Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labor not to comfort me…
The profound concern which the prophet of the Lord displays for "the daughter of his people," showing us that the reception and the record of the prophetic vision did not interfere with his strong feelings as a Hebrew patriot, may suggest thoughts on Christian patriotism. This is to be clearly distinguished from:
1. The exaggerated self-consciousness or vain-gloriousness which some "patriots" exhibit.
2. The exclusiveness of spirit which others betray.
3. The diseased sensitiveness which leads many to catch at the first apparent international wrong as a valid casus belli. A great deal passes current as patriotism which would have been allowable, if not creditable, under heathenism, but which is simply false and guilty under the Divine teaching we have received who have learned of Christ. That man is the true friend of his country who takes -
I. A DEEP AND PRACTICAL INTEREST IN ITS POLITICAL WELFARE. A part of the "spoiling" to which Isaiah refers is to be found in the threatened seizure of his country's political independence, its being made subcut and tributary to the invader; this could not be other than a calamity of the first consequence in his eyes. The Christian patriot, while he ought to oppose most strenuously all unrighteous projects on the part of his own people, does well to be earnestly concerned for the integrity, the independence, the reputation, of his native land.
II. A PRACTICAL INTEREST IN ITS MATERIAL WELL-BEING. No doubt this "spoiling" included, in the prophet's thought, the destruction of its property and the deportation of its wealth. Considering how all the citizens, the wage-receiving multitudes as welt as the wealthier minority, are affected by the material prosperity of the land, it is right and Christian for us to make this a matter of careful and conscientious effort.
III. A PROFOUND INTEREST IN ITS MORAL AND SPIRITUAL CONDITION. It was
(1) the moral condition of Jerusalem, feasting and making merry on the day of its humiliation (vers. 12, 13); and also
(2) its spiritual condition, forgetting its true Deliverer (ver. 11), and slighting his discipline (ver. 12), which so much distressed the holy prophet. And it should be the moral and spiritual condition of our country which should create in us and call forth from us our most profound solicitude. And this because
(1) that is the matter of most intrinsic importance;
(2) that is the thing on which the Divine judgment and determination will depend; and
(3) that will be ultimately decisive of our country's political and material interests. If we would do our whole duty in relation thereto, we shall:
1. Join in prayer for Divine mercies.
2. Be careful to exert the influence of a godly and irreproachable example.
3. Exert all our power as individual men and through useful organizations for the guidance and the elevation of the people. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore said I, Look away from me; I will weep bitterly, labour not to comfort me, because of the spoiling of the daughter of my people.