Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish and sustain it with justice and righteousness from that time and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this.
I. CONCERNING ITS INFATUATED PRIDE. (Vers. 8-12.) The word of menace is to fall like a heavy weight upon the nation, a "burden" especially to be felt by the kingdom of the ten tribes (cf. Zechariah 9:1). It has been made tributary to the Assyrians, yet imagines it will recover its former power by violence and predatory raids. In their bravado they exclaim, "Though the bricks fall down, we will build with freestone; and though sycamores are felled, we will make cedars spring up instead!" To punish this insolence, Jehovah has armed its smaller enemies against it - Syrians in the north-east, Philistines in the south-west; and severer judgments are to follow. The cup is not yet full; the avenging hand is still stretched out. The strophe gives us a picture of infatuation, leading to obstinate resistance and incurring accumulation of punishment. We may be reminded of that fine picture in Homer of Ate, the spirit of error or bewilderment, who with soft feet walks above men's heads, and who would lead all astray to their ruin ('Iliad,' 19:91, sqq.). Yet neither the nation nor the individual falls a prey to such temptations without guilt, though where the guilt begins it may be difficult to trace. The temper of insolence and bravado is a symptom of this aberration creeping on. What need have we to pray that the "eyes of our mind may be opened," that we may never have the light of discernment between the "spirit of truth and the spirit of error" put out in our bosom!
II. CONCERNING ITS OBSTINATE IMPENITENCE. The nation "turns not to him that smote it." It hears not the rod and who hath appointed it. Suffering either changes the disposition and bends the will upon new objects, or it rouses the temper to determined perseverance in the evil course. Men must know the time to retreat and turn back no less than to go forward in a given course. For, as patient continuance in well-doing is blessed with highest promises, the harshness of the impenitent heart treasures up against itself a store of wrath. In this case a visible destruction has come upon Israel. A day of battle has taken place; "hexad and tail, palm and rush," officers and privates in the army alike, have been cut off. For the leaders of Israel have proved misleaders, and their blind followers have perished. And the prophet represents Jehovah as looking sternly on, neither rejoicing in the youth of the nation, nor pitying its disasters. Suffering unrelieved by pity, woes over which Heaven frowns rather than expands with infinite smiles of hope, - such things follow impenitence and willfulness.
III. CONCERNING ITS FLAGRANT INIQUITIES. We say flagrant, and this word exactly fits the prophet's description: "Wrong burning like fire, devouring thorn and thistle, and kindling the thickets of the forest, so that they curl up in columns of smoke." Covetousness devours and ravages like a famine or a pest. Every one begins to devour his own arm in insatiate greed; that is, one tribe its brother-tribe. Not content with mutual rapacity, Manasseh against Ephraim, and Ephraim against Manasseh, the two turn against Judah. And so again and again the deep warning reverberates: "His anger is not turned away; his hand is stretched out still."
IV. CONCERNING JUDICIAL WICKEDNESS AND THE FINAL ISSUE. Here the prophet seems to turn to Judah. As one of Jehovah's noblest attributes is that of Father of the fatherless, and as justice is his delight, so nothing can more darkly designate offense against him than the spoliation of the widow and the orphan. Here, then, the climax of denunciation is reached. And the prophet has now only to hint the future judgment and overthrow. What will they do in the day of visitation? What refuge will be open? What retreat in which a false glory may be hidden? They will cringe as prisoners, and as slain they will fall Better to have the troubled heart, which nevertheless finds its refuge in God, than the reckless self-confidence which invites his anger. Poverty of spirit - against this no prophetic doom is hurled; and adversity with honesty is no real adversity, for the hand of Jehovah is here stretched out, not to smite, but to help. - J.
I. THE VAST AMPLITUDE AND GROWING EXTENT OF THE MESSIAH'S KINGDOM.
I. THE INCREASE OF HIS GOVERNMENT. This implies —
Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.I. WHAT IS THE WORK TO BE PERFORMED AND WHOSE AGENCY SHALL ACCOMPLISH IT?
1. The missionary work is the increase of Messiah's government and peace: the proclamation of Messiah as King of kings and Lord of lords throughout the universe; the establishment of peace among men, because He hath made peace for them through the blood of His Cross.
2. "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."
II. WHAT ARE THE INSTRUMENTS WHOM THE LORD OF HOSTS WILL EMPLOY in the accomplishment of this seemingly impossible work? They are themselves subjects of the Kingdom which they aim to extend, and adorers of the one name which they desire to exalt, believers in the Word which they combine to diffuse, holding substantially the same truths, maintaining steadfastly some fellowship with those to whom the Lord Jesus proclaimed in the days of His flesh, "Go ye," and to whom He graciously declared, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world."
III. WHAT IS OUR OWN DUTY AND OBLIGATION IN REFERENCE TO THIS WORK? As we are Britons, the missionary work belongs to us from our country; as we are Christians, from our profession; as we are churchmen, it appeals to us from our very prayers, for how can we implore our blessed Lord to bring home to His flock the infidel, the heretic, the beguiled Romanist, the benighted idolater, unless we are prepared, as far as in us lies, to "prepare the way of the Lord, and make in the desert a highway for our God"? But neither as Britons, nor as Christians, nor as churchmen, shall we ever learn our duty from any teacher but God's Word, or perform it through any power but that of God's Spirit. Besides, while the missionary work, being a work of faith, is therefore acceptable to God, it is also profitable to ourselves; it awakens brotherly affections, it kindles a holy zeal, it expands Christian charity, it brings us into communion with "the excellent of the earth," it cements our fellowship with each other, and with Christ; by engaging in it heart and soul, we not only apprehend the brotherhood of man, but we anticipate the brotherhood of heaven, when they shall "come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God." Nor is the missionary work profitable only to the heathen and to our own souls, but to those who dwell immediately around us. What we attempt abroad we shall never be content to leave undone at home.
(T. Dale, M. A.)
1. The extended diffusion of the knowledge of His Gospel.
2. The triumphs of His grace over the sin and misery of man.
3. The diffusion of the peaceful influence of the Gospel in calming the passions, and allaying the violence of unhappy men.
4. The annihilation of all that opposes His progress.
II. HOW IS THE GOVERNMENT OF CHRIST TO INCREASE? By the agency of miracles? No; the age of miracles is gone. By the distribution of the Bible, and suitable tracts, by pious individuals? Doubtless this may be the means of great usefulness. By the education of the young? We look for something more than all this. How then shall it be increased? By the instrumentality of the preached Gospel accompanied by the influences of the Holy Spirit.
III. WHERE IS THE NECESSITY OR CERTAINTY OF THIS INCREASE OF THE SAVIOUR'S GOVERNMENT?
1. In the Divine appointment.
2. In the claims of His mediatorial sacrifice (Philippians 2:8-11).
3. In the very nature of His exaltation (Ephesians 1:21, 22).
4. In the events which have taken place in the theatre of the world (Haggai 2:7).
5. In the proofs with which we are furnished of the final evangelisation of the world.
II. THE MEANS BY WHICH THE KINGDOM IS GROWING.
1. Is it not so in the State? Whence comes the want of peace in our sister island? Whence come the perplexity and the insecurity which are such a stain on our civilisation, and which make statesmen well-nigh despair? Is it not because government has become impossible, while law is neutralised and defiled by the unscrupulous opposition of a rival and self-constituted power?
2. Is it not so in ourselves? Whence comes the want of peace in our own hearts? Is it not because of the want of government there; while passion, and self-indulgence, and the fashion of the world, usurp in turn the authority of conscience? What we fancy, what comes easiest to us, what other men do, these constitute our rule of life: not the dictates of conscience, not the will of God, not the example of Jesus Christ. We most of us wish for peace, as we most of us wish for heaven; but we take little means of winning either the one or the other. The cry for personal freedom, for liberty of thought and conscience, is on every lip; but we are most of us more eager to win the power of doing what we choose, than careful to choose what is best. Self-knowledge, self-control, self-renunciation — this is the only road. And while you pursue it, liberty will come unsought; for the highest liberty of all is to be free from the tyranny of self. Self-government is only another name for that service which is perfect freedom. Perfect peace is found in the absolute surrender of self to One who cannot abuse so tremendous a trust. And with this peace in your own hearts you will almost without effort, almost without knowing it, bring peace to others.
(A. Plummer, M. A.)
(Sunday School Teacher.)
(F. B. Meyer B. A.)
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this
(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)
1. Are you in need of counsel? Reverently and thoughtfully claim the wisdom of the "Counsellor;" reckon that you have it, and act to the best of your judgment, believing that His wisdom is threading it with its unseen direction. And when you have acted, whatever be the results, dare to believe that you were directed to do the best thing, and never look back.
2. Are you in need of strength? Reverently and believingly claim the power of the "Mighty God," and reckon that it is yours; and go forth to any work to which He may call yon, believing that you are adequately equipped. You will not know what power you have till you begin to use it.
3. Are you in need of unchanging love and affection, in a world of incessant disappointment, in which the warmest friendships cool/ and the dearest friends die? Reverently and gladly avail yourself of the love of me "Father of the Ages," the I AM, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
4. Do you want peace? Reverently and trustfully claim His peace, who is the "Prince of Peace; and know that it is yours in the depths of your soul, though the surface of your life be still swept by storms. These are two great words — "claim" God's fulness, and "reckon" that whatever you can claim is yours, although no answering emotion assures you that it is. Dare to act in faith, stepping out in the assurance that you have what you have claimed, and doing just as you would do if you felt to have it. But this is only possible when you have put the government, where God the Father has placed it, on the shoulders of Jesus. It is there by right, but it must be also there by choice and acquiescence.
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
LinksIsaiah 9:7 NIV
Isaiah 9:7 NLT
Isaiah 9:7 ESV
Isaiah 9:7 NASB
Isaiah 9:7 KJV
Isaiah 9:7 Bible Apps
Isaiah 9:7 Parallel
Isaiah 9:7 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 9:7 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 9:7 French Bible
Isaiah 9:7 German Bible
Isaiah 9:7 Commentaries