Isaiah 9:13
For all this his anger is not turned away. The reference of the previous verses is to the calamities which are surely overtaking Rezin of Syria, and Pekah of Israel, as judgments on them, signs of Divine indignation, for their schemes against Judah. Rezin was threatened by Assyria; Pekah was threatened both by his former ally, Israel, and on the other side by the Philistines. As yet, however, these judgments had not proved effectual in humbling Rezin and Pekah, or in leading them to forsake their self-willed ways and seek the help and guidance of Jehovah; so yet more and heavier judgments must come on them, and they must not think, because there seemed a little lull in the storm, that Divine wrath was abated. Divine judgments were exhausted, or God's outstretched hand drawn back.

I. DIVINE ANGER, BEING THAT OF AN INFINITE BEING, CAN NEVER BE AT A LOSS FOR MODES OF EXPRESSION. There are always fresh arrows in his quiver. This should check all carnal security. Clear heavens may but mean gathering storms. Hush in the evening air may but indicate approaching earthquake. The seemingly secure house of prosperity may be within a moment of the lightning-flash. God can always find out how best to smite.

II. DIVINE ANGER, BEING A REMEDIAL FORCE, WILL NOT CEASE UNTIL ITS PURPOSES ARE WROUGHT OUT. It proposed the humbling of Syria and Israel, and the conviction of the sin of their willfulness and ungodliness. Therefore, if Syria and Israel resisted one expression of the anger, another must be found. Since the anger works only towards good, we may well say, "Blessed be God, that he will never cease to be angry until he is enabled to forgive."

III. DIVINE ANGER, BEING THE STERN SIDE OF LOVE, SPENDS ITSELF IN CORRECTIVE DISPENSATIONS. If we ask what Divine love would do for sinners, for rebellious, for persistent sinners, then the answer will tell us what Divine anger would do for them. To the resistant and willful God's dealings take form as anger. To the submissive and humble God's dealings take form as chastisement. The features prominent in Divine dealings we ourselves determine by the response which we make to those dealings. - R.T.

For the people turneth not unto Him that smiteth them.
"The people turneth not unto Him that smiteth them." That is one element of the cause of this judgment. They do not kiss the rod: they see it to be a rod only; they do not understand that judgment is the severe aspect of mercy, and that without mercy there could be no real judgment. There might be condemnation, destruction, annihilation, but "judgment" is a combined or compound term, involving in all its rich music every possible utterance of law and grace and song and hope. When a man kisses the hand that wields the rod, the rod blossoms, and God's judgment becomes God's grace.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

Sin is described in. Scripture as departing from God. Repentance, therefore, is returning to Him. To "seek" God, in the idiom of Scripture, is to pray to Him (Isaiah 55:6), to consult Him (Isaiah 8:19), to resort to Him for help (Isaiah 31:1), to hold communion with Him (Amos 5:4, 5). Hence it is sometimes descriptive of a godly life in general (Psalm 14:2). So here it includes repentance, conversion, and new obedience.

(J. A. Alexander.)

A very holy man, who was working on behalf of the sufferers in the recent plague at Bombay, wrote home to ask certain of his friends not to pray that God would remove the plague, but to pray that whatever was His purpose and intention in sending it might be done. It was a true and lofty view.

(C. H. Sharpe.)

A Christian friend visiting a good man under great distress and afflicting dispensations, which he bore with such patient and composed resignation as to make his friend wonder and admire it, inquired how he was enabled so to comfort himself? The good man said, "The distress I am under is indeed severe; but I find it lightens the stroke very much to creep near to Him who handles the rod!"

(J. Whitecross.)

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