|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:5-11 The way of the just is evenness, a steady course of obedience and holy conversation. And it is their happiness that God makes their way plain and easy. It is our duty, and will be our comfort, to wait for God, to keep up holy desires toward him in the darkest and most discouraging times. Our troubles must never turn us from God; and in the darkest, longest night of affliction, with our souls must we desire him; and this we must wait and pray to him for. We make nothing of our religion, whatever our profession may be, if we do not make heart-work of it. Though we come ever so early, we shall find God ready to receive us. The intention of afflictions is to teach righteousness: blessed is the man whom the Lord thus teaches. But sinners walk contrary to him. They will go on in their evil ways, because they will not consider what a God he is whose laws they persist in despising. Scorners and the secure will shortly feel, what now they will not believe, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. They will not see the evil of sin; but they shall see. Oh that they would abandon their sins, and turn to the Lord, that he may have mercy upon them.
Verse 9. - In the night; i.e. "the long night of their affliction." The sentiment is identical with that of the preceding verse. Will I seek thee early; rather, did I seek thee. For when thy judgments, etc. It was not a mere selfish desire for the cessation of persecution that caused the righteous to long for the time when God's judgments would be manifested upon the earth, but a conviction that so only would an impression be made on the persecutors, and a certain number of them be induced to learn righteousness. A desire for the conversion of sinners to God characterizes God's saints generally, and none more than Isaiah, who is here expressing what he conceives will be the thoughts of the redeemed, and naturally judges their thoughts and feelings by his Own.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
With my soul have I desired thee in the night,.... Either literally, when others were asleep: or figuratively, in the captivity; which, as Jarchi says, was like unto the night; or in the time of Jewish and Gentile darkness, preceding the coming of Christ; or rather in the time of latter day darkness, when the church is represented as heartily desirous of, and importunately praying for, the latter day glory, the rising of the sun of righteousness, the spiritual reign of Christ, the spread of his Gospel, and the setting up of his kingdom and glory in the world; so the Targum,
"my soul desireth to pray before thee in the night;''
her desires were expressed by prayer:
yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early; she determines to continue seeking the Lord night and day, with the greatest intenseness of spirit, and eagerness of soul, until she obtained and enjoyed what she sought for; namely, the presence of Christ, communion with him, the discoveries of his love, and larger measures of his grace, light, and knowledge;
for when thy judgments are in the earth; such as pestilence, famine, sword, and the like; especially the judgments of God on antichrist, and the antichristian states, which will be just and righteous; see Revelation 19:2,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness; not the wicked inhabitants of the world, for the contrary is suggested in the following verses; but the saints that are in the world, the upright ones, the righteous before mentioned, the church and her members; these, by the judgments of God in the world, learn what a righteous Being he is, how unrighteous men are, on whose account these judgments come, and themselves too, as in his sight; and they learn the insufficiency of their own righteousness to justify them before him, and their need, the worth and value, of the righteousness of Christ: and also learn hereby to live soberly, righteously, and godly, Psalm 119:67 they learn to ascribe righteousness to God, and to fear and worship him, Revelation 15:3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. With, … soul … I—literally, "I … my soul," in apposition; the faithful Jews here speak individually. The overthrow of the foe and the restoration of the Jews are to follow upon prayer on the part of the latter and of all God's people (Isa 62:1-4, 6, 7; Ps 102:13-17).
in the night—(Ps 63:6; So 3:1).
world … learn … righteousness—the remnant left after judgments (Ps 58:10, 11; Zec 14:16).
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