Isaiah 7

* Ahaz threatened by Israel and Syria; and is assured their

attack would be in vain. (1-9) God gives a sure sign by the

promise of the long-expected Messiah. (10-16) The folly and sin

of seeking relief from Assyria are reproved. (17-25)

1-9 Ungodly men are often punished by others as bad as

themselves. Being in great distress and confusion, the Jews gave

up all for lost. They had made God their enemy, and knew not how

to make him their friend. The prophet must teach them to despise

their enemies, in faith and dependence on God. Ahaz, in fear,

called them two powerful princes. No, says the prophet, they are

but tails of smoking firebrands, burnt out already. The two

kingdoms of Syria and Israel were nearly expiring. While God has

work for the firebrands of the earth, they consume all before

them; but when their work is fulfilled, they will be

extinguished in smoke. That which Ahaz thought most formidable,

is made the ground of their defeat; because they have taken evil

counsel against thee; which is an offence to God. God scorns the

scorners, and gives his word that the attempt should not

succeed. Man purposes, but God disposes. It was folly for those

to be trying to ruin their neighbours, who were themselves near

to ruin. Isaiah must urge the Jews to rely on the assurances

given them. Faith is absolutely necessary to quiet and compose

the mind in trials.
10-16 Secret disaffection to God is often disguised with the

colour of respect to him; and those who are resolved that they

will not trust God, yet pretend they will not tempt him. The

prophet reproved Ahaz and his court, for the little value they

had for Divine revelation. Nothing is more grievous to God than

distrust, but the unbelief of man shall not make the promise of

God of no effect; the Lord himself shall give a sign. How great

soever your distress and danger, of you the Messiah is to be

born, and you cannot be destroyed while that blessing is in you.

It shall be brought to pass in a glorious manner; and the

strongest consolations in time of trouble are derived from

Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, our

expectations of him and from him. He would grow up like other

children, by the use of the diet of those countries; but he

would, unlike other children, uniformly refuse the evil and

choose the good. And although his birth would be by the power of

the Holy Ghost, yet he should not be fed with angels' food. Then

follows a sign of the speedy destruction of the princes, now a

terror to Judah. "Before this child," so it may be read; "this

child which I have now in my arms," (Shear-jashub, the prophet's

own son, ver. #3|,) shall be three or four years older, these

enemies' forces shall be forsaken of both their kings. The

prophecy is so solemn, the sign is so marked, as given by God

himself after Ahaz rejected the offer, that it must have raised

hopes far beyond what the present occasion suggested. And, if

the prospect of the coming of the Divine Saviour was a

never-failing support to the hopes of ancient believers, what

cause have we to be thankful that the Word was made flesh! May

we trust in and love Him, and copy his example.
17-25 Let those who will not believe the promises of God,

expect to hear the alarms of his threatenings; for who can

resist or escape his judgments? The Lord shall sweep all away;

and whomsoever he employs in any service for him, he will pay.

All speaks a sad change of the face of that pleasant land. But

what melancholy change is there, which sin will not make with a

people? Agriculture would cease. Sorrows of every kind will come

upon all who neglect the great salvation. If we remain

unfruitful under the means of grace, the Lord will say, Let no

fruit grow on thee henceforth for ever.

Copyright information for MHCC