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displeasure to arise against us, for then we are undone.” So this is all a soul under his hand, in affliction, ought to say, Correct me, but not in wrath, lest thou bring me to nothing : “Thou knowest I cannot stand before that.” He is pleased to look to this, and to express it, as that which moderates his anger, even when justly incensedo; I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made, to lay this before him,
Lord, if thou wilt, how quickly and how easily couldst thou break into pieces, or sink into nothing, not only me, a little atom of it, but the entire frame of this whole world, and therefore strive not with me.” This often Job represents, and God is pleased to move himself, to restrain his wrath, and draw forth his mercy by it'; his great compassion lays hold on such considerations; and this may furnish great confidence to souls under a sense of wrath, that do but fall down and entreat for mercy. He that so often prevents us, when we seek it not, will he cast any away that seeks and suits for it?
The diversion, briefly, is 'to the Heathen, the professed and obdured enemies of God and his church: “Thy wrath, O Lord, may have its course, and yet spare thy people: There is matter enough for it round about, good for nothing else, and good reason for it, besides all other wickedness, their spite and cruelty against thy people, for they have caten up Jacob.
Next, the character of the ungodly, that are fit fewel for this fire,, that know not, and call not on thy name, that profess not, pretend not to be thine. Tremble you that are too like these, though reputed amongst the people of God. Seek the knowledge of God, and worship him, families and persons, lest this curse come upon you.
Now, this prophetical foretelling the utter destruction of the church's enemies, whereas the s Isa. lvii. 16. ? Psal. Ix.xv. 38, 39. and Psal. ciii. 14.
church is corrected in measure, and not destroyed: She is first punished; but they that come last, the enemies, the heaviest wrath falls down there and smothers them, ends on them, and makes an end of them". The belief of this may uphold the faithful in the church's greatest distresses. When at the lowest, then the wrath is nearest changing place, and removing to her enemies.
And this is to be so desired and prayed for, in reference to the implacable enemies of God, that we beware we mix nothing of our own interest or passion with it; as wrath in God is without any disturbance; so somewhat like is the desire of it in the godly, calm undistempered love of the name of God. And so shall the saints rejoice in the final victory and triumph of Christ over all his enemies, and their final ruin in that day, when they shall be made his footstool: Then they shall have a pure complacency and delight in his justice, (that shall make all even;) and why are we disquieted, if we hope for that day?
" Jer. xxx. 11.
* Estuas & tranquillus es.
ISAIAH xxx. 15--19.
For thus saith the Lord God, the holy One of Israel,
in returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength ; and ye
would not. But
ye said, Nó, for we will flee upon horses, therefore shall ye flee: And we will ride upon the swift, therefore shall they that pursue you, be swift. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one : At the
rebuke of five shall ye flee, till ye be left as 'a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an
gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you : For the Lord is a God
of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him. I mer N the sentence of that greatest and biggest judg
ment that ever yet came on the world, the universal deluge, as we have it, Gen. vi. that word doth most lively express the reason of it, My Spirit shall not alway strive with man: for thus it is, while he spares even his own people, he is at a continual strife with them by gracious entreaties and mercies, by advices, and warnings and threatenings, still contesting; that is the way he uses in the contest, on his part, against refusals and revolts and rebellions on their part. Thus here.
The question betwixt him and his people here, is about the help of Egypt: This God often declares to be wholly against his mind, and their own good; yet they on all occasions had so strong a mind to it,
that they could not be diverted. The prophet here hath his message concerning this point, to preach it, and to write it, to remain ad perpetuam rei memoriam, as they speak, ver. 7, 8. shews them plainly, that this course was wholly without the counsel and consent of God, yea, directly against it, and that it should succeed accordingly: The strength of Pharaoh shall be their shame, and their trust in the shadow of Egypt their confusion; it shall prove to you according to its name, a land of distress", and trouble, instead of help. And if you would know what would suit that other name of Egypt better, that were humble yieldance to God, and confidence in him, your Rahab, your best Egypt, your truest strength were, to sit still: This is here again represented to then, so gladly would he reclaim them.
For thus saith the Lord.] The words have, ist, God's express advice to his people. Adly, Their Peremptory refusal of it. Sdly, His just sentence Past upon their obstinacy. The advice prefaced with the usual words of the prophets, Thus saith the Lord; for in that lies the dignity and authority of the message:
His advices, doubtless, are the choicest and the safest; yea, his counsels are all commands, requiring duly the most absolute obedience.
The Lord Jehovah.] Were but his word known to be his, and taken so, how would our souls melt, and yield to the impressions of it, when we read or hear? Oh! learn to hear him, to take every word of his as from his own mouth, every time the law is read, as if thou heard it from Mount Sinai. So think, “ Now God commands me to fear him,” as if you heard him speaking from heaven; that would level more our opinion of men, and make less difference of his messengers.
Another word of his stile is here added, the holy One of Israel. This is much to be considered by his people, the holiness of his nature, and withal the a Ver. 6.
b Ver. 7.
nearness of his relation to them; and so the reverence and obedience we owe him, our deep engagement to holiness, as his people, his children. This is his image in us, if we are truly such. All his sons and daughters are like him, holy as he is holy. The blind base world thinks it a word of disgrace, but the great God owns it as a chief point of his glory, a diamond of his crown, and frequently expresses it as one of the titles he most delights to be known by, Holy, Holy, Holy. And as this is beheld, the heart cannot but be filled with reverence and holy fear, and self-abasement; as this prophet here, in seeing the vision, and hearing that voice, Then said I, IVo is me, for I am undone.
This is here used fitly, to scar his people from rebellion, the unholy way, on which they were so bent; and the rather, because they were grown weary of it, and desired not to hear this word, therefore the more repeated, Because you despise this word, you shall hear it the more. The prophet The prophet will neither be mocked nor threatened out of it, will both deliver his message, and give the king that sent him his own title; and Oh! that we knew him, according to it, understood what this means, the holy One of Israel. He was a holy man, and knew something, yet confesses his own ignorance in that point: there must be some knowledge of it, to discover ignorance of it, I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy.
In returning and rest, &c.] In leaving off the pains ye take in messages and journies to Egypt, in humbly and quietly composing yourself to wait on me, and trust in me; submitting to my hand, in what I bring upon you, and from the same hand, mine alone, expecting deliverance in due time. This does not bar the use of all lawful means, but as it shuts out perplexing cares and turmoil, even in those good means, so it expressly forbids all intermeddling with all unwarranted ways, such as
Chap. xvi. d Ver. 11.
e Ver. 12.
f Prov. xxx. 3.