Isaiah 26:20
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves a little while until the wrath has passed.
Sermons
The Duty of RetirementW. Clarkson Isaiah 26:20
The Resurrection of IsraelE. Johnson Isaiah 26:15-21
A Gracious InvitationIsaiah 26:20-21
Chambers for God's PeopleIsaiah 26:20-21
Duty of Reflection on God's JudgmentsJ. Benson, D. D.Isaiah 26:20-21
Enter Thou into Thy ChambersSir E. Strachey, Bart.Isaiah 26:20-21
God's Care for His PeopleA. Roberts, M. A.Isaiah 26:20-21
Good Advice for Troublous TimesIsaiah 26:20-21
Religious RetirementEssex Congregational RemembrancerIsaiah 26:20-21
The Advantages of Religious RetirementJ. Logan, F. R. S.Isaiah 26:20-21
The Hour of SolitudeJ. Logan, F. R. S.Isaiah 26:20-21
The Righteous Man's RefugeIsaiah 26:20-21
Trust in God's Protection Induces CalmnessIsaiah 26:20-21
There are periods in a nation's history, and there are times in a good man's life, when it is well to hear and wise to heed the admonition, "Enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee." We may let this language suggest to us that we should -

I. MAKE TIME FOR DEVOUT REFLECTION. In busy, outwardly active times, when there is an imperious demand on every hand for "work," there is urgent need that this counsel should be given and be taken. Enter into the chamber of solemn and sacred meditation; consider what is your present spiritual condition; estimate the progress you are making in your course; reflect upon the swift and steady passage of your life; realize that the time is not far off when all earthly interest will be nothing, and when it will be everything to know that the righteous Judge is well pleased with the witness you are bearing and the work you are doing.

II. COMPEL EACH DAY TO YIELD ITS HOUR OF DIRECT INTERCOURSE WITH GOD. We cannot live, spiritually, on public devotion. Nothing will nourish the soul in the absence of private, individual fellowship with God. "Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray... in secret" (Matthew 6.). The most pressing cares, domestic, or official, or public, will not excuse the neglect of private communion with God. If Daniel, with all the cares of Babylon upon him, found time to pray three times a day regularly (Daniel 6:10), we can compel our duties to make room for devotion. Every day let God speak to us, and let us speak to him, within the shut doors of our own chamber.

III. TAKE UP THE ATTITUDE OF REVERENT EXPECTATION. There are times when man can do nothing more than he has done, and all that is left is patient waiting for God. "And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee." This may be the attitude:

1. Of the diligent, waiting God's increase on his industry.

2. Of the disciplined, waiting God's crowning of his patience; whether of the embarrassed, of the sick, or of the defamed. It is to these that the words of the text are most applicable; for it is they who are to wait for a little while, "until the indignation be overpast," i.e. until the hour of deliverance is fully come, and the work of redemption has been wrought. But we may also regard this as the attribute:

3. Of the co-worker with Christ, waiting the Divine blessing on his zeal. - C.







Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers.
I. THE FORM OF THE INVITATION, including in it the qualified subject. "Come, My people." God's own peculiar people, who have chosen God for their protection, and resigned up themselves sincerely to Him in the covenant, are the persons here invited, the same which He before called "the righteous nation that kept the truth" (ver. 2). He means those that remained faithful to God in Babylon. The form of invitation is full of tender compassion. "Come, My people." Like a tender father who sees a storm coming upon his children in the fields, and takes them by the hand.

II. THE PRIVILEGE INVITED TO. "Enter thou into thy chambers." The Divine attributes engaged in the promises and exercised or actuated in the providences of God — these are the sanctuaries of God's people in days of trouble.

III. A NEEDFUL CAUTION far the securing of this privilege to ourselves in evil times. "Shut thy doors about thee." Care must be taken that no passage be left open for the devil to creep in after us, and drive us out of our refuge; for so it falls out too often with God's people when they are at rest in God's name or promises. Satan creeps in by unbelieving doubts and puzzling objections, and heats them out of their refuge back again into trouble.

IV. Note with what ARGUMENTS OR MOTIVES they are pressed to betake themselves to this refuge.

1. A supposition of a storm coming. The indignation of God will fall like a tempest; this is supposed in the text, and plainly expressed in the words following.

2. Though His indignation fall like a storm, yet it will not continue long; better days and more comfortable dispensations will follow.

( J. Flavel.)

Doctrine — That the attributes, promises, and providences of God are the chambers of rest and security in which His people are to hide themselves when they foresee the storms of His indignation coming upon the world. Propositions —

1. That there times and seasons appointed by God for the pouring out of His indignation upon the world.

2. That God's own people are concerned in, and ought to be affected with, those judgments.

3. That God hath a special and particular care of His people in the days of His indignation.

4. That God usually premonishes the world, especially His own people, of His judgments before they befall them.

5. That God's attributes, promises, and providences are prepared for the security of His people, in the greatest distresses that befall them in the world.

6. That one but God's people are taken into those chambers of security, or can expect His special protection in evil times. For the right stating of this proposition, three things must be heedfully regarded —(1) That all good men are not always exempted from the stroke of outward calamities.(2) That all wicked men are not always exposed to external miseries (Ecclesiastes 7:15).(3) But none but the people of God have right, by promise, to His special protection in evil days; that all such shall either be preserved from the stroke of calamities, or from the deadly sting, namely, eternal ruin by them.

( J. Flavel.)

Let us view our chambers, and see how well God hath provided for His children in all the distresses that befall them in this world.

I. The first chamber which comes to be opened as a refuge to distressed believers in a stormy day is the attribute of DIVINE POWER.

1. Consider the power of God in itself. Omnipotent, supreme, everlasting.

2. In the vast extent of its operations. You will find it working beyond the line

(1)of creature power;

(2)of creature expectation;

(3)of human probability.

3. In its relation to the promises. If the power of God be the chamber, it is the promise of God which is that golden key that opens it. If we win consult the Scriptures, we shall find the almighty power of God made over to His people by promise, for many excellent ends and uses in the day of their trouble.

4. As it is continually opened by the hand of Providence, to receive and secure the people of God in all their dangers (2 Chronicles 16:9).

II. The next chamber of Divine protection into which I shall lead you is, THE INFINITE WISDOM OF GOD — the original, essential, perfect, only wisdom. The wisdom of God makes advantage out of your troubles.

1. In fortifying your souls and bodies with suitable strength when any eminent trial is intended for you (2 Corinthians 1:5).

2. The wisdom of God can, and often doth, make your very troubles and sufferings so many ordinances to strengthen your faith and fortify your patience.

III. A third chamber of safety for the saints' refuge is, THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD — His sincerity, firmness, and constancy in performing His word to His people in all times and cases. Let us behold with delight the faithfulness of God making good six sorts of promises to His people in the days of their affliction and trouble, namely, the promises of —

1. Preservation.

2. Support.

3. Direction.

4. Provision.

5. Deliverance.

6. Ordering and directing the event to their advantage.

IV. The faithfulness of God leads into a fourth much like unto it, namely, THE UNCHANGEABLENESS OF GOD.

V. THE CARE OF GOD FOR HIS PEOPLE in times of trouble is the fifth chamber of rest. It is —

1. A fatherly care.

2. An universal care, watching over all His people, in all ages, places, and dangers.

3. Assiduous and continual (Lamentations 3:22, 23).

4. Exceeding tender (Isaiah 49:15).

5. Seasonable.

VI. THE LOVE OF GOD is a resting place to believing souls.

( J. Flavel.)

The heart of a good man should at all times be like the higher heavens, serene, tranquil, and clear, whatever thunders and lightnings, storms and tempests trouble and terrify the lower world. If a man have a good roof over his head, where he can sit dry and warm, what need he trouble himself to hear the winds roar, see the lightnings flash, and the rains pour down without doors? Why, this is thy privilege, Christian (Isaiah 32:2).

( Chrysostom.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
The retreat from the world which the Scripture recommends, is temporary and not total; it is advised, not indeed that we become disjoined from the world, but that we may be the fitter for intercourse with it.

I. RETIREMENT IS EMINENTLY FAVOURABLE TO SELF-EXAMINATION. It is only by a searching inquiry into the purity of his motives, and the tendencies of his actions, that the Christian can be enabled to discern and correct what in them has been amiss, and to "walk worthily of the high vocation, whereunto he hath been called."

II. RETIREMENT IS FAVOURABLE TO THE CHRISTIAN, INASMUCH AS IT ENABLES HIM TO RECOVER THAT SPIRITUAL TONS OF MIND SO ESSENTIAL TO HIS HAPPINESS, which, in his unavoidable collision with the world, must necessarily have been disturbed, as well as to take off that tendency to evil which its presence always generates. As the health of the plant is affected by its soil, and the nature of the animal by the pasture on which he feeds and couches, so must the character of man catch a line from what is immediately about him, and his mind be tinged by the circumstances in which it lives and has its being. But in solitude we are in a world of our own, where we can to a great extent command our ideas and feelings.

III. RETIREMENT IS FAVOURABLE TO THE CHRISTIAN, AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PRAYER.

IV. RETIREMENT IS EMINENTLY FAVOURABLE FOR THE CONTEMPLATION OF GOD.

V. RETIREMENT IS FAVOURABLE FOR THE CONTEMPLATION OF THE SUFFERINGS AND LOVE OF HIM WHO HATH BROUGHT "LIFE AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT, THROUGH THE GOSPEL."

VI. RETIREMENT IS FAVOURABLE FOR THE CONTEMPLATION OF YOUR ETERNAL DESTINY.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

Although man was made for action, he was also intended for contemplation. There is a time when solitude has a charm for the soul; when weary of the world, its follies and its cares, we love to be alone, and in silence to commune with our heart. Such a retirement, when devoted to pious purposes, is highly useful to man, and most acceptable to God.

I. RELIGIOUS RETIREMENT TAKES OFF THE IMPRESSION WHICH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD OF EVIL EXAMPLE HAS A TENDENCY TO MAKE UPON THE MIND.

II. THIS DEVOUT RETIREMENT IS FAVOURABLE FOR FIXING PIOUS PURPOSES IN THE MIND AND STRENGTHENING OUR HABITS OF VIRTUE.

III. BY MEANS OF RELIGIOUS RETIREMENT THOU WILT BE BROUGHT TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THYSELF. Here wisdom begins.

IV. RETIREMENT AND MEDITATION WILL OPEN A SOURCE OF NEW AND BETTER ENTERTAINMENT THAN YOU MEET WITH IN THE WORLD. You will soon find that the world does not perform what it promises. The circle of earthly enjoyments is narrow, the career of sensual pleasure is soon run, and when the novelty is over, the charm is gone. But the wise man has treasures within himself.

(J. Logan, F. R. S.)

is the hour of meditation. He communes with his heart alone. He reviews the actions of his past life. He corrects what is amiss. He rejoices in what is right, and, wiser by experience, lays the plan of his future life. The great and the noble, the wise and the learned, the pious and the good, have been lovers of serious retirement. On this field the patriot forms his schemes, the philosopher pursues his discoveries, the saint improves himself in wisdom and goodness. Solitude is the hallowed ground which religion in every age has adopted as its own. There her sacred inspiration is felt, and her holy mysteries elevate the soul; there devotion lifts up the voice; there falls the tear of contrition; there the heart pours itself forth before Him who made, and Him who redeemed it. Apart from men, you live with nature, and converse with God.

(J. Logan, F. R. S.)

The entering rote the chambers may, not improbably, allude to the command that the children of Israel should not go out during the night of the destruction of the first born of Egypt.

(Sir E. Strachey, Bart.)

I. THE PEOPLE ADDRESSED. "My people."

1. The Lord addresses, in these words, all, in general, who profess His name, and are named from Him; who receive His Word as the rule of their faith and practice; who attend His ordinances, and use the means of grace.

2. Therefore His true people are more especially meant in this passage. But who are these! They are described by St. Peter, who, having termed them "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people," says, they "are translated out of darkness into His marvellous light."

II. THE ADVANCE HE GIVES THEM. "Come, My people." Come to Me, and —

1. Make confession.

2. Utter your complaint.

3. Exercise trust and dependence upon Me.

4. Praise Me for My long suffering and mercies, and devote thyself to Me afresh. "Come with Me into thy chambers." The word means retired, secret, and safe places. "Let the storm which disperses others bring you nearer together, to Me and to each other" (Henry). Withdraw into the changers of defence. The attributes of God are the "secret of His tabernacle" (Psalm 27:5). His name is "a strong tower" (Proverbs 18:10).

III. THE REASON OF THIS ADVICE (ver. 21). God "comes out of His place" when He shows Himself in an extraordinary manner from heaven. The expression is borrowed from the usage of princes who come out of their palaces, either to sit in judgment, or to fight against their enemies.

(J. Benson, D. D.)

Suppose your child is out of doors, and you see danger — a storm gathering, or something about to cross his path that may be fatal to him, what do you do? You hasten forth. You call out with anxious voice, "Come in! Come in, my child! There is danger where you are! Make haste into the house, and stay here safe until the storm is over past!" The great Father of the Church is not less watchful of His children. Look at Noah's case just before the flood broke forth. Look again at Israel's case on the night of the Passover. Behold, in my text, a third instance of the Lord's fatherly care over His people. It is an instance which extends even to ourselves.

I. THE DANGER POINTED OUT. The words are applicable, in some measure, to every instance of almighty vengeance. But they seem to refer to some more sweeping act of vengeance than ever yet has taken place. It is the day of judgment that we must cast our eyes upon. It is then that, in the fullest sense, "the Lord will come out of His place, to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity." An awful phrase that! "The Lord will come out of His place." For what is His place — the place He occupies at present? It is a mercy seat. He sits there as a Saviour — to receive and bless applying sinners. But on that day He "will come out of His place." He will leave the mercy seat for a throne of judgment.

II. THE COUNSEL GIVEN. How tender this invitation! For such it is. Look at the first word of it. "Come" — not" go. Not "go and seek a shelter where you can"; but "Come." "Come" is an inviting word. "Come, My people"; that is a general invitation. "Enter thou into thy chambers"; that is an invitation addressed to each particularly, calling them in one by one.

III. THE PROMISES IMPLIED. "Hide thyself," etc. These words are a command so worded as to convey, at the same time, three comfortable promises. —

1. "Hide thyself." What is this but to assure them that by doing what He had just been telling them to do they shall be hid? We may safely view this as a promise of security to all who separate from the world and flee for refuge to a Saviour.

2. "For a little moment." Here is another comfortable hint thrown out for the believer. As soon as this short life is over with him, all danger shall be past. There will be nothing more to hide from. He will have a broad Heaven to move about in, where there are no enemies to fear, no wrath to apprehend.

3. "The indignation shall be over past" — there is the third encouraging assurance. The clouds will be dispersed forever; and, having put all enemies under His feet, He will bless all those that are about Him with His constant smile.

(A. Roberts, M. A.)

I. BEFORE OR IN TIMES OF TROUBLE IT IS WELL TO DRAW NEAR TO GOD. As the hen gives her peculiar "cluck" when the hawk is in the air, to bid her chicks come and hide under her wings, so does God here give a gentle, loving note of alarm, and a gracious call of invitation. We should come —

1. To spread our case before God.

2. To consider His mind about such a case.

3. To make sure of the greatest matters. The world may come and take away many of our external and temporary comforts, but we have a treasure that it never gave us, and cannot take away from us.

4. Having made sure of the great things, you may leave all the little things with God.

II. IT IS WISE TO ENTER INTO THE CHAMBERS OF SECURITY WHICH GOD HAS PROVIDED FOR US.

1. The store chamber of Divine power.

2. The council chamber of Divine wisdom.

3. The drawing room of Divine love.

4. The muniment room of Divine faithfulness.

5. The strong room of Divine immutability.

6. The best chamber of Divine salvation.

III. WHEN WE ENTER THOSE CHAMBERS IT IS NECESSARY TO SHUT THE DOOR.

1. To shut out all doubt.

2. To shut ourselves in with God.

IV. IT IS DELIGHTFUL TO THINK THAT TROUBLE WILL NOT LAST LONG. "A little moment."

( C. H. Spurgeon)

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