Isaiah 44:9-20; The Folly of Idolatry; Often before, God, by the prophet, had mentioned the folly and strange sottishness of idolaters; but here he enlarges upon that head, and very fully and particularly exposes them to contempt and ridicule; To furnish them with something to say to their Chaldean task-masters. When they insulted over them, when they asked, Where is your God? they might hence ask them, What are your gods? B.C. 708

The Folly of Idolatry. B. C. 708. Isaiah 44:9-20 9 They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.   10 Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?   11 Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be Continue Reading

Isaiah 44:1-8; Prosperity Foretold; The Supremacy of God; “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring”; They are his servants; and those that serve him he will own and stand by and see that they be not wronged; They are his chosen, and he will abide by his choice; he knows those that are his, and those whom he has chosen he takes under special protection; Those that are sensible of their spiritual wants, and the insufficiency of the creature to supply them, shall have abundant satisfaction in God; The water God will pour out is his Spirit (John 7:39), which God will pour out without measure upon the seed, that is, Christ (Gal. 3:16), and by measure upon all the seed of the faithful, upon all the praying wrestling seed of Jacob, Luke 11:13; That he is eternal–the first and the last. He is God from everlasting, before the worlds were, and will be so to everlasting, when the world shall be no more. If there were not a God to create, nothing would ever have been; and, if there were not a God to uphold, all would soon come to nothing again. He is all in all, is the first cause, from whom are all things, and the last end, to and for whom are all things (Rom. 11:36), the Alpha and the Omega, Rev. 1:11. B.C. 708

I S A I A H. CHAPTER 44 God, by the prophet, goes on in this chapter, as before, I. To encourage his people with the assurance of great blessings he had in store for them at their return out of captivity, and those typical of much greater which the gospel church, his spiritual Israel, should partake of in the days of the Messiah; and hereby he proves himself to be God alone against all pretenders, ver. 1-8. II. To expose the Continue Reading

Isaiah 42:18-25; The Blindness of the Jews; It is a common thing, but a very sad thing, for those that in profession are God’s servants and messengers to be themselves blind and deaf in spiritual things, ignorant, erroneous, and very careless; Blindness and deafness in spiritual things are worse in those that profess themselves to be God’s servants and messengers than in others. It is in them the greater sin and shame, the greater dishonour to God, and to themselves a greater damnation; The prophet goes on (v. 20) to describe the blindness and obstinacy of the Jewish nation, just as our Saviour describes it in his time (Matt. 13:14, 15): Seeing many things, but thou observest not. Multitudes are ruined for want of observing that which they cannot but see; they perish, not through ignorance, but mere carelessness; The care God will take of the honour of his own name, notwithstanding their blindness and deafness, especially of his word, which he has magnified above all his name. B.C. 708

Isaiah 42 part 4 The Blindness of the Jews. B. C. 708. Isaiah 42:18-25 18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.   19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD's servant?   20 Seeing many things, but thou observest not; opening the ears, but he heareth not.   21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; Continue Reading

Isaiah 42:13-17; Judgment and Mercy; It comes all to one whether we make these verses (as some do) the song itself that is to be sung by the Gentile world or a prophecy of what God will do to make way for the singing of that song, that evangelical new song; He will appear in his power and glory more than ever; He shall cry, in the preaching of his word, cry like a travailing woman; for the ministers of Christ preached as men in earnest, and that travailed in birth again till they saw Christ formed in the souls of the people, Gal. 4:19; He will manifest his favour and grace towards those whose spirits he had stirred up to follow him, as Ezra i; He will particularly put those to confusion who adhere to idols notwithstanding the attempts made by the preaching of the gospel to turn them from idols; In times of reformation, when many turn from iniquity, and sin, being generally deserted, becomes unfashionable, it may be hoped that those who will not otherwise be reclaimed will be wrought upon by that consideration to be ashamed of it. B.C. 708

Isaiah 42 part 3 Judgment and Mercy. B. C. 708. Isaiah 42:13-17 13 The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.   14 I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.   15 I will make waste mountains and hills, Continue Reading

Isaiah 42:5-12; The Messiah’s Approach.[Part Two]; The royal titles by which the great God here makes Himself known, and distinguishes himself from all pretenders, speak very much his glory (v. 5): Thus saith God the Lord. And who are thou, Lord? Why, he is the fountain of all being and therefore the fountain of all power. He is the fountain of being, In the upper world; for he created the heavens and stretched them out (ch. 40:22), and keeps the vast expanse still upon the stretch; In the lower world: for he spread forth the earth, and made it a capacious habitation, and that which comes out of it is produced by his power; In the world of mankind: He gives breath to the people upon it, not only air to breathe in, but the breath of life itself and organs to breathe with; nay, he gives spirit, the powers and faculties of a rational soul, to those that walk therein. Now this is prefixed to God’s covenant with the Messiah, and the commission given him, not only to show that he has authority to make such a covenant and give such a commission, and had power sufficient to bear him out, but that the design of the work of redemption was to maintain the honour of the Creator, and to restore man to the allegiance he owes to God as his Maker. B.C. 708

Isaiah 42 part 2 The Messiah's Approach.[Part Two] B. C. 708. Isaiah 42:5-12 5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:   6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give Continue Reading

Isaiah 42:1-4; The Messiah’s Approach [Part One]; We are sure that these verses are to be understood of Christ, for the evangelist tells us expressly that in him this prophecy was fulfilled, Matt. 12:17-21; Behold with an eye of faith, behold and observe, behold and admire, my servant, whom I uphold; The mildness and tenderness with which he should pursue this undertaking, He shall carry it on, In silence, and without noise: He shall not strive nor cry. It shall not be proclaimed, Lo, here, is Christ or Lo, he is there; as when great princes ride in progress or make a public entry. He shall have no trumpet sounded before him, nor any noisy retinue to follow him. The opposition he meets with he shall not strive against, but patiently endure the contradiction of sinners against himself. His kingdom is spiritual, and therefore its weapons are not carnal, nor is its appearance pompous; it comes not with observation. B.C. 708

I S A I A H. CHAPTER 42 The prophet seems here to launch out yet further into the prophecy of the Messiah and his kingdom under the type of Cyrus; and, having the great work of man's salvation by him yet more in view, he almost forgets the occasion that led him into it and drops the return out of Babylon; for indeed the prospect of this would be a greater comfort and support to the believing pious Jews, in their captivity, than the Continue Reading

Isaiah 41:21-29; Idolatry Exposed; The Lord, by the prophet, here repeats the challenge to idolaters to make out the pretentions of their idols: “Produce your cause (v. 21) and make your best of it; bring forth the strongest reasons you have to prove that your idols are gods, and worthy of your adoration.” Note, There needs no more to show the absurdity of sin than to produce the reasons that are given in defence of it, for they carry with them their own confutation; The idols are here challenged to bring proofs of their knowledge and power. Let us see what they can inform us of, and what they can do. Understanding and active power are the accomplishments of a man. Whoever pretends to be a god must have these in perfection; and have the idols made it to appear that they have? No. B.C. 708

Idolatry Exposed. B. C. 708. Isaiah 41:21-29 21 Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob.   22 Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come.   23 Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are Continue Reading

Isaiah 41:10-20; Israel Encouraged; “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them”; The scope of these verses is to silence the fears, and encourage the faith, of the servants of God in their distresses; That they may depend upon his presence with them as their God, and a God all-sufficient for them in the worst of times; Observe with what tenderness God speaks, and how willing he is to let the heirs of promise know the immutability of his counsel, and how desirous to make them easy; That though their enemies be now very formidable, insolent, and severe, yet the day is coming when God will reckon with them and they shall triumph over them; There are those that are incensed against God’s people, that strive with them (v. 11), that war against them (v. 12), that hate them, that seek their ruin, and are continually picking quarrels with them. But let not God’s people be incensed at them, nor strive with them, nor render evil for evil; but wait God’s time, and believe; That they themselves should become a terror to those who were now a terror to them, and victory should turn on their side; Note, God does great things for His people, that He may be taken notice of. B.C. 708

Israel Encouraged. B. C. 708. Isaiah 41:10-20 10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.   11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.   12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt Continue Reading

Isaiah 41:1-9; Idolatry Exposed; The enemies of God’s church and his holy religion may safely be challenged to say and do their worst for the support of their unrighteous cause. He that sits in heaven laughs at them, and the daughter of Zion despises them; for great is the truth and will prevail; That the Lord is God alone, the first and with the last, that He is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, that He governed the world from the beginning, and will to the end of time, He has reigned of old, and will reign for ever; the counsels of His kingdom were from eternity, and the continuance of it will be to eternity; That Israel is His servant, whom He owns, and protects, and employs, and in whom he is and will be glorified; As there is a God in heaven, so there is a church on earth that is his particular care; Elijah prays (1 Kings 18:36), Let it be known that thou art God, and that I am thy servant; He exposes the folly of idolaters, who, notwithstanding the convincing proofs which the God of Israel had given of his being God alone, obstinately persisted in their idolatry, nay, were so much the more hardened in it. B.C. 708

I S A I A H. CHAPTER 41 This chapter, as the former, in intended both for the conviction of idolaters and for the consolation of all God's faithful worshippers; for the Spirit is sent, and ministers are employed by him, both to convince and to comfort. And however this might be primarily intended for the conviction of Babylonians, and the comfort of Israelites, or for the conviction of those in Israel that were addicted to idolatry, as Continue Reading

Isaiah 40:27-31; Jehovah’s Grandeur and Compassion; He is himself an almighty God. He must needs be so, for he is the everlasting God, even Jehovah. He was from eternity; he will be to eternity; and therefore with him there is no deficiency, no decay. He has his being of himself, and therefore all his perfections must needs be boundless. He is without beginning of days or end of life, and therefore with him there is no change. He is also the Creator of the ends of the earth, that is, of the whole earth and all that is in it from end to end. He therefore is the rightful owner and ruler of all, and must be concluded to have an absolute power over all and an all-sufficiency to help his people in their greatest straits. Doubtless he is still as able to save his church as he was at first to make the world; He has wisdom to contrive the salvation, and that wisdom is never at a loss; He has power to bring about the salvation, and that power is never exhausted; He gives strength and power to his people, and helps them by enabling them to help themselves; In the strength of divine grace, their souls shall ascend above the world, and even enter into the holiest. Pious and devout affections are the eagles’ wings on which gracious souls mount up, Ps. 25:1.; They shall press forward, forward towards heaven. B.C. 708

Jehovah's Grandeur and Compassion. B. C. 708. Isaiah 40:27-31 27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?   28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.   29 He giveth power to the faint; and Continue Reading