God, especially his promises, and ordinances, are the

consolations of the church. The true happiness of all Christians

is increased by every convert brought to Christ. The gospel

brings with it, wherever it is received in its power, such a

river of peace, as will carry us to the ocean of boundless and

endless bliss. Divine comforts reach the inward man; the joy of

the Lord will be the strength of the believer. Both God's mercy

and justice shall be manifested, and for ever magnified.
15-24 A prophetic declaration is given of the Lord's vengeance

on all enemies of his church, especially that of all

antichristian opposers of the gospel in the latter days. Ver
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