And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make to all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees…
I. WHERE DOES THE WORLD'S FOOD COME FROM? Physiologists can tell, by studying the dentition and the digestive apparatus of an animal, what it is meant to live upon, whether vegetables or flesh, or a mingled diet of both. And you can tell by studying yourself, what, or whom, you are meant to live upon. Look at these hearts of yours with their yearnings, their clamant needs. Will any human love satisfy the heart hunger of the poorest of us? No! Look at these tumultuous wills of ours that fancy they want to be independent, and really want an absolute master whom it is blessedness to obey. The very make of our being, our heart, will, mind, desires, passions, longings, all with one voice proclaim that the only food for a man is God. Jesus Christ brings the food that we need. "In this mountain is prepared a feast...for all nations." Notice, that although it does not appear on the surface, and to English readers, this world's festival, in which every want is met, and every appetite satisfied, is a feast on a sacrifice. Would that the earnest men, who are trying to cure the world's evils and still the world's wants, and are leaving Jesus Christ and His religion out of their programme, would ask themselves whether there is not something deeper in the hunger of humanity than their ovens can ever bake bread for.
II. WHERE DOES THE UNVEILING THAT GIVES LIGHT TO THE WORLD COME FROM? My text emphatically repeats, "in this mountain." The pathetic picture that is implied here, of a dark pall that lies over the whole world, suggests the idea of mourning, but still more emphatically that of obscuration and gloom. The veil prevents vision and shuts out light, and that is the picture of humanity as it presents itself before this prophet — a world of men entangled in the folds of a dark pall that lay over their heads, and swathed them round about, and prevented them from seeing; shut them up in darkness and entangled their feet, so that they stumbled in the gloom. It is a pathetic picture, but it does not go beyond the realities of the case. There is a universal fact of human experience which answers to the figure, and that is sin. That is the black thing whose ebon folds hamper us, and darken us, and shut out the visions of God and blessedness, and all the glorious blue above us. The weak point of all these schemes and methods to which I have referred for helping humanity out of the slough, and making men happier, is that they underestimate the fact of sin. There is only one thing that deals radically with the fact of human transgression; and that is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, and its result, the inspiration of the Spirit of life that was in Jesus Christ, breathed into us from the throne itself.
III. WHERE DOES THE LIFE THAT DESTROYS DEATH COME FROM? "He will swallow up death in victory." Or, as probably the word more correctly means, "He will swallow up death forever." None of the other panaceas for the world's evils even attempt to deal with that "shadow feared of man" that sits at the end of all our paths. Jesus Christ has dealt with it.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.