Isaiah 57:21
But the wicked are like the sea that is tossed up, for it cannot rest, and its waters toss up mire and mud (Cheyne). Comp. Jude 1:13 for the figure. It is curious to note the marked contrast between our ideas and sentiments concerning the sea, and those of ancient times and Eastern lands. To us it is the beautiful shining sea, and many of us feel that we must see it at least once a year. To us it is the most soothing and calming of Nature's influences, and we. sympathize with Bonar as he sings -

"Summer ocean, how I'll miss thee,
Miss the thunder of thy roar,
Miss the music of thy ripple,
Miss thy sorrow-soothing shore.
Summer ocean, how I'll miss thee,
When 'the sea shall be no more'!" But to Eastern people generally in ancient times, and to Israelites in particular, the sea was a great dread. It was the separator, the engulpher of life, the restless storm-darkened, storm-tossed, wailing sea; suggestive only of foulness, unrest, and peril. So it was a type of the wicked man in ways, and with applications, which we find it most difficult to realize. But the unresting character of the sea does impress us. There is no peace to the heaving, swirling, wind-driven, tide-drawn sea.

I. THERE IS NO PEACE TO THE WICKED BECAUSE, IN HIS WAY, HE CAN NEVER GET IT. His way is breaking up the Divine order: rest can never come that way. His way is striving with everything that makes fair promises, apart from God: rest can never come that way. His way is to seek for rest in things that he can possess, not in the character which he can be: rest can never come that way. God's world was made for good men, and it will yield its best treasures to, and satisfy, nobody but the good.

II. THERE IS NO PEACE TO THE WICKED BECAUSE, ON HIS CONDITIONS, GOD WILL NEVER GIVE IT. And peace for man is the gift of God. So, speaking for God, Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." The wicked want to buy it. God does not sell it. The wicked would consume it on their lusts if they obtained it. God will never allow his gifts to be abused. The wicked are not prepared to ear that peace which God calls peace; so he will wait until they come to a right mind. Show, in contrast, that we have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" - a heart-peace that works itself out into all sacred testings of life and relationship. - R.T.







There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
The fifty-seventh chapter ends with a declaration which shows that amid all the goodness and graciousness of the Divine way the standard of righteousness is never lowered: never is the dignity of law impaired. Read these awful yet gracious words: "There is no peace, saith my. God, to the wicked." If we thought that God was about to lose righteousness in sentiment, we are thus suddenly, with a very startling abruptness, brought back to the remembrance of the fact that wickedness is infinitely and eternally hateful to God, and that peace and wickedness are mutually destructive terms. The wicked man may create a wilderness and call it peace, but real contentment, benignity, resignation, or harmony, he can never know in wickedness. Herein we find the testimony of the Divine presence, the assertion and glory of the Divine law. God does not take away peace from the wicked in any arbitrary sense. Wickedness is itself incompatible with peace: the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. The unrest is actually in the wickedness; the tumult does not come from without, it comes from within.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. WHO COME UNDER THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WICKED? In general, all who have never undergone a change of heart.

1. Some are grossly ignorant of the plain and essential doctrines of the Christian religion, amidst the best means to gain an acquaintance with them.

2. Some break out into open acts of wickedness.

3. Others, though free from gross immoralities, are yet wicked, because they neglect the duties of religion. There are sins of commission, and there are sins of omission.

4. There are some who adopt loose and dangerous principles, who allege, either that the Scripture is not true, or that the great doctrines, as generally taught, are not contained in it.

5. Among the wicked we must also rank the formalist and hypocrite.

6. They are impatient of restraint and reproof.

II. IN WHAT RESPECTS THERE IS NO PEACE TO SUCH.

1. There is no peace to them with God. By their wickedness they wage war with Heaven, and the almighty King is angry with them every day.

2. There is no peace in their own conscience.

3. There is no peace to the wicked in a dying hour. By this is not meant that they shall undergo more pain of body than others. The pangs of dissolution are the same to all. Those, indeed, of whom the world was not worthy, have often suffered the most cruel and violent deaths. Nor is it meant that the wicked have never any composure in death, or hope of well-being hereafter. Some of them die as they have lived, stupid and thoughtless as beasts. Some good men may have fears and perplexities to the very last; and some bad men may remain unshaken, and die with more apparent confidence than the others. The fears of the good man cannot render his state less safe, nor the confidence of the bad render his less dangerous. Whatever their own sentiments are, it shall be "well with the righteous, and ill with the wicked." What awful spectacles have some of the wicked exhibited on a death-bed!

4. There is no peace to the wicked after death. They enjoyed with others the common bounties of Providence, and were sensible of pleasure. In these they placed their only happiness; but now all is gone, and they are tormented. Conscience can be quieted no more.

(W. Linn, D. D.)

The wicked would not be healed by the grace of God, and therefore shall not be healed by His comforts.

( M. Henry.)

1. The man who lives in a habitual course of sinning has no real comfort of mind from the pleasures of this world.

2. He must necessarily want all effectual support under the many evils and calamities of life.

3. He cannot but be sometimes troubled with the reproofs of his conscience.

4. He can never get rid of all the unwelcome thoughts of death, and of what is to be his portion in a future state.

(Bishop Pearce.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
I. WHO ARE THE CHARACTERS DESCRIBED? "The wicked." This description includes the outwardly immoral and profane — those who seem lost to every principle of virtue and religion — who have not the fear of God before their eyes — and who are equally indifferent to the censure and approbation of their fellow-creatures. But the words of the text are applicable to all those whose hearts have not been renewed by the Holy Spirit.

II. THE AFFECTING DECLARATION RESPECTING SUCH CHARACTERS. "There is no peace," etc.

1. They cannot, while in this state, enjoy peace with God. Peace includes in it mutual reconciliation and agreement.

2. The wicked cannot enjoy peace with themselves. As the favour and presence of God are the only sources of real happiness, a state of enmity and separation from Him must be attended with misery. Subjection to His authority, and conformity to His will and image, promotes peace and order, but where these do not exist, there must be confusion and discord. The unruly passions will then agitate and distress the mind; pride, and envy, and hatred, and other unholy affections will struggle for the ascendency. Having no principle to check or govern them, they will increase in violence and hurry their possessor onward in the path of sin and danger. Conscience will also exert its influence to alarm and terrify them. In vain do the wicked seek peace of conscience by partial reformation or by the performance of outward duties. The accusations of a guilty conscience can be silenced only by an application to the blood of sprinkling.

3. There is no peace to the wicked in the world. Alienation from God necessarily leads to strife among men. It excites those corrupt passions and principles which render man the enemy of his fellow-man, as well as the source of misery to himself.

4. The wicked have no peace under the various afflictions of life. In the season of worldly prosperity, they may appear to others peaceful and happy, but no sooner does adversity come upon them, than we see the transient and unsubstantial nature of their enjoyment.

5. There is no peace to the wicked in the hour of death.

6. There is no peace to the wicked through eternity.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

In order to the proving of this, I shall insist on these three arguments

I. THE NATURAL TENDENCY OF WICKEDNESS.

II. THE CONSIDERATION OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE, AND HIS RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT OF TRY. WORLD.

III. THE EXPERIENCE OF ALL AGES.

(B. Calamy, D. D.)

I. A POSITIVE ASSERTION, an unlimited proposition, "There is no peace to the wicked."

II. THE AUTHORITY UPON WHICH THE PROPOSITION IS ESTABLISHED, even the testimony of God Himself, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."

(J. Lambe.)

It is said of the infidel Hobbes, "that though he would speak very strange and unbecoming things of God, yet in his study in the dark, and in his retired thoughts, he trembled before Him. If his candle happened to go out in the night, he awoke in terror and amazement. He was unable to bear the dismal reflections of his dark and desolate mind; and knew not how to extinguish, nor how to bear the light of the candle of the, Lord within him." Mr. False Peace, so John Bunyan has it in his "Holy War", was the son of Mr. Flatterer, and his mother's name before she was married was Mrs. Sooth-up. He liked to be called Mr. Peace, but there were witnesses enough to prove that time was when he delighted to boast that his real name was not Peace, but False Peace. "There is no peace (except false peace), saith my God, to the wicked."

(T. Spurgeon.)

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