Isaiah 9

* The Son that should be born, and his kingdom. (1-7) The

judgments to come upon Israel, and on the enemies of the kingdom

of Christ. (8-21)

1-7 The Syrians and Assyrians first ravaged the countries here

mentioned, and that region was first favoured by the preaching

of Christ. Those that want the gospel, walk in darkness, and in

the utmost danger. But when the gospel comes to any place, to

any soul, light comes. Let us earnestly pray that it may shine

into our hearts, and make us wise unto salvation. The gospel

brings joy with it. Those who would have joy, must expect to go

through hard work, as the husbandman, before he has the joy of

harvest; and hard conflict, as the soldier, before he divides

the spoil. The Jews were delivered from the yoke of many

oppressors; this was a shadow of the believer's deliverance from

the yoke of Satan. The cleansing the souls of believers from the

power and pollution of sin, would be by the influence of the

Holy Spirit, as purifying fire. These great things for the

church, shall be done by the Messiah, Emmanuel. The Child is

born; it was certain; and the church, before Christ came in the

flesh, benefitted by his undertaking. It is a prophecy of him

and of his kingdom, which those that waited for the Consolation

of Israel read with pleasure. This Child was born for the

benefit of us men, of us sinners, of all believers, from the

beginning to the end of the world. Justly is he called

Wonderful, for he is both God and man. His love is the wonder of

angels and glorified saints. He is the Counsellor, for he knew

the counsels of God from eternity; and he gives counsel to men,

in which he consults our welfare. He is the Wonderful

Counsellor; none teaches like him. He is God, the mighty One.

Such is the work of the Mediator, that no less power than that

of the mighty God could bring it to pass. He is God, one with

the Father. As the Prince of Peace, he reconciles us to God; he

is the Giver of peace in the heart and conscience; and when his

kingdom is fully established, men shall learn war no more. The

government shall be upon him; he shall bear the burden of it.

Glorious things are spoken of Christ's government. There is no

end to the increase of its peace, for the happiness of its

subjects shall last for ever. The exact agreement of this

prophecy with the doctrine of the New Testament, shows that

Jewish prophets and Christian teachers had the same view of the

person and salvation of the Messiah. To what earthly king or

kingdom can these words apply? Give then, O Lord, to thy people

to know thee by every endearing name, and in every glorious

character. Give increase of grace in every heart of thy redeemed

upon earth.
8-21 Those are ripening apace for ruin, whose hearts are

unhumbled under humbling providences. For that which God

designs, in smiting us, is, to turn us to himself; and if this

point be not gained by lesser judgments, greater may be

expected. The leaders of the people misled them. We have reason

to be afraid of those that speak well of us, when we do ill.

Wickedness was universal, all were infected with it. They shall

be in trouble, and see no way out; and when men's ways displease

the Lord, he makes even their friends to be at war with them.

God would take away those they thought to have help from. Their

rulers were the head. Their false prophets were the tail and the

rush, the most despicable. In these civil contests, men preyed

on near relations who were as their own flesh. The people turn

not to Him who smites them, therefore he continues to smite: for

when God judges, he will overcome; and the proudest, stoutest

sinner shall either bend or break.

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