HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Book of Isaiah
Chapters 49-57 give us God’s gracious provision of redemption. This second section (chapters 49-57) points to an effective cure for their (and our) real problems. On the outside, their exile would seem to be the bad guy ruining their lives. If from section one they can understand that their judgment is because of their sin, then they will look for relief not only in a return to their homeland but in the healing of their sins, and ONLY God alone can provide this healing.
Although they are comforted about their return to Palestine, it is just a small part of the complete worldwide plan of healing that Almighty God will provide through His gracious and Humble Servant. The Servant serves as the Center of Hope in these chapters. Because of this awesome Servant, Israel can be assured that God has not forsaken them. In reality, the Servant will lead ALL nations to serve God. Slowly this Majestic Servant is introduced. His work is not easy, but He finds strength in the LORD God.
Through the multitude of verses describing the Suffering Servant, the Israelites (and we as well), should begin to realize the cost of salvation. It is easy enough to arrange for their passage back to Judah as the first section emphasized using Cyrus the Persian emperor as His servant. But, this Suffering Servant, brings God’s people back through sufferings which climax with His death on the cross, and in this way He has become their Saviour (and ours). He died for their sins. What should have been OUR sufferings, became His sufferings. Do you honestly realize just what Jesus did for us? For you and for me? And because He faithfully did and does His work, He prospers and leads all those who are made righteous (justified) by Him (Rom.3:24; 5:1, 9).
God ever so patiently taught the Jews that His plan was to incorporate people all around the world. The many was to include people from all around the world . . . Jews AND Gentiles! The every one in chapter 55:1 is all-encompassing. Chapter 56 deliberately assures these strangers (Gentiles) not to feel inferior or unimportant. Consider the following:
#1. Man looks for political freedom; God provides spiritual freedom in the Kingdom of God.
#2. Man thinks only of his own race. God helps people from every tongue and race.
How great and immeasurable is God’s grace! Chapter 57 brings us back to the operating table. God spreads out our wickedness right before our eyes, and IF you sincerely want salvation of your soul, and long for hope of everlasting life, you must be willing to hear what the LORD has to say to you. Are you listening???
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (KJV)
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV) . . . This is very important, because Jesus says it again!
Luke 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV)
Ch.40-48: Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.49-57: Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.58-66: Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (KJV)
All three of these last sections end with the same idea . . . there shall be no peace, to the wicked. The Messiah brings peace, but any and all who reject Him will NEVER know peace. Turning TO idols is turning AWAY from the Messiah. As we have seen, this section has majored in a condemnation and rebuke of idolatry. Idolatry is a road that leads to Babylon. The LORD, in the Book of Isaiah, is traveling the lonely road to Calvary. BEWARE!!! ALL idolatry and witchcraft are an abomination to the LORD: (Deut.27:15; 1 Ki.11:7; 23:13; Isa.44:19; Jer.32:35; Eze.18:12; Dan.12:11; Mal.2:11; Rev.21:27)
ISAIAH 57 parallels with PHILEMON. Isaiah 57:15 declares that God dwells not only in the high and holy place, but also with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. We can compare this with Onesimus in Philemon 11. Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me. The former unprofitable servant, became of a contrite, penitent spirit, was revived and became profitable and a fit dwelling place for the Holy One.
Isaiah Chapter 57 holds complaints of the stupidity and idolatry of the people, described in the last part of Chapter 56; and some wonderful Promises of grace to the people of God. The stupidity of the former is observed (vs.1), they do not take notice of the death of good men, nor of coming calamities they were taken from, whose happiness is described (vs.2). Then these idolatrous people are summoned before the LORD (vs.3), and are charged with ridiculing the saints with idolatry and murder (vs.4), and their idolatry is represented under the idea of adultery, attended with very frustrating circumstances (vs.7), and yet these people still had proud and arrogant hopes of happiness, of which they boasted of and trusted in. Their righteousness and good works, which would be exposed, would be of no advantage to them (vs.10). Then follow the wonderful Promises of grace to the saints, for those that trusted in Christ would inherit the Holy Mountain (vs.13), and that the stumbling block of His people would be removed (vs.14), and that He would dwell with the humble and contrite (vs.15), and would not always be angry and contend with them, for a reason given (vs.16), and that although He had smote them, and hid His Face from them because of their sins, yet would heal them, lead them, and comfort them, and speak peace unto them (vs.17). The chapter end with the character of the wicked, and an assurance that there is no peace for them (vs.20).
Theme: Contrast between the righteous and wicked; comfort for the righteous; condemnation of the wicked.
In today’s world, the wicked have it easy . . . they live in comfort and pleasure. They are the ones with the money, and they THINK everything is going their way . . . but when we get to the end of the age, things are going to change in a drastic way! It will be opposite from what it is now. Then it shall be comfort for the righteous and condemnation for the wicked.
This chapter marks the end of the second section of the final division of Isaiah, which can rightfully be called: Salvation of God through the Suffering Servant. Those who come in humility and accept it are made righteous. Those who deny and reject it proceed on their wicked way to Judgment Day and their condemnation to an everlasting Hell. This chapter could be classified as a crossroads where the Narrow Way that leads to life goes one way and the broad way to destruction goes the opposite way. This Chapter brings us destination and division. You are wise if you pay attention.
Contrast between the Righteous and Wicked (57:1-8)
Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. (KJV)
The righteous perisheth . . . the righteous are just and holy men, who are the pillars of the place in which they live; perishieth not eternally; he may fear he shall, by reason of sin and temptation; he may say his strength and hope are perished; and his peace and comfort may perish for a time; but those who are justified by the righteousness of the Suffering Servant will NOT perish in everlasting punishment (Mat.25:46; Mk.3:29; Jude 1:7), because the righteous is the one that accepts and believes in Christ, and is justified by His righteousness (Rom.3:22-26; 5:1-2; 1 Cor.1:30), because when a person is declared righteous; they shall never perish, but have everlasting life (Mat.25:46; Jn.3:15-16; 5:39; 6:54; 10:28; 17:2-3; Rom.6:23; Tit.1:2; 3:7; 1 Jn.5:11, 13, 20). Most people will perish, as to his outward man, or dies physically, which is called perishing (Ecc.7:15), or as the Targum renders it, the righteous die. See: Death Then What? . . . . . . . . . . . http://www.hisservants.org/death_then_what_1.1.htm
And no man layeth it to heart . . . no man shows that the corruption was general, layeth it to heart means it properly affected them with the severe stroke and sad sign of God's displeasure.
And merciful men are taken away . . . merciful or godly are the same as those called righteous, whose duty and practice it is to exercise both mercy or kindness and justice. The grace of Christ is implanted in them, discovered by acts of mercy and goodness; for one and the same persons are intended.
None considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come . . . that there are evil times coming, great calamities, and sore judgments upon men; and therefore these righteous ones are gathered out of the world, and are gathered home, and safely housed in Heaven, that they may escape the evil coming upon a wicked generation; and who yet have no thought about it, nor are they led to observe it as they might, from the removal of good men out of the world (2 Ki.22:20). All this may be applied to the martyrs of Jesus in times of religious persecution; or to the removal of good men by an ordinary death before those times came.
God here gave the reason why many of the righteous perished during those dreadful years. By their death, the righteous would escape the temptations of their godless environment, and they would not have to witness the awful punishment that would fall upon the godless nation. Thus, Ahijah's death is represented as a blessing conferred upon him by God for his piety (1 Ki.14:10-14) and the prophetess Huldah also promised Josiah that, Thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eye see all the evil which I will bring upon this place" (2 Ki.22:20).
The martyrs in the times of Manasseh were actually saved from the horrors of Judah's approaching siege and captivity; and they entered into the peace of Abraham's bosom (Lk.16:22), there to await Christ's resurrection. http://www.hisservants.org/hell_abraham's_bosom.htm
From the evil to come; from those dreadful calamities which are coming upon the nation.
Isaiah 57:2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness. (KJV)
He shall enter into peace . . . or shall go in peace, the righteous man now goes in peace, having peace from his being justified by faith (Rom.5:1); he has peace by believing in Christ.
They shall rest in their beds . . . in their graves; the symbol of sleep is added, to show that they shall be absolutely free from all the uneasiness of cares, just as if they were pleasantly asleep.
Each one walking in his uprightness . . . in the righteousness of Christ, and in the shining robes of immortality and glory, and in perfect purity and holiness, before God, in the sight or Presence of Him, and walking by sight, and not by faith (2 Cor.5:7), as the living. Whosoever walketh before him, I think that believers, described by walking before God shall enjoy peace. As a result, when righteous men die, and their labors are finished, and their course is ended, they are called to peace and rest. They rest in their beds (graves), because they do not yet enjoy perfect blessedness and glory; that is to come for them. Their souls are in the bosom of Abraham, in the Arms of Jesus; their bodies in the grave, which is a bed unto them, where they lie down and sleep, until they are awaked at the resurrection; and where they rest from all toil and labor, and are free from all diseases, pains and tortures, and from all persecuting enemies (Rev.14:13).
Isaiah 57:3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore. (KJV)
But draw near hither . . . to God's court, to answer for yourselves, and to hear what I have to say against you, and to receive your sentence. The death of the righteous, and their happiness after it, being observed: the wicked, who thought themselves safe from danger, and happier that they were rid of the righteous, those witnesses and prophets which had tormented them, and therefore rejoiced on that account, are here summoned to the divine tribunal, to hear their character, and receive their doom, as follows.
Ye sons of the sorceress . . . often called a man or woman's sons that learn the art of sorcery, and follow their example. Sons of the sorceress is either properly or symbolically so called; for the Jews were guilty of it both ways; the children of Jezebel, the witch, and the prophetess that taught the servants of the LORD to commit fornication, and bewitched her with witchcrafts of the sons of the apostate church of Rome; by whose sorceries all nations have been deceived, and of which she repented not (Rev.2:20-23).
The seed of the adulterer and of the whore . . . of the great whore of Babylon with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication (Rev.17); and whose subjects and children are the seed of this whore, and the sons of this idolatrous church; they were not only the children of adulterous persons, but committed whoredom themselves.
The seed of the adulterer and the whore . . . this is not the genuine children of Abraham, as they pretend and boast, but were begotten in fornication with a common whore. This is not to be understood literally, but symbolically, because their dispositions and postures were far more suitable to a bastardly (illegitimate) brood (Deut.23:2; Zec.9:6), than to Abraham's seed (Gen.12:7; 13:16; 17:7; Jn.8:33, 37; Gal.3:29).
Isaiah 57:4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood, (KJV)
Against whom do ye sport yourselves? . . . consider whom it is that you mock and scoff when you ridicule God's prophets, as they did (Isa.28:14, 22), and know that it is not so much men that you abuse, but instead God, whose cause they plead, and in whose Name they speak.
Against whom make a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue . . . these are the known and common gestures of mockers (Job 16:10; Ps.22:7; 35:21).
Are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood? . . . either an adulterous brood, as stated before; or a generation of liars, whose practices totally contradict your principles and professions, who deal deceitfully and falsely with both God and with men. Children of transgression working all manner of sin and wickedness; or children of the devil (1 Jn.3:10), or the son of perdition (Jn.17:12; 2 Thes.2:3). A seed of falsehood are those given over to lying; to believe a lie, and to speak lies in hypocrisy (Rev.21:8); professing a false religion (2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:6-7); embracing false doctrines (Mat.15:9) . . . these are a fake, spurious breed, and NOT the sons of the TRUE Gospel church of Christ. This looks forward to the last days, when the Antichrist is said to have a mouth open, speaking great things and blasphemy against God, His Name, His tabernacle and them that dwell in Heaven (Rev.13:5-6).
*****These wicked people have been the persecutors of the righteous in the past and it shall continue on in our world today and it will greatly intensify in the Great Tribulation in the last days. Look around you today. Attacks are being made upon the righteous. The attacks sometimes come hard and fierce, and the wicked seem to get by with it . . . but dear one, Judgment Day shall one day arrive, and NO wicked person will be able to excuse themselves from it. ALL people one day will stand before the Great Judge Jesus (Ps.7:8; 9:4, 7; Ecc.3:17; 12:14; Isa.2:4; 3:13; Mat.28:18; Lk.10:22; Jn.3:35; 13:3; Heb.2:8; 1 Pet.1:17; 3:22; Rev.6:10; 19:2).
http://hisservants.org/judgment_seat_h_s.htm . . . see what Christ will judge in believers.
Isaiah 57:5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks? (KJV)
Inflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree . . . or inflamed among the oaks, with images made of wood (Rev.9:20-21), expressing a burning zeal for their idols, and being as hot upon them, as impure persons burn in lust one towards another: or with mighty ones the kings and potentates of the earth, with whom the whore of Rome (Rev.17) commits her fornication.
Being inflamed, lusting after them, and mad upon them (Jer.50:38), fanatical both in making and worshipping of idols (Isa.44:12). It is a symbol borrowed from prostitution or other immoral sexual activity, to which idolatry is often compared. Under every green tree, where idols were erected, commonly in groves under large, shady trees which shielded the worshippers from the heat of the sun, and was supposed to give them a kind of holy reverence (Deut,12:2; 2 Ki.16:4; 17:10).
Slaying the children in the valleys, under the clifts of the rocks? . . . this may well refer to the cruelty of these idolaters; for it was with great passion, they burned sacrifices to their gods, not sparing men, women and children. Slaying the children, as a sacrifice to their idols, following the manner of the barbarous heathens (Lev.18:21; Deut.12:31; 2 Ki.21:6; 23:10). Such butchering was done in many places, under the clifts of the rocks, dark places, under cragged rocks, and in caves and dens.
*****The wicked in the last days will be the idolaters who have turned their backs on God. They will be guilty of terrible immorality and murder. Adultery and murder are two of the terrible sins of our day too, along with covetousness, which is idolatry (Col.3:5). Dear one, this is the condition of the wicked at the present time, and it does include sacrifices of children, which includes devil worship and abortion.
What does God hate??? Proverbs 6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (KJV) . . . He hates abortion, and we should too, because it is MURDER!
Three main places of idolatry:
#1. Under green trees upon the high hills (Jer.17:2)
#2. In the valleys under the clifts of the rocks (vs.5, 7)
#3. On mountains (vs.7)
Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these? (KJV)
Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion . . . they chose idols which were either made of the smooth stones which were cast up by rivers, or which were worshipped upon altars made of such stones, or they worshipped by the sides of rivers, where such smooth stones lie.
They, they are thy lot . . . meaning those stones; suggesting that those idols would be their ruin; as they will be the utter ruin of the idolatrous members of the church of Rome, who repent not of worshipping their idols of stone among others (Rev.9:20-21). They are thy lot, those stones are all they would have because they had utterly forsaken the TRUE God, and chosen worthless idols for the great object of their worship and trust.
Even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering . . . the devil is God's imitator or copycat. Idolaters used the same rites and offerings in the worship of idols which God had set for His own worship (Num.15:4-5). A bread offering as well as an offering of wine, respected the sacrifice of the whore’s church (Rev.17).
Should I receive comfort in these? . . . should I be pleased with such a people and such actions? Should I not be highly provoked? Should I not show My displeasure by punishing such wicked and stupid actions? Should I receive comfort in these? . . the answer is NO!
Isaiah 57:7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice. (KJV)
Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed . . . temples and altars, which are usually built on high places, where they commit spiritual adultery (idolatry), in imitation of the Heathens, who had their temples and altars on high places; and the idolatry of the church of Rome, in this context, is agreeable to the Heathen idolatry, and in reference to it. Some think this phrase means disrespect in their idolatrous worship; for there is no content to worship under trees, in valleys, under clifts of rocks and such dark places. They did not blush at nor were ashamed of their actions, but erected their altars in the most public places. Quite possibly some reference may be had to the city of Rome itself, built on seven mountains (Rev.17:9), the seat of Antichrist, and where the principal bed for idolatry is set up. They committed spiritual adultery with idols (Eze.23:17, 41).
Even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice . . . to offer sacrifice is to do that which the idolaters did, going to their high places, their temples and to their high altars, and especially in the great city.
Isaiah 57:8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it. (KJV)
Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance . . . behind the posts of the doors of thine house; where the heathens are said to have placed their guardian gods, to whose protection they committed themselves and their houses, that so they might have their eyes and minds upon them, whenever they went out or came in. Thy remembrance, isin opposition to God's remembrances, or to the writing of God's law upon their door-posts, which God recommended to keep Him and His Law in their remembrance (Deut.6:9; 11:20).
For thou hast discovered thyself to another than me . . . they had uncovered their nakedness, they had prostituted their body to others besides the TRUE God, their Husband (Isa.54:5). They had departed from the LORD, they rose up out of His bed, they had uncovered or prostituted themselves to others, like an impudent and insatiable whore.
And art gone up . . . into the adulterous bed (Gen.49:4); departing from God, and leaving His bed; rejecting Christ as King of saints, deserting His worship and ordinances; they had uncovered themselves to another, and were guilty of spiritual adultery or idolatry.
Thou hast enlarged thy bed . . . that it might receive many adulterers together. They had multiplied their idols and altars.
Made a covenant with them . . . they had promised to serve them, and expected help from them. They were worse than the heathens, from whom they learned these wicked practices, as God complains (2 Ki.21:9; Eze.16:46-47, 52).
Thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it . . . they took great delight and pleasure in places of idol worship, and in their idolatry, wherever they were (or they loved their bed where ever they saw it).
*****Verses 8-9 tell us that marriage is an exclusive relationship in which a man and a woman become one. Adultery breaks the beautiful bond of unity. When the people turned from God and gave their love to idols, God told them that they were committing spiritual adultery, meaning that they were breaking their exclusive commitment to God. They were giving their love to worthless wood and stone idols instead of to the One and Only TRUE God who made them and loved them so much.
In days gone by, sin was committed in secret, but in today’s world . . . NO one tries to hide any sin! Sinners have become bold and brazen and boasts of and flaunts its sin. I think that there was just as much immorality in the past as there is now . . . except that sin in the past was kept secret. People were ashamed of their sin . . . but today, they are NOT ashamed but flaunt it boldly and openly. Sin that would not even have been whispered about a few years ago is done in the open today, on TV, cell phones, computers! Sin has become a way of life, and I think a time is coming that when you say they are sinners, you will be in big trouble. . . . NO! I think that time has already arrived!
The time of high moral standards and godly living are past! The wheat and the tares are growing together just like the Lord Jesus said they would (Mat.13:24-30). We see the contrast between the righteous and the wicked all through this section in Isaiah. The wicked will be with us until the final battle of Armageddon and Judgment Day (Rev.19:11-21; 20:11-15).
Isaiah 57:9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell. (KJV)
And thou wentest to the king with ointment . . . to the king; most likely to Moloch (Amos 5:26; Acts 7:43), which was supposedly the king or chief of their idols, or to the great king of Assyria, called the king by way of eminency, to whom the Israelites in the days of Isaiah were very prone to seek, trust and send presents (Gen.43:11; Jer.8:22; 46:11). With ointment, precious ointments, and mainly with balm, which was of very expensive (Isa.39:2; Mat.26:7; Jn.12:3)
And didst increase thy perfumes . . . after the manner of harlots, who, to cozy up themselves with men, used much perfumes: this may signify the many ways the whore of Rome (Rev.17)
takes to make herself regarded by the kings and nations of the Earth; pretending to antiquity, infallibility, power of working miracles, performing more work than duty calls for, preeminence and superiority over all other churches; using great pomp and splendor in places of worship, and in all religious services. According to some, the king of mystical Babylon must be meant, to whom the particulars in this verse very properly pertain (Rev.18:13, 24).
And didst send thy messengers far off . . . not only into neighboring kingdoms and states, into all the nations of Europe; but even into the most distant parts of the world in order to make proselytes, spread the whore’s religion and increase its power to exact tribute from the kings of the earth.
And didst debase thyself even unto hell . . . laid thyself low; prostitute thyself as harlots do to every lover; or did pretend to be very lowly and humble (Isa.5:14). The whore (Rev.17) had sunk to the deepest possible debasement, totally forsaking the LORD God; in seeking foreign alliances; in their concern to secure their aid when Jehovah (Ex.6:3; Ps.83:18; Isa.12:2; 26:4), was abundantly able and perfectly willing to protect them. People degrade themselves when they do not put confidence in God, and when they do not trust His ability, and rely on any other aid than His. If people have God for their Protector, WHY should they court the friendship of earthly princes and kings?
Isaiah 57:10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved. (KJV)
Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way . . . in the length of their journeys trying to procure foreign aid. They became weary without getting what they wanted.
Yet saidst thou not, There is no hope . . . although rejected in one place, they applied to another; and even though weary, they did not give up. Instead of being wise and returning to God and seeking His help, they kept on keeping on seeking human alliances, and thought they would find assistance from the help of people. This is a remarkable illustration of the conduct of people in seeking happiness away from God. It cannot be done!
Thou hast found the life of thine hand . . . much variety of opinion comes about in regard to the interpretation of this Passage. One interprets the whole passage of their devotion to idols, and supposes that this means that they had borne all the expense and difficulty and toil attending it because it gratified their hearts, and because they found a pleasure in it which sustained them. Another supposes that it is to be understood sarcastically. Why did you not repent and turn to Me? Why did you not see and recognize your madness? It was because you did not find life in your hand. Another says it means they had not appealed to the Lord, trusting more in their own virtues than in God. The phrase the life of thy hand occurs nowhere else. The hand is the instrument by which we execute our purposes; and by the life of the hand here, seems to mean that which will give full and continued employment. They had relied on their own plans rather than on God; they had sought the help of foreign powers; they had obtained that which kept them from absolute despair, and from feeling their need of the assistance of God. IF it refers to their idol-worship, as one supposes, then it means that, aside from all the trouble, toil, and expense which they had experienced, they had found so much to gratify them that they continued to serve them, and were unwilling to return to God.
Therefore thou wast not grieved . . . they did not repent of their sin and foolishness but willingly persisted in their wicked ways.
*****When life becomes all disappointment and gloom, it is then that the mind should be turned to God. When the mind finally becomes convinced that all the joys, pleasures and strength that the world can give are poor and unimportant compared to the joys which flow from the eternal friendship of God, then the wondrous blessings of salvation are sought with a full heart. Only then can we come and consecrate on the fullness of the LORD’S power and His remarkable love and energy to help us in our time of need.
Isaiah 57:11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not? (KJV)
And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied . . . here Isaiah breaks out more intensely against the Jews, because they had no fear of God, even though they boasted of their holiness and sheltered themselves under an emptiness of religion, just as millions of Jews and Gentiles do today! Not only do these hypocrites flatter themselves in their superstitions, but they are likewise regarded by multitudes as holy and pious; and so they act arrogantly and brazenly towards God and men. Here, Isaiah clearly states that TRUE fear of God (reverence and respect) CANNOT exist unless worship is pure and agrees totally with His Holy Word. Churches CANNOT teach the commandments of men (Mat.15:9), and think it is worshipping God, for it is NOT worshipping God! All the opinions of worship observed by superstitious persons, are absolutely stupid and wicked, for there is NO fear of God and NO TRUE religion among them. Their religious ceremonies show that they have NO reverence or fear of God; for God testifies, by Moses that He tests whether or not they love Him with all their heart, when He permits superstition and idolatry to be introduced by the false prophets (Deut.13:1-5). All those that fly to false prophets, show that they are totally destitute of the fear of God; for IF they considered for even a moment, that they must one day give an account to Him, they would NOT so boldly trample under foot His commandments . . . . . . . .. . . . http://www.godcannotlie.org/true_children_of_god.htm
And hast not remembered me . . . when the LORD complains of having been forgotten, He shows that it was through stubborn wickedness that they fought against Him. It was not through lack of knowledge that they wandered from Him . . . they willingly rebelled from Him, they willingly broke their promise which they had made to Him. We should carefully consider how dreadful the wrath of God is, for that wrath is launched against hypocrites who mock all God’s threats and try to make vain excuses. God is perfectly righteous in His wrath!
Have not held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not? . . . because as yet the vials of God's wrath are not poured out (Rev.16:1), nor has His judgment been inflicted on Antichrist (Rev.19:20); but ever since the Antichrist (the Beast) began to reign, he has enjoyed great prosperity; and he has no fear of God nor regards man (Rev.13:1-8), but says along with the great whore, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow (Rev.18:7).
Isaiah 57:12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee. (KJV)
I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works . . . Isaiah confirms that the LORD will no longer endure what He formerly endured from them, for He would follow a different routine. He sarcastically calls it their righteousness; and He means by it . . . all the wickedness and errors by which they were stained and corrupted. It is as if He is saying: I will show you the true nature of your righteousness. As long as God holds His peace, they who are most unrighteous and most unholy SEEM to be righteous, but when the LORD ascends to His Judgment Seat, men shall be brought out of their hiding places, and their wickedness shall be dragged into public view (Ecc.12:14; Mal.3:18; Lk.12:1-3; Rom.2:16; 1 Cor.3:13; 4:5; 2 Cor.4:2; Heb.4:13; Rev.20:12). Isaiah means that the greatest wickedness pass in the world for righteousness, as long as God holds His peace, but that shall change when the LORD ascends to His Judgment Seat. People who have long and greatly flattered themselves, shall on Judgment Day realize that He IS their Judge. http://www.judgmentcoming.org/j_c_judgment_seat_of_christ.htm
For they shall not profit thee . . . this is in regards to the effect, by which men almost always judge. They do not find out if a thing is righteous or unrighteous, but think that whatever profits them should be approved. Isaiah here threatens that all the works from which they hoped to get some profit would be destructive to them. Words of wisdom. Judge ourselves, so God does not have to: 1 Cor. 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (KJV)
Isaiah 57:13 When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee; but the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them: but he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain; (KJV)
When thou criest, let thy companies deliver thee . . . from distress and impending ruin, if they can; means not the allies of the Jews, the Egyptians and Assyrians, but rather means their idols and graven images they worshipped, and/or angels and saints departed. The kings of the earth, whom the great whore of Rome has gathered unto her to commit fornication with her: and who will be gathered together to the battle of the LORD, to make war with the Lamb (Rev.17:4), but they shall be overcome (Rev.19:19-21). These kings will stand afar off, and lament her in her distress; the kings and merchants of the Earth, ship masters and all company in ships, but will not be able to relieve her (Rev.18:9).
But the wind shall carry them all away; vanity shall take them . . . their idols will be so far from helping them in the time of their calamity, because the wind of God's power and wrath shall carry them away as chaff . . . a tiny puff of His breath shall scatter them, and bring them to nothing; they will be no more able to stand before Him than chaff can stand before a furious wind or tempest. This seems to mean an utter and easy destruction of the whole authority of the great whore’s church of Rome.
But he that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain . . . I think that this refers to God's people that will be in mystical Babylon (Rome) a little before its fall. They shall be called out of it. Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (KJV) . . . They shall know that the LORD is their only Refuge, and they shall put their trust and confidence in Him, rejecting all idolatry and superstitious rites and ritual worship, they shall enjoy the fellowship of the TRUE Gospel church of Christ, and partake of all the ordinances of it. This may have a specific regard to the Jews, who will be called about this time; who, upon their finally believing in Christ, will return to their own land, and dwell in Jerusalem, God's Holy Mountain, which shall be the Temple in the last days (Isa.11:9; 56:7; 65:25; 66:20; Eze.20:40; Joel 3:17; Mic.4:1-2; Zec.8:3; Rev.21:10).
*****God shows how insufficient idols and creatures were to relieve and help those that worshipped them and confided in them. God told Israel, Go, and cry to the gods which you have chosen, let them deliver you (Judg.10:14). For in vain is salvation hoped for from them! Vanity they are, and vanity shall take them away, and vanity shall be their reward. Both the idols and their worshippers shall come to nothing.
The second half of Isaiah 57:13 forms a shift to the next section, which is a Promise of salvation to the true Israel. In striking contrast to the menacing tone of Isaiah 57:3, is the impressive and elevated language in which the prophet now sets forth the kind thoughts of the LORD towards His erring but repentant people. Isaiah 57:14 is a Promise that the believing remnant (Jews) shall have every obstacle to their return cleared out of the way at the coming return from captivity.
Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people. (KJV)
And shall say . . . the idea is, that the obstacles would be removed from the path of those who put their trust in God.
Cast ye up, cast ye up . . . means to remove the obstacles; level the hills; take any obstruction out of the way (Isa.35:8; 40:3-4). This cry is often heard before the coming of a well-known prince or conqueror in the East.
Prepare the way . . . a highway, for the Jews to return to their own land. Some think this is said by the LORD, while others think it is said by the prophet. Prepare the way, for TRUE doctrine and TRUE worship of God . . . the way of Truth and holiness, of faith and practice.
Take up the stumblingblock out of the way of my people . . . the proud, unbelieving majority of Israel were a stumbling block to the repentance and return of the righteous remnant to the LORD, and it continued even after the Christ came. The pride and self-righteousness of the Jews were the stumblingblocks in the way of their acknowledging Christ. Also the superstition, idolatry and irreverence of the whore church of Rome, are great stumblingblocks in the way of the conversion of the Jews, for it hardens those people in their disbelief of Christ and the TRUE Christian religion. The fall of the Antichrist, and a renovation everywhere from all corruption in doctrine and worship, will prepare the way for the Jews to embrace the TRUE Christian religion, and to prepare them for their return to their own land.
Comfort for the Righteous (57:15-19)
In the second division Isaiah speaks of comfort for the righteous.
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (KJV)
For thus saith the high and lofty One . . . the LORD is high above the Earth, and all the nations of it; higher than all the kings in it. He is the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev.19:16); and He is well able to save His people, and destroy His and His people’s enemies. He is higher than the heavens (Heb.7:26), and higher than all the angels there.
That inhabiteth eternity . . . the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps.41:13; 90:2; 103:17; 106:48), without beginning or end (Heb.7:3), the first and the last (Isa.44:6; 48:12; Rev.1:17; 2:8; 22:13), who only hath immortality in and of Himself (1 Tim.6:16). Even though angels and the souls of men do not die, yet they had a beginning (Jn.1:3); while only our awesome God is from eternity to eternity (Isa.57:15; Jn.1:1-2). The LORD inhabits one undivided, uninterrupted, eternity, to which time to Him is but a moment (Ps.90:4; 2 Pet.3:8).
Whose name is Holy . . . His nature (character, personality) being so; He is originally and in actual fact Holy (pure, sinless), and is the Source of holiness to His creatures, angels and men. There are none anywhere that are holy compared to Him; His Holiness is displayed in all that He says and does.
I dwell in the high and holy place . . . He dwelt in the most holy place in the tabernacle and temple (Ex.26:33-34; 1 Ki.6:16; 7:50; 8:6; 2 Chron.5:7), which were symbols of the true sanctuary in Heaven (Ex.25:8-9), where Almighty God dwells, and seems to be meant here.
With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit . . . not only with the other divine Persons
and with those high ones (good angels), but with all those who are broken under a sense of sin; and have been justified by faith in Christ (Rem.3:24-26; 5:1-2, 9). This reveals the pardoning grace and mercy of the LORD, when souls humble themselves as well as repent (turn away from) their sins, being remorseful, and have the worst thoughts of themselves. They are humble under the sense of their sin and their unworthiness, and gratefully and willingly accept and submit to the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30). They give credit of their salvation to His free grace alone (Eph.2:8-9); and become joyful followers of the meek and lowly Jesus (Mat.11:29). With such humble ones does the LORD dwell, not merely by His omnipresence and omnipotence, but by His Spirit (Rom.8:9) and His grace (Eph.1:6-7), by shedding abroad His love in their hearts, and communicating His grace to them.
To revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones . . . the humble and contrite (remorseful) ones are those who have realized that they are sinners in the Eyes of God. They feel the sense of His divine displeasure; they feel that the LORD has hidden His Face from them (Deut.31:17-18; 32:20; Ps.27:9; 51:9). But, when they sincerely turn away from their sin and are truly sorry for their sin, the LORD dwells with them, to revive and quicken them by His gracious Presence and His pardoning love and grace. See Special Comments at the end of this Chapter for more about our awesome Triune God.
*****In the last days the LORD shall comfort His own because of WHO He is . . . the high and lofty One. He is the God of eternity. Feeble mankind with his threescore years and ten years (Ps.90:10), has but a short time here on Earth. The eternal God promises to take those humble and contrite ones who do not trust in themselves, but trust in Him, protecting them as a mother hen covers her chicks (Deut.32;11-12; Ps.17:8; 57:1; 61:4; 91:4). There is tremendous comfort, peace and security for all who belong to the LORD. This verse looks beyond our day to the last days, the time of the Tribulation Period.
WHERE does God dwell?
#1. At present, He is in Heaven (Isa.57:15; 1 Ki.8:30, 39, 43, 49; Mat.6:9; Jn.17:1)
#2. In the new earth, His capital city will be moved here on Earth (Rev.21:3)
#3. In the sanctuary, among Israel (Ex.15:17; 25:8; 29:45-46)
#4. In thick darkness (1 Ki.8:12; 2:6:1)
#5. In great light (1 Tim.6:16)
#6. In Jerusalem (Ps.135:21)
#7. In Zion (Joel 3:17)
#8. In Christ (Jn.14:10-11)
#9. In people, the temple of the living God (2 Cor.6:16)
#10. In believers (Isa.57:15; Jn.14:23)
Isaiah 57:16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. (KJV)
For I will not contend for ever . . . He will not be angry with His people forever, but will pardon and comfort them (Ps.103:9-14). This is to be considered as having been primarily addressed to the Jews in their long and painful exile in Babylon, but it means more, for although God would punish His people for their sins, yet His wrath would not be continuous. If they were His children, He would visit them again in mercy, and would restore to them to His favor.
Neither will I be always wroth . . . those with whom He contends, IF they trust in Him, shall be relieved, and received into His favor. He will revive the heart of the contrite ones, for He will not be angry forever. Nothing makes a soul more regretful as God's dealing with us, and so nothing revives it as much as His stopping His disagreement.
For the spirit should fail before me . . . the spirit of the afflicted, which not being able to bear up any longer under the affliction, would sink and faint (fail).
And the souls which I have made . . . all souls are God's creation, and which are also renewed by His grace, and made new creatures. The LORD knows the weakness of humans, therefore He graciously restrains His Hand, or regulates or removes the affliction (Ps.78:38). In the last days of trouble to God's people, which will be the time of the slaying of the witnesses, will be such that if they are not shortened, no flesh can be saved, but for the elect's sake they will be shortened (Mat.24:22).
Isaiah 57:17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. (KJV)
For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him . . . He complains of the stubborn wickedness of the people, and shows that the LORD had very good reason for punishing him in this manner; so that there can be no complaint of His excessive cruelty. This seems to mean teachers and preachers in the reformed churches, who mind their own things (Mat.15:9; 2 Cor.11:4), and not the Truth of the Gospel of Christ.
I hid me, and was wroth . . . the LORD showed His displeasure by departing from them; and when God withdraws His Presence, (then or now) it causes His Spirit to depart from the churches. A church without the Holy Spirit is utterly useless in God’s eyes!
And he went on frowardly in the way of his heart . . . froward is hard to get along with, difficult. It is someone who take no notice of the rebukes and corrections of God; was not at all concerned at His absence; not in the least affected by His departure, nor the withdrawing of His Spirit. They had no desire to reform. This is now far too visible in the world today; the same evil is pursued with eagerness, for this is the way the heart of man is set upon, and they do not care to be turned from it . . . froward spiteful children under the rod, receive no correction by it.
*****The LORD explains why He punishes the wicked. The wicked are covetous, greedy, jealous, and boldly rebel against Almighty God. I truly believe that anyone with any common sense at all, knows that a Holy God will one day stop all rebellion against Him. God shall rightfully punish any and all who go against Him with rebellious and proud hearts. BEWARE!
Isaiah 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. (KJV)
I have seen his ways, and will heal him . . . either his ways of sin, meaning that God had seen how likely His people were to sin, and that He would now intervene and correct their sin against Him, and remove from them the judgments of His wrath which had been brought upon them as the result of their crimes. I will heal him . . . this Promise applies only to the believing penitents. God is always ready to receive the soul that with humble and contrite heart returns obediently to His fold. Sin, in the Scriptures, is often represented as a disease, and pardon and salvation as a healing of the disease (2 Chron.7:14; Ps.41:4; Jer.3:22; Hos.4:4)
I will lead him also . . . out of those evil ways into the good and right way in which they should go; into the way of Truth and paths of righteousness. It is lack of light and knowledge that so many err from the Truths of the Gospel, and from the simplicity of Gospel. But in the last days the Spirit of Truth shall be poured down from on high (Rev.14:6-7), and shall lead professors of TRUE religion into all Truth, and they shall speak a pure language, and worship the LORD with one accord, in perfect harmony.
And restore comforts to him, and to his mourners . . . to those that mourn over their own sins, and the sins of others; that mourn in Zion, and for Zion; and for the corruptions in doctrine (Mat.15:9; 2 Cor.11:4; Gal.1:7-8), for there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim.2:5). False worship crept into the churches; because of the lack of church discipline and Gospel Truth.
*****For all those who forsake the wickedness of their ways, the LORD is more than willing and well able to heal and save them. He is a loving and gracious God toward the righteous.
Isaiah 57:19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him. (KJV)
I create the fruit of the lips . . . the meaning seems to be that God would raise up at this time, by His grace, preachers of the pure and TRUE Gospel; who would powerfully preach the honest Truth, which brings peace and tranquility to troubled consciences, and reconciles God with the believing sinner, through the precious Blood of Jesus Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19), and is therefore rightfully called, the Gospel of peace ( Rom.10:15; Eph.6:15). The fruit of the lips isalso the sacrifice of praise (Jer.33:11; Heb.13:15). I create the fruit of the lips . . . God creates this fruit by giving believers a reason for thanksgiving, by His mercies conferred on all those who acknowledge and grieve over their transgressions, and return to Him (Isa.55:7). The great topic of thanksgiving is peace, reconciliation and pardon, offered to them that are nigh, and to them that are afar off, not only to the Jew, but also to the Gentile (Gal.3:26-29; Eph.2:13, 17).
Peace, peace . . . the repetition of the word peace is intended to express not only certainty, but also uninterrupted continuance. Peace with God, is made only by Christ, who promised it in the covenant, on the condition of Christ's shedding His Blood to achieve it; therefore the covenant is called the covenant of peace (Num.25:12; Eze.34:25; 37:26; Heb.13:20) . . . . . . . . . . . http://hisservants.org/father_son_covenants_h_s.htm
To him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him . . . having first made peace by the Blood of the cross (Eph.2:13-17), in which place there seems a clear reference to this Passage. When the Gospel was preached to the Jews that were near; to them in Judea, from where it first came; and then to the Gentiles that were afar off (Jer.31:10; Mic.4:3; cts 2:39; Eph.2:17), as well as the dispersed Jews in distant countries (Lev.26:33; Deut.4:27; 28:64; Eze.12:15; 20:23; Zec.7:14); and in the last days, to which this prophecy refers, it will be preached far and near, through all the world (Mat.24:14), and when the Earth is filled with the knowledge of the Gospel of peace (Rom.10:15; Eph.6:15), through the ministry of a set of men raised up by the LORD, created for that purpose, and exceptionally furnished for such service (Rev.7), the result will be tremendous spiritual peace in the hearts of God's people.
*****Also consider the following: Far off is one of the most painful feelings that a child of God can experience. The ungodly know nothing of distance from God, for they have never been brought spiritually near. The ungodly, the wicked, have never felt the bands of love (Hos.11:4), drawing them close to God, they have never felt the sweet Presence of the LORD’S love and mercy. But God’s children who are far off in their feelings for Him, who have felt and seen something of the beauty of the Lord (Ps.27:4; 90:17), then backslid into the evil of sin, and who spiritually know God’s awesome purity and our impurity, and have felt an inward curse and God’s condemnation . . . we feel far off from the LORD and the feeling is far from pleasant!
Condemnation of the Wicked (57:20-21)
Ch.40-48: Isaiah 48:22 There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.49-57: Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
Ch.58-66: Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. (KJV)
All three of these last sections end with the same idea . . . there shall be no peace, to the wicked. The Messiah brings peace, but any and all who reject Him will NEVER know peace. Turning TO idols is turning AWAY from the Messiah. As we have seen, this section has majored in a condemnation and rebuke of idolatry. Idolatry is a road that leads to Babylon. The LORD, in the Book of Isaiah, is traveling the lonely road to Calvary. BEWARE!!! ALL idolatry and witchcraft are an abomination to the LORD: (Deut.27:15; 1 Ki.11:7; 23:13; Isa.44:19; Jer.32:35; Eze.18:12; Dan.12:11; Mal.2:11; Rev.21:27).
As I have been stating in these commentaries, each of these last three divisions of Isaiah are very striking by the same words: "There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked." I think this is something that is quite clear! The history of man is one of constant conflict and war. It is not only true among nations, but also among individuals . . . although they may try to call it competition. There is conflict and struggle in the business world, the social world and the religious world. Dear one, our precious LORD God says that there is no peace for the wicked. You cannot have peace in your heart without God! NO one has ever been able to accomplish this so far and no one ever shall!
Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. (KJV)
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest . . . the wicked are transgressors of the law and those who remain unpardoned. The idea is to contrast the condition of the wicked with the righteous, those who enjoy peace. All the wicked are like the troubled sea, agitated and ever-moving. The sea never stops moving, nor is it ever completely calm; often lashing into foam, and heaving with wild uproar. Whether the wicked are rich or poor; bond or free; old or young; whether in Christian, civilized, or barbarous lands; whether living in palaces, caves or in tents; whether in the grandeur of cities, or in the seclusion of deserts . . . ALL the wicked are like the troubled sea, disturbed by winds and storms, with the waves raging and rolling and beating against the shore, threatening to pass beyond the boundaries fixed for it. It is the same with the agitations of the minds of wicked men be, because of the terrors of conscience for their sins; or because of the hatred, malice and resentment in them at the happiness and prosperity of the righteous. Multitudes of the wicked in the last days, will be scorched with great heat, gnaw their tongues for pain, and blaspheme the God of Heaven, because of their plagues and pains (Rev.16:9-12).
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt . . . mire and dirt from the bottom of the sea are cast upon the shore in a violent storm; so too the hearts of wicked men, having nothing but the mire and dirt of sin in them, cast out nothing else but the froth and foam of their own shame, blasphemy against God, and malice against His people. This is a vivid image of the agitated and unsettled and agitated hearts of the guilty. The symbol which is used here to mean the need of peace in heart the bosom of a wicked man. The agitation and commotion of the wicked sinner referred to here, reveals the following:
#1. There is NO permanent happiness or enjoyment to the wicked. There is NO calm or peace in the soul of the wicked. There is NO important and permanent pleasure furnished by great wealth. There is NO permanent glory that can ever come from pride, splendor and flattery of the world. All that the world offers leaves the soul discouraged, frustrated, unhappy and with the fear of Hell always on their mind.
#2. The wicked sinner is under the influence of raging lust and passions, which can well, be compared to the wild and unrestrained waves of the ocean. As a result, the hearts and minds of the wicked are stirred up with the conflicting passions of ambition, jealousy, malice, lust, pride and revenge, which leave no peace in the soul; making peace impossible. People may learn in some degree to restrain their passions, they are like the smothered fires of a volcano, or like the fleeting calm of the ocean.
#3. Conscience. Nothing more resembles an agitated ocean casting up mire and dirt, than a soul agitated by the memories of past guilt. A deep dark cloud in a storm hangs over the sea; the lightning plays and the thunder rolls along the sky, and the waves heave with wild commotion. So it is with the heart of the wicked. There may be a temporary pause of the rebukes of conscience, but there is no permanent peace. The eternal soul cannot rest, when memories of guilt are recalled.
#4. The fear of judgment and of Hell. Many of the wicked have absolutely no rest, day or night, from the fear of God’s wrath on Judgment Day. His troubled mind looks onward, and he sees nothing to expect but the wrath of God, and being condemned to the horrors of an eternal Hell. How much value then is the Gospel?
Dear one, all these upheavals can be stilled by the Voice of God’s pardoning mercy, just as the billows of the deep were quieted by the voice of Jesus (Mk.4:39). How much do we owe to the Father for sending His only begotten Son (Jn.3:16)? How much do we owe the Suffering Servant for His Coming (Isa.53)? How much to we owe the Holy Spirit for His patience in trying to woo us to Christ (Gen.6:3)? Had it not been for these things, there would be NO peace in this world. Every heart would be agitated with unrestrained passion; every heart would tremble with the fear of Hell. We should diligently seek the guidance and power of God! We all are sinners. We all have a conscience that may be troubled with memories of past guilt. We are all traveling to the Court of God, and have reason to consider the storms of vengeance. We all will stand before the Great Judge one day. Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can give us peace and comfort our soul. Only Christ, the Suffering Servant can give permanent peace and joy in knowing that we shall one day, be in the blissful Home of our Almighty God.
The LORD God removes all the anticipated terrors of a bed of death and of the approach to Judgment Day. The Christian can die in peace, not as the troubled sinner, with worries of Hell.
*****Isaiah 57:20 is probably one of the most remarkable descriptions of wicked people in the Bible. They are like the restless and troubled sea, the wicked person can find no rest nor peace in his wicked lifestyle. The wicked are not cured and conquered, for their uncontrolled lusts and passions make them like the troubled sea that cannot rest. They are anxious, uneasy, noisy and dangerous. When the unrestrained passion of the spirit breaks out in an abusive and offensive mood, it is then the wicked act like the troubled sea, spewing forth mire and dirt.
Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked . . . the wicked have absolutely no share in the peace made by the precious Blood of Christ (1 Pet.1:18-19). They have no true, inward peace of conscience; nor will they have any part in the happiness and prosperity of the church and people of God in the last days, which will just add to their uneasiness. They will have no lot and portion in the eternal peace which the saints shall enjoy in the world to come . . . and of this there is the strongest assurance and proof . . . because God, the covenant God of His people, has said it.
Even though many of the wicked may have a great a share of worldly prosperity, as appears from:
Psalm 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. (KJV)
Psalm 37:9-10 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. (KJV)
Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (KJV)
Isaiah 14:9 Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. (KJV)
Jeremiah 51:13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness. (KJV)
Luke 16:22-23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (KJV)
Yet they have no share in inward, spiritual and everlasting peace.
Isaiah 57:1-13 speak of pride and lust; verses 14-21 reveals how our awesome God relates to those who are humble and repentant (contrite, remorseful). The High and Holy God came down to our level to save us because it is impossible for us to go up to his level to save ourselves (See Philippians chapter 2).
If the world thinks it can have peace today without God, they are WRONG . . . because that is a direct contradiction to the Holy Word of God. You CANNOT contradict God's Word. The wicked CANNOT have peace in the world, now or ever! God clearly states that the wicked will have no peace. This is a TRUTH of our Almighty God, and He CANNOT lie (Tit.1:2; Heb.6:18).
Facts about Almighty God in Isaiah 57:
#1. He is longsuffering and very patient with those who rebel (vs.11).
#2. He is faithful to warn men of the evil results of rebellion (vs.12).
#3. He promises blessings on all those who trust in Him (vs.13-19).
#4. He is the High and lofty One (vs.15).
#5. He inhabits eternity (vs.15). Also: (Deut.33:27; Ps.90:2; 93:2; Pro.8:23; Jer.10:10).
#6. His Name is Holy (vs.15).
#7. He dwells in a high and holy place (vs.15).
#8. He also dwells with the contrite and humble (vs.15)
#9. He promises to revive the heart of the contrite ones (vs.15).
#10. He will not contend forever (vs.16).
#11. He will not always be angry (vs.16).
#12. His wrath is stirred at the sin of covetousness (vs.17).
#13. He will heal the repentant sinner (vs.19).
#14. He considers the wicked as a troubled sea, and clearly states: There is no peace to the wicked (vs.21).
Redemption through the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 49-57)
49:1-5:3 A. Confirming His Concern Through His Servant • Bringing Hope
50:4-11 B. Affirming His Concern Through His Servant • Bringing Comfort
51:1-23 C. Arousing Our Sense of Need • Instilling Awareness Of God
52:1-12 D. Declaring Our Freedom From Sin • Instilling Hope of Release
52:13-53 E. Providing Redemption For The Lost • Securing Salvation For The Many
54:1-17 F. Expanding God’s Magnificent Kingdom • Describing Salvation
55:1-13 G. Calling Us to Himself • Responding To Our Lord
56:1-8 H. Opening Wide the Kingdom's Doors • Overcoming Exclusiveness
56:9-57:21 I. Encouraging the Contrite; Condemning Wicked • His Selectivity
Sins of the wicked in Isaiah 57:
#1. They are addicted to sorcery (vs.3)
#2. Adultery; disregarding marriage contracts; full of licentiousness
#3. Sport selves; live in mockery of God and religion (vs.4)
#4. Wide mouth; live in contempt of others (Isa.57; Ps.22:7, 13)
#5. Live in open rebellion (vs.4)
#6. Unfaithful and false
#7. Burning lusts; inflaming selves (vs.5)
#9. Murder of children, sacrificing them to idols (vs.5; Lev.20:2-5; 2 Chron.28:3; 33:6; Jer.7:31)
#10. Worship of stone pillars or monuments made from smooth stones (vs.6)
#11. Commit fornication upon the mountains in worship of idols (vs.7)
#12. Erect idols and worship them even in the home (vs.8)
#13. Consecrate themselves to gods other than Almighty God
#14. Increase adulterous practices with idol worshipers
#15. Make covenant with idols
#16. Provide places for such adulterous worship of idols
#17. Make alliances with other nations who are idolaters (vs.9-10)
#18. Use perfumes to make themselves more agreeable with the harlots who are consecrated to serve idols by giving their own bodies to others (vs.9)
#19. Degrade themselves to the lowest depths of sin, even to Hell
#20. Live in fear, lying and rebellion against God without serious consideration of the outcome (vs.11)
Twelve forbidden Practices:
#1. Enchantments: practice of magical arts (Ex.7:11, 22; 8:7, 18; Lev.19:26; Deut.18:10; 2 Chron.33:6; 2 Ki.17:17; 21:6; Isa.47:9, 12; Jer.27:9; Dan.1:20)
#2. Witchcraft: practice of dealing with evil spirits (Ex.22:18; Deut.18:10; 1 Sam.15:15:23; 2 Chron.33:6; 2 Ki.9:22; Mic.5:12; Nah.3:4; Gal.5:19-21)
#3. Sorcery: the same as witchcraft (Ex.7:11; Isa.47:9, 12; 57:3; Jer.27:9; Dan.2:2; Mal.3:5; Acts 8:9-11; 13:6-8; Rev.9:21; 18:23; 21:8; 22:15)
#4. Soothsaying: the same as witchcraft (Isa.2:6; Dan.2:27; 4:7; 5:7, 11; Mic.5:12)
#5. Divination: the art of magical insight or fortunetelling (Num.22:7; 23:23; Deut.18:10-14; 2 Ki.17:17; 1 Sam.6:2; Jer.14:14; 27:9; 29:8; Eze.12:24; 13:6-7, 23; 21:22-29; 22:28; Mic.3:7; Zec.10:2; Acts 16:16)
#6. Wizardry: the same as witchcraft. A wizard is a male and a witch is a female who practices witchcraft. Both were to be destroyed in Israel (Ex.22:18; Lev.19:31; 20:6, 27; Deut.18:11; 1 Sam.28:3, 9; 2 Ki.21:6; 23:24; 2 Chron.33:6; Isa.19:3)
#7. Necromancy: divination by means of pretended communication with the dead (Deut.18:11; Isa.8:19; 1 Sam.28; 1 Chron.10:13)
#8. Magic: any pretended supernatural art or practice (Gen.41:8,24; Ex.7:11, 22; 8:7, 18-19; 9:11; Dan.1:20; 2:2, 10, 27; 4:7, 9; 5:11; Acts 19:19)
#9. Charm: to put a spell upon, the same as enchantment (Deut.18:11; Isa.19:3)
#10. Prognostication: to foretell by indications, omens, signs, etc. (Isa.47:13)
#11. Observing times: the same as prognostication (Lev.19:26; Deut.18:10; 2 Ki.21:6; 2 Chron.33:6)
#12. Astrology and star gazing: divination by stars (Isa.47:13; Jer.10:2; Dan.1:20; 2:2, 10; 4:7; 5:7-15)
All the above practices were and still are carried on today, in connection with demons, called familiar spirits. All who forsook God and sought help from these demons were to be destroyed (Lev.19:31; 20:6; Deut.18:11; 1 Sam.28; 2 Ki.21:6; 23:24; 1 Chron.10:13; 2 Chron.33:6; Isa.8:19; 19:3; 29:4; 1 Tim.4:1-8; 2 Thes.2:8-12; Mat.24:24; Rev.13; 16:13-16).
The weariness of sin.
The wicked desperately strive to obtain happiness anywhere but from the TRUE God of Heaven. Their efforts will be completely fruitless and in utter vain. They wander from one worldly thing to another becoming more weary after each pursuit, but they refuse to give up. Nothing can be more wearisome as unsuccessful efforts for happiness. Consider the following:
#1. The sensual course for happiness is a wearisome one. Sensual = carnal, animal-like lust, lascivious, lewd, erotic, fleshly, immoral, sexual. The pleasure-lover and the sexually corrupt very soon show exhaustion, because they will never feel happiness or fulfillment in what the world offers.
#2. The secular course for happiness is a wearisome one. Secular = blasphemous, earthly, worldly, irreligious, profane, unbelieving, ungodly. All who seek happiness in the search for gain will soon be wearied, because they will never find joy in worldly wealth.
#3. The intellectual course for happiness is a wearisome one. Intellectual = academic, educated, intelligent, scholarly, learned. They who look for true happiness in study and research will soon find it to be weary. True happiness can be found only when you learn the Truth of God’s Word.
4. The superstitious course is a wearisome one. Superstitious = irrational, gullible, illogical, unfounded, unsound, specious, false, erroneous, wrong, inaccurate, witchcraft, sorcery, magic. Millions sink into religious superstition with pilgrimages, penances, prayers, and devotional rites and rituals routine. Millions more are lured into witchcraft which can NEVER give correct answers! These millions are found wearied in this path! Comfort, happiness and peace come only from our Awesome God in Heaven . . . nowhere else!
A WONDERFUL DESCRIPTION OF THE GREATNESS OF GOD
Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (KJV)
His glory appears:
#1. In His crucial majesty. He is the high and lofty One. He is exalted far above us, out of human view and conception. He is the one and only Almighty Author, Creator, Preserver, and LORD of all; to whom there is NO other like Him.
#2. In the immutability of His existence. He does not change. He inhabiteth eternity. What a beautiful expression!
#3. In the infinite righteousness of His character. He is righteous and pure. Whose name is Holy. The holiness of God means the endless unity and harmony of Him in every kind of moral goodness and that being in its highest measure. Our God has a very unique form of glory.
#4. In the exalted place of His abode. Heaven is where His glory always displays His awesome Presence, and where one day, all believers in Christ shall behold this glory.
A description of the character which should be in the mind and heart of man when coming before our Great God.
#1. As a frail, mortal, feeble creature, who is crushed before the moth (Job 4:19), humility is the proper attitude for man before God. Even angels and archangels veil their faces with their wings in His Presence (Ex.25:20; 37:9; Isa.6:2).
#2. As transgressors, it is our duty to be abased in the Presence of the Most High. There is something more than humility that we should reveal, for we are an offender against this overpowering Sovereign. Repentance (turning away from sin) is needed, for we must have shame and remorse for sin, brokenness of heart for having offended God (Ps.34:18; 51:17; Pro.15:13; 17:22).
Revealing God’s Generosity to His People:
#1. Comfort comes, comfort like nothing we have ever known. He wipes away our tears, by revealing Christ Jesus in the fullness of His atoning Sacrifice and pardoning love.
#2. Power is there. We are given strength and energy for our spiritual life. We can now go the way of His commandments (Mat.22:36-40), we are identified with His kingdom; and we willingly labor for it to advance.
#3. Growth. Under His reviving influence, we grow in all things that pertain to our spiritual life. We go from children (babes in Christ), to young men then on to fathers (1 Jn.2). When are sufficiently matured, we shall be transplanted to Heaven.
Who are the wicked?
The character and misery of the wicked. WHO are the wicked? They are the people who have never undergone a change of heart, by believing and accepting what God says about His Son and salvation. The wicked are those who are outwardly immoral and profane, those who seem lost to every principle of virtue and religion and have no fear of God. They are indifferent to the criticism of their fellow-creatures. The wicked are all those whose hearts have not been renewed by the Holy Spirit.
#1. Some are totally ignorant of the plain and crucial doctrines of the Christian religion, even though they are in the midst the best means to gain knowledge of them.
#2. Some freely and willingly break out into open acts of wickedness.
#3. Some, are free from gross immoralities, yet they are wicked, because they neglect the duties of religion (Mat.28:19-20). There are sins of commission, and there are sins of omission. All God’s children must Go ye therefore!
#4. Some adopt loose and dangerous principles, who argue, either that the Scripture is not true, or that some great doctrines, as generally taught, are not contained in the Bible (Mat.15:9).
#5. Among the wicked we must also rank the hypocrite (Mat.23) and the formalist (someone who strictly adheres to prescribed or traditional forms of worship such as rites and rituals.
#6. They are intolerant of any restraint and reproof.
In what ways is there is no peace to the wicked?
#1. There is no peace to them with God as they live here on earth. Wicked people simply wage war with God in Heaven, causing the Almighty King to be angry with them.
#2. There is no peace in their own conscience.
#3. There is no peace to the wicked in their dying hour. I think this means they may have thoughts about being condemned to Hell (Jn.3:18). I have heard some pastors say that they witnessed some awful spectacles that the wicked exhibited on their death-beds.
#4. There is no peace to the wicked after death. They enjoyed the common bounties of the Providence of God, and in these they placed their only happiness; but now all that is gone, and they are tormented.
No comfort for the wicked
The wicked would not be healed by the grace of God, and therefore shall not be healed by His comforts.
No peace to the wicked
#1. The man who makes a habit of sinning has no real comfort of mind from the pleasures of this world.
#2. He wants all the effective support of the many evils and calamities of life.
#3. He is troubled with the rebukes of his conscience.
#4. He can’t get rid of unwanted thoughts of death and Hell.
Scriptures Contrasting the Righteous with the Wicked:
Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. (KJV)
Psalm 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about. (KJV)
Psalm 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous. (KJV)
Psalm 75:10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. (KJV)
Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion. (KJV)
Proverbs 29:16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall. (KJV)
Isaiah 65:14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. (KJV)
Malachi 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not. (KJV)
Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (KJV)
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
John 5:29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (KJV)
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (KJV)
Revelation 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (KJV)
Revelation 22:14-15 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (KJV)
Book of Isaiah . . Isaiah's Mini-Bible
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JUDGMENT ON THE NATIONS . . . . . Isaiah Ch.13 . . Isaiah Ch.14 . . Isaiah Ch.15 . . Isaiah Ch.16 . . Isaiah Ch.17 . . Isaiah Ch.18 . . Isaiah Ch.19 . . Isaiah Ch.20 . . Isaiah Ch.21 . . Isaiah Ch.22 . . Isaiah Ch.23 . . Home Page
ISAIAH’S APOCALYPSE . . . . . Isaiah Ch.24 . . Isaiah Ch.25 . . Isaiah Ch.26 . . Isaiah Ch.27 . . Home Page
ISAIAH'S SIX WOES . . . Isaiah Ch.28 . . Isaiah Ch.29 . . Isaiah Ch.30 . . Isaiah Ch.31 . . Isaiah Ch.32 . . Isaiah Ch.33 . . Isaiah Ch.34 . . Isaiah Ch.35 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Historic Part . . Isaiah Ch.36 . . Isaiah Ch.37 . . Isaiah Ch.38 . . Isaiah Ch.39 . . Home Page
Isaiah Speaks of Messiah's Incarnation. . Isaiah Ch.40 . . Isaiah Ch.41 . . Isaiah Ch.42 . . Isaiah Ch.43 . . Isaiah Ch.44 . . Isaiah Ch.45 . . Isaiah Ch.46 . . Isaiah Ch.47 . . Isaiah Ch.48 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Introduction to the Suffering Servant
Isaiah's Suffering Servant Prophecy. . . Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Isaiah's Redemption Through the Suffering Servant . . . Isaiah Ch.49 . . Isaiah Ch.50 . . Isaiah Ch.51 . . Isaiah Ch.52 . . Isaiah Ch.53 . . Isaiah Ch.54 . . Isaiah Ch.55 . . Isaiah Ch.56 . . Isaiah Ch.57 . . Home Page
Isaiah's Vision of the Dispersion . . . Isaiah Ch.58 . . Isaiah Ch59 . . Isaiah Ch.60 . . Isaiah Ch.61 . . Isaiah Ch.62 . . Isaiah Ch.63 . . Isaiah Ch.64 . . Isaiah Ch.65 . . Isaiah Ch.66 . . Home Page