Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:
I. Consider the characteristics of the Divine dwelling-place. God's works are not enough for Him. He dwells with His people. He takes delight in His people. God's chosen residence is a renewed nature; the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him, but the humble heart can. God dwells more really in the renewed soul than He could possibly in the curtained tabernacle or the shechinahed temple in days of old; and the music of the stringed instruments is poor compared with the melody the heart makes to God. To that celestial shrine neither man nor angel indeed can come; but Jesus can enter, and then, "The Lord said unto me, I will take my rest."
II. "I will consider." Exceeding sublime are all those passages in which the calm of the Divine mind is contrasted with the passion and the agitation of human affairs. We see here the perfect knowledge God has of the ways of His enemies.
III. See here the illustrations of Divine consideration, the loving and beautiful result. "Like a clear heat." There shall be impulse, not passion; growth, not force; light and life, not fury and blast. Happy they on whom the Lord thus rests, freshening and brightening; and if the Lord rests on us, if His hand is on us, we shall know it, for we shall be able to rest on Him.
E. Paxton Hood, Sermons, p. 438.
References: Isaiah 21:1-10.—S. Cox, An Expositor's Note-book, p. 183. Isaiah 21:11.—W. M. Statham, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 193; H. J. Robjohns, Ibid., vol. xiv., p. 152; Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 219.
That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!
All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.
For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.
They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.
In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion.