O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.
I. This is a world where storms often gather, and tempests on this planet are never out of place. The storm has also its mission and its work as well as the calm. Now, among men, adversity of all kinds is a powerful agent in accomplishing necessary spiritual operations.
II. This is a time of storms, and tempests here are not out of season. The days of man upon earth are as the winter of his life. Death is the seedtime, and immortality is the spring and summer and harvest. When the spring and summer have come, snow and hail are out of season; but during the winter of our being—the days we spend upon earth—hail and snow and rain are in season.
III. Every storm, however, is raised and guided under the eye and hand of God. The stormy wind does not surprise Him, neither does it master Him; it only fulfils His decree; it simply accomplishes His word.
IV. The object of every storm is good, although the present experience of it is not joyous, but grievous; and hence the need of a refuge, even to the child of God. It is quite true that no storm can ultimately hurt him; but any storm may terribly disquiet him, if he have not a refuge in the storm, and if he make not full and complete use of that refuge. And where is the refuge? "God is a refuge for us."
V. A place to be a refuge must be out of the storm; or if in the midst of the storm, it must be stronger than the storm. God is a refuge from the storm—a refuge required by all, and resorted to by many, but in which there is always room—a refuge stronger than the concentrated force of all the storms which have ever raged—a refuge in which we may stay until all storms are over, and a refuge affording efficient shelter.
S. Martin, Westminster Chapel Pulpit, 4th series, No. 13.
References: Isaiah 25:6.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 139; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv., No. 846. Isaiah 25:6-8.—J. M. Neale, Sermons on Passages from the Prophets, vol. i., p. 66. Isaiah 25:7.—S. Cox, Expositor, 2nd series, vol. iv., p. 331. Isaiah 25:8, Isaiah 25:9.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xiii., p. 279. Isaiah 25:9.—H. P. Liddon, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 1; Ibid., Old Testament Outlines, p. 185; J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 6th series, p. 140; Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 69; Bishop Walsham How, Plain Words, 2nd series, p. 10. Isaiah 26:3.—F. W. Farrar, Penny Pulpit, No. 955 (see also Old Testament Outlines, p. 187); Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxi., No. 1818; Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 181; C. White, Literary Churchman Sermons, p. 181. Isaiah 26:4.—Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 188; Outline Sermons to Children, p. 87.
For thou hast made of a city an heap; of a defenced city a ruin: a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built.
Therefore shall the strong people glorify thee, the city of the terrible nations shall fear thee.
For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low.
And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
For in this mountain shall the hand of the LORD rest, and Moab shall be trodden down under him, even as straw is trodden down for the dunghill.
And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.
And the fortress of the high fort of thy walls shall he bring down, lay low, and bring to the ground, even to the dust.